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Total War: Rome II: an interactive history book

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In the fields, the mountains and the seas of ancient Europe are moving endless legions of Roman soldiers, troops of barbarian tribes and dozens of other factions. For hundreds of years, they are fighting and seized more land for their rulers. Never before in the history atlas for 5th grade was not so exciting.

Series Total War – a unique phenomenon, a turn-based strategy turned into AAA-blockbuster. A thoughtful, lasting many permutation of chips on the global map of the world, provided an expensive graphics. It seems to be a mixture of niche TBS and RTS easily achieves multi-million dollar sales that never dreamed of ordinary members of both genres.

At first glance, Total War: Rome II confirms its status as an advanced PC-games. Already debut encounter several groups of Roman soldiers with the rebellious inhabitants of Sicily becomes a visual feast, which a few years ago could afford a few shooters. The plains are dotted with a million details: grass, shrubs, ruined houses. On the banks of the rays of the sun shimmer on the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Rows are soldiers, each with their own armor, animations and facial features.

A few hours later, dozens of thousands-strong legion fighting among the winter woods somewhere off the coast of the Baltic Sea. There is already forget about any discounts on the genre. Snow-covered trees all around, hundreds of fire arrows into the air, countless soldiers running against each other. At any time, bird’s-eye view camera can be lowered to the earth itself, to consider the distorted face of the barbarian, who had just stabbed a Roman sword. The overall cinematic happening adds muted color palette and the ability to turn on the virtual operator, which selects the most dramatic camera angles. 

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But the players who come to Rome II because of the beautiful images need to be prepared for the fact that with all the splendor and blockbuster status, it’s still a tricky strategy. And for a day of real time spent in the game, you have time to draw the starting boundaries of his empire, to spend a few small hikes and launch an attack on the first major enemy. Army move in a virtual Europe slowly, slowly building under construction, the internal mechanics such as funding the troops and the maintenance of public order even more militaristic ambitions hinder the player. In addition, half of the time on the global map will have to spend watching the moves of artificial intelligence – the actions of rivals may take several minutes. That’s enough time between turns to read a book.

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There really is a lot of factions. It makes a variety of diplomacy. If the Medieval Empire or we mainly dealt in large countries, the Rome II, especially at the initial stage, it is safe to fight – few people available to more than two or three cities. The administrative structure of the world itself has also changed. The province became a lot more, they are usually combined four cities. Each branch has its own buildings, but the taxation provisions and other available options – they are common to all areas. In the very same building settlements, now divided into the branches of development. At each location available, you can choose the type of construction, and then only to improve it. This solution simplifies the Creative Assembly micromanagement. 

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But that does not mean that the management of the empire was simple. Still need to monitor the actions of the very enemy agents – spies, dignitaries and champions and manage their assistants. They and your generals are gaining levels, successfully executing orders – gradually each comes with its own features and specifications. Domestically, its difficulties. Some of the feuding parties, while others – the ruling clan and know. In short, the policy is necessary to pay attention to no less than war. 

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Themselves fighting a variety and do not give bored. Here are simple and classic battle on the principle of “Cavalry beats swordsmen, spearmen, swordsmen beat, beat spearmen cavalry” (as opposed to games of the series in later eras, there is much less of a role played by the arrow). And the assault on the city using catapults, siege towers and ladders. And landing on the coast, where infantry units in a hail of arrows playing the “Saving Private Ryan 200 BC.” Naval battles easier to organize. Due to the mechanics of boarding and ramming, you can dispense conventional troops on transport ships, and not to build warships. In general, due to the low development of the technology of the time to play the role of Admiral in the Total War: Rome II is not as interesting as in the same Empire. 

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The main thing that interferes with the play – its dampness. For a project with such impressive graphics doubly insulting a number of visual bugs. Sometimes disappear texture maps (some players report that their place can and does appear red and blue “caps”), ladder, leaning against the wall, it may fall right into the rocks, and the game interface to behave as you like – or even an abyss, or No download a separate window. All this is unpleasant, but isolated cases.

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But the shortcomings of artificial intelligence is much more common. On the global map hard to attack the enemy can be many times more powerful army and storm the city, without much hope of winning. AI feels an inexplicable love of spearmen, often ignoring the soldiers with swords and shields. Because some troops of the Roman legionaries rout an army of the enemy. But in the real clowning game turns into a siege, especially with reinforcements from the sea. 

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Enemy troops are going around in circles under the city walls, in the thick of the battle by sending one or two of the detachment. In this case, a simple humble starve the garrison manages to defeat an entire armada, and should be the opposite. Computer reinforcements may be inactive when our soldiers are already seizing the city’s central square. And such situations are everywhere. Since the release of the game was almost a month, Creative Assembly have released two large patch that corrects a lot. In particular, they improved performance and fixed the crashes on “Desktop”. On the way two more “patch” is possible after they are released game to get rid of such problems. 

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But even in the current form of Total War: Rome II – an impressive sight. This is a unique game that lets you decide the fate of entire countries, to push the army of thousands, and within a few minutes walk down to the epicenter of the battle, and to look into the eyes of the soldiers who marched under the banner of Rome.

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