Anon Dev: CA ‘Comprehensively Failed’ to Test Rome 2

Total War: Rome 2 has 99 problems, but a lack of opinions about its tumultuous launch ain’t one. The official Rome 2 forums are in a state of upheaval about the crashing, buggy, glitchy, AI-challenged strategy game, and one post in particular is garnering quite a bit of attention. It’s called “Review from an Anonymous Developer.” The author, claiming to be a game dev who recently released a “PC game in the Military genre,” writes that The Creative Assembly “comprehensively failed” to test Rome 2, suggests publisher Sega led the dev team astray, and believes only the modding community can save it.

Viewed more than 28,000 times since it was posted last night, “Review from an Anonymous Developer” doesn’t pull any punches, with author AnonDev stating: “It is my professional opinion that CA have taken what was an immersive, detailed, tactical, and market leading series and have turned it into a better looking but fundamentally simplified and dumbed down version of its formal self. They have seriously damaged the tactical element to this game, taken out tried and tested elements and have replaced them with arcade elements.”

The Creative Assembly lost their way, in part, because of publisher Sega, AnonDev claims. He states that his own development team had the opportunity to work with Sega, but turned them down because, “We knew that if we went down that path we would be contracted to release X amount of games at Y timeline, with Z budget, and we took a long hard look at it and decided that we essentially would not really control the destiny of our games, SEGA would. Also worth noting that we concluded we would not have the time to test our game properly…”

Speaking of testing, along with saying Creative Assembly “comprehensively failed” to properly test Rome 2, AnonDev outlines a number of issues that should have been caught and corrected before launch, stating, “If they missed it, they have the worst testing team I’ve ever seen, or if they knew about it… well I’ll have to leave that up to you guys to judge. Either way this is in my professional opinion the worst failing any developer can do. If we are charging you for a game, it is our responsibility to test it adequately.”

AnonDev states that he does believe Creative Assembly will address many of Rome 2′s core performance problems, but said that, “it will be the Modders who really fix this game. They will turn the okay vanilla version into something really good. It’s a sad day for CA when many, many TW gamers know in their heart that it will take people like DarthMod and others to fix this game…”

While the majority of the opinions in “Review from an Anonymous Developer” have already been stated on the forums and in the many Rome 2 reviews already published, they take on added weight due to AnonDev’s claim that he is actually in the industry. That AnonDev chose to remain anonymous is unfortunate, because we can only take him at his word. No matter who he is, though, there’s no denying that Rome 2 has some serious issues. Hopefully we’ll see a noticeable improvement today with the scheduled launch of the first patch.

And stay tuned. Our own Ben Richardson is reviewing Rome 2, but due to the problems he experienced, he’s waiting for today’s patch in hopes it will fix many of the core issues and enable him to write a fair review. Check back on Monday.


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24 Comments on Anon Dev: CA ‘Comprehensively Failed’ to Test Rome 2


On September 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

“comprehensively failed” is failed…

Thank you SEGA…


On September 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

It’s a bug ridden mess right now that took a step backward in terms of AI from Shogun 2.

If you’re thinking of buying this: wait for it to go on sale. You’ll save money and by then it will actually be in decent shape.

People who buy it right now are essentially buying in to beta test this mess…


On September 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Its funny because it’s the publisher’s job to do QA.


On September 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Roma Surrexit 2 just released their latest patch. Seriously, a 10 year old game plays and in some cases LOOKS beter than Rome Total War 2.


On September 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm

The developers replied to the Anonymous post, but essentially only said “you don’t know us! It’s always so hard!”. Guess what guys? EVERYONE ELSE finds it hard too, and many many companies make things work. You are failures, because you didn’t do your testing properly. Failure to invest in company infrastructure? Publisher failing in it’s oversight? Whatever the case, it is the DEVELOPERS who released a game they KNEW to be fatally flawed. The creators. No one else in the industry finds it impossible to release products of merchantable quality, just you. And anyone who does (in Australia at least) has violated consumer rights- broken the law. You have been warned.


On September 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Quick point of clarification- although some developers HAVE in fact realeased totally broken products, they are rightly ridiculed by the entire games press for this and are avoided by very many potential customers (that, or the class action suits start rolling in).


On September 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Sometimes its best to just keep your mouth shut, and the CA dev should’ve there. They essentially confirmed everything he said. No, he didn’t know their internal processes, but he came pretty darn close.


On September 7, 2013 at 12:09 am

well you can forget Darth. the arrogant snobs at CA ostrocized him to the point where he retired. i mean they hated him and admonished him at ever turn for daring to tinker with their “awesome leet product”. every TW game there was a darthmod for Im still playing. Over 1000 hours with STW2 and over 1000 hours with ETW thanks to darthmod. I cant help but laugh that they are so blind with hubris as to admonish one of the guys who made their crappy releases actually playable and extend their lifetimes past their prime. Thank you Darth where ever you are!


