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.