Posted on September 6, 2013, Mike Sharkey 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.