On September 7, 2013 at 5:06 am

I didn’t think it would blow up the way it has, appreciate it.

Angry Guy 19,284

On September 7, 2013 at 6:23 am

This game should have been delayed another few months as it is completely broken, Half of the time you get the “blue screen of death”, Then it doesn’t even notice your switchable graphics card and just uses your integrated card, Still it does not work to its potential, as it lags at the utter most lowest graphics with everything switched to the lowest, Multiplayer has a maximum of 3 Games running as not one can play it… Even amazing rigs with I7 4.2Ghz with Nvidia so and so 2Gb cant run this game, They said a patch was coming on Friday, Guess what, NO PATCH. This game is corrupt, Now to wait half a year until they actually fix it


On September 7, 2013 at 7:03 am

Unfortunately the guy behind DarthMod is now developing his own game.

The AI is terrible and non reactive, passiv without countermeasures, no strategies no tactics or rushing like insane. No familytree, clumsy UI, capture the flag, magic abilities, skills without overview, positioning of troops near a ledge is often impossible, some battlemaps have open areas like meadows which you can’t access. Sometimes the gameplay is still fun but very repetitive and shallow. I experienced nearly no crashes.


On September 7, 2013 at 7:04 am

Actually I have no performance ssues with the game. No crashes, no lag the game runs fine on extreme. My system is clean though. The only thing on it is some steam games. I use a laptop for day to day stuff and this rig for gaming. It is only mid range.

My problems with Rome 2 stem from gameplay. They destroyed the game. I played Rome to death finished campaigns close to 200 times. (helped being stuck in a European winter with nowhere to go). I even worked as QA on Medieval 2 due to this. But Rome 2 has no immersion. It is boring to the point where I cannot play it for more than an hour. For a series that draws me in for the tens of hours at a time that is a big let down.

jayd di

On September 7, 2013 at 7:25 am

the thread just got closed


On September 7, 2013 at 8:01 am

It’s a real shame by SEGA…


On September 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

What are you people talking about?! I haven’t had a single glitch, or crash, the AI is far better than any of the previous games and actually does things like flank me for once, and the overall amount of effort put into the game is OBVIOUS. You people just want an excuse to hate.


On September 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm

So, somewhere along the lines, Sega must have determined that the casual gaming market was more profitable, and that cross-platforming was the way of the future.

Another Player

On September 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I had huge expectations of this game, but it is indeed broken. The Graphics kill my new I5 CPU with a decent graphics card, even at medium settings, the interface hides important details, and the whole thing seems “floaty”, wheras Rome 1 or almost any other TW game felt tight. Stick with Shogun 2.


On September 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Hi there, this valid article, you should consider to post on for Rome 2 lads. The professional reviews there are so biased as if the reviewers played a “Total Other” game not “Total War: Rome 2″. Some even gave the game a 100/100 or a 9 / 10 for mutliplayer ! That is amazing ridicilous.

Can I please make you aware the community of this thread:

We wait since Empire CA to fix the chat lobby again! And even though they made a lot of things a Petition Group on Steam demanded (though they did not commit this, but the features in Rome 100% identically to the demands :) ), the most vital feature is still out of work:

WE HAVE AN NON WORKING PUBLIC CHAT in a globally published game in 2013!

is absolutely the killer for this game in mutliplayer as you cannot get in touch with all players anymore before a battle and most of all after a battle.

This was different in Rome 1 (2004) and Medieval 2.

Please take a time to read the linked topics (sublinks on
If you need me for a professional interview do not hesistate to contact me. I would be happy if you can spare your time for this importance.

Kind regards,


On September 7, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I bet he’s from Paradox


On September 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Shameful dispray CA


On September 8, 2013 at 9:50 am

Huh? Only show-stopping bug I’ve encountered so far is a brain dead siege AI that just sits on my shore until the timer runs out.


On September 8, 2013 at 8:56 pm

someone really needs to do a comprehensive article on all the bungled launches, Aliens Colonial Marines, Diablo 3, Sim City, Rome, I’m sure there’s more out there, but these are big publishers putting out unplayable content on day-of releases.


On September 9, 2013 at 1:59 am

In my very first large scale siege 50 or so turns into a campagn, the opposing armies were big and autoresolving was 50/50 so I had to bite the bullet and play the RTS part.

Well in that single confrontation, I had the “Landship”-bug, the “last guy on the transport cant leave ship”- bug, the”AI charging then retreating just meters before my legion being decimated by my slingers both ways”-bug and the “AI passively being pelted by catapults and scorpions until siege engines run out of ammo”-bug. The latter AI behavior having been around in all TW games since at least Rome1 (2004)

All four glaring bugs, all four seen in basically my only go at a big campagn battle… I refuse to believe that QA could have missed these. Somewhere, somehow a high ranking suitwould have decided to ship anyway.


On November 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Anon dev is right in every way!