Many have been waiting for Total War: Rome II, long before the naming convention changed for the franchise, and this rumoured then officially announced return to Rome is already setting a new standard. The announcement trailer may have revolved around political power plays, but The Creative Assembly‘s Rezzed developer session (attended by Eurogamer) brought the focus back to the battlefield – in a darker, more detailed way than ever before.
This new approach to war was revealed by Jamie Russell, the lead designer of Total War: Rome II, who said that “close up [they] want the men to feel more human.” He then elaborated on how the team were going to do this:
“We’ve got facial animations, emotional interactions between men, so that if the guy next to me gets hit by an arrow, I’ll react to that. It’s all about a darker vision of war. We want the combat to feel more brutal, more visceral. And we want the form-combat to really get a sense of that Roman war machine, that unique fighting style of the Roman meat grinder legions.”
Russell went on to mention some of the other details and goals behind the project. This included a “much larger” campaign map, in comparison to Rome: Total War, as well as the incorporation of a “huge variety of fighting styles, cultures and environments.”
However, it was the return to the personality based dynamic seen in the trailer that intrigued me the most. With political rivalries spanning the Senate and families alike, they appear to want people to experience the road to war from its very beginning:
“We want the player to be thinking things like, do I save the Republic or do I play to become Emperor. This was a time when the personal decisions of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra shaped empires, they forged history with their personal decisions.”
Total War: Rome II won’t be built in a day, but if the reveals remain as exciting as this, I am sure that they will manage to sustain us until its release next year.