Total War: Rome II Review Coming Next Week


I’m a fan of the Total War series, but I know the games aren’t perfect. The biggest flaws are usually apparent right after launch, when the ambition of developers Creative Assembly first comes in contact with the harsh reality of consumers’ varying PC configurations.

As soon as I installed the Total War: Rome II review copy I received from SEGA, I knew something was wrong. Even on a machine that far exceeded the recommended specs, I experienced low, unstable frame-rates during campaign gameplay. Far worse was the turn-processing; each time I pressed the “End Turn” button, I spent a full minute or more simply waiting for the CPU to process the AI turns. Given the way Total War games work, this meant that I was spending more time reading Twitter on my phone than I was spending actually playing the game. I also wasn’t able to evaluate the game the way I wanted to — not able to see enough of the mid-game or end-game, not able try enough of the many playable factions.

I contacted SEGA and Creative Assembly to see if they could address the problem. Their answers were polite and helpful but also very confusing; a lengthy e-mail from a “lead graphics programmer” raised more questions than it answered. PR representatives also assured me that I was the only journalist having problems; after reading a number of other reviews, this was clearly not the case, though perhaps my fellow reviewers weren’t as proactive about getting in touch with the developers.

Now that the game is commercially available, it’s clear the game’s technical problems are not confined to me or my particular gaming set-up. In response, Creative Assembly will release a patch on September 6 to address crashes, performance issues, and AI problems. For that reason, Game Front is holding the review until the week of September 9-13 in the hopes that the patch will: A. fix some of the game’s serious technical issues, and B. enable me to experience enough of the title to give it a fair review.

We at Game Front appreciate your patience, and hope that you understand the position we’re in. As much as I am a fan of the Total War franchise, I will try to be even-handed when weighing the game’s post-patch qualities against its obvious pre-patch problems. There’s also the possibility that the patch won’t solve anything. Check back here next week to find out.

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6 Comments on Total War: Rome II Review Coming Next Week


On September 6, 2013 at 12:13 am

Are you sure the long load times are a technical issue and not just a biproduct of having so many factions in the game? Which in my mind at least is a worthy trade off.

That said, the game has run like a dream so far for me so the slow might be far worse for you.


On September 6, 2013 at 5:58 am

The long load times are indeed a technical issue.

Just watch as the game goes on longer and longer.

As Rome, i just conquered the league, set up a few treaties, and am man handling Carthage (though Libya seems to be doing most of their fighting for them). Yet my turn times are already nearing 2 minutes, and i started off at less that 30 seconds.


On September 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Part of me agrees that all reviews should be held till the first major patch for each game. But part of me also believes that when a game is released the initial version should be what the game is criticized on. After all that is what the gaming companies consider the final product worth of selling for money.

I like Gamefront but it seem like favoritism at times when some reviews are held off for big games till the first patch, yet others are not and are promptly ridiculed for their release day issues.

In a perfect world every game should have two reviews, one release day and one a month after the release.


On September 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

They may clear up the graphical and technical issues in the next few weeks (though I doubt by the time GF publishes it’s review,) but CA has a lot more work to do. Balancing and gameplay need lots of tweaking.

For example:

1.) Fleets of land units on transports are almost always superior to navies in combat.

2.) Land field battles often have stupid flags on them which prevent any sort of tactical maneuver besides a stand up fight.

3.) General Battle and Campaign AI needs reworked and tweaking.

There’s more, but I don’t have time to post at length. Hopefully, GF will mention these in their review, in addition to others.


On September 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I like your choice to wait for the patch, it’s very professional.. at this time, the game is nearly unplayable


On September 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm

The game is obviously broken for many people. Why is anyone waiting for a patch before giving it a “fair” review? Sega released a broken product for public consumption.