Total War: Rome 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Total War: Rome 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Total War: Rome II Rise of the Republic Roman Faction Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/0rsmi/total-war-rome-ii-rise-of-the-republic-roman-faction-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/0rsmi/total-war-rome-ii-rise-of-the-republic-roman-faction-guide Wed, 08 Aug 2018 09:57:16 -0400 Fox Doucette

In Total War: Rome II Rise of the Republic, picking Rome means picking the faction with the worst starting position in the game.

On the other hand, if you can survive into the midgame, you'll get an ever-expanding series of advantages over your opponents. These advantages that make the game easier the longer you play until eventually, you're just plain unstoppable.

So how do you best get past those Rome's earlygame hurdles? It's not simple, but neither is it terribly difficult once you get to grips with it. This guide will show you what to look for. 

Step 1: Protect Your Home Province

With Rome, you start the game controlling the province of Roma, which includes the Eternal City and the port of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber River. You also start in the middle of a war with Veii to the north, and you will soon be at war with the Volsci to the south. 

Luckily, you'll also start with a few troops that will form the core of your first legion, but there are two important things to do before heading off to battle. 

First, pass the Bread & Games edict. The +4 boost to food and public order will ensure you don't starve right away.

And second, upgrade your barracks in Rome to get access to the Roman Swordsmen.

Step 2: Hold Off the Enemy While You Prepare For War

After completing Step 1, keep recruiting Roman Swordsmen into your legion, using whatever force mix suits your combat playstyle in the Rome II basegame. The same rock-paper-scissors mechanic with swords, spears, ranged units, and cavalry applies as always.

Keep your army within reinforcement range of Ostia, and don't worry if the enemy shows up and starts causing trouble in Rome itself. In this campaign, Rome must lose two siege battles before it falls. Meaning if the enemy shows up, they're going to get bogged down; you then swing your legion north and cut them to pieces with no penalty at all to the capital itself.

All the while, you should be tech-rushing toward Tactical Training for the combat boosts to your troops and for the Level 3 barracks you'll need as you move forward.

Step 3: Break Out And Kill Veii

Once your legion is strong enough, it's time to attack.

First, hit the capital of Veii so that they don't have access to their best troop recruitment, then swing south and mop up their port city of Cisra.

This will both give you a boost (since you control two provinces, fulfilling the first campaign objective and earning a minimum of 3,300 gold) and allow you to focus your attention on those pesky Volsci.

Finally, get a trade agreement and non-aggression pact with Tarcunae to secure your northern border.

Step 4: Prepare the Steamroller

You'll still want to stay close to Rome at this point in the game. After you conquer the Volsci for that third province, fight mainly defensive wars while you tech up; this both prevents a civil war and multiplies your advantage for later in the game when things heat up again.

Tech-wise, the Reforms of Camillus should be your midgame goal. It grants the best endgame units early.

Step 5: Divide Et Impera

Form temporary alliances with people you want to kill later; declare war on people you want to kill now. Whatever it takes to make sure your legions are fighting in only one direction at a time, do so.

Next, make sure no one in your own faction gets powerful enough to upset the apple cart. Keep an eye on those Politics and Character screens, just like in the basegame.

---

Not much more to do after that but simply win the game. Roma vita et ad victoriam, Imperator! Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more tips on the Total War: Rome II Rise of the Republic expansion. If you're looking for tips and tricks for getting started and what factions are the best to start with, check out this guide

]]>
Total War: Rome II Rise of the Republic DLC Getting Started Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/yh72b/total-war-rome-ii-rise-of-the-republic-dlc-getting-started-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/yh72b/total-war-rome-ii-rise-of-the-republic-dlc-getting-started-guide Mon, 06 Aug 2018 10:00:40 -0400 Fox Doucette

While Creative Assembly's last DLC for Total War: Rome II visited the Crisis of the Third Century, their latest DLC, Rise of the Republic, has gone in the exact opposite direction. 

And while the main draw here is to take control of the Romans when they're still just a minor player in a region of central Italy still dominated by the Etruscans, there's nothing stopping the player from giving history one heck of a rewrite.

But when looking at Rise of the Republic for the first time, it's easy to get overwhelmed, so here's a quick guide to picking a faction and getting to grips with the new mechanics that Rise of the Republic introduces.

Choosing A Faction

As with Rome II's base game, this DLC helpfully lets you know which factions are going to be relatively easy to handle and which ones are going to be early-game nightmares. So here's a quick cheat sheet:

  • Easy factions
    • Insubres
    • Tarchuna
    • Veneti
  • Medium factions
    • Syracuse
    • Senones
    • Samnites
    • Iolei
  • Hard factions
    • Rome
    • Taras
The Insubres

The Insubres start safely nestled up against the top of the map, meaning you'll only be fighting in one direction: southward into Italy. If you like systemic conquest and simplified strategic goals, this is the faction to pick.

The Veneti

Likewise, the Veneti have the northeastern corner of the map at their back, giving a similar advantage to a player that only has to look in one direction. If you're fairly adept at naval conquest, you can strike anywhere at any time with this faction, either expanding your empire or making big money raiding and sacking.

The Tarchuna

The Tarchuna start with control of a big chunk of territory and a southern flank ripe for conquest, as the Romans do battle with Veii and the Volsci. This is the faction for the more settled, “civilized”, methodical Total War player who likes limited wars and consolidating conquests.

Syracus

Syracuse has a strong starting position and is great for a player who combines naval prowess with a good ability to build and consolidate. However, this faction also has the powerful (and non-playable) Carthaginians to deal with. You'll need to fight quite a bit in the early-game, but you can use this faction for a methodical mid-game strategy very easily.

Senones

The Senones historically sacked Rome in 386 B.C., but getting to Rome isn't as easy as it looks. You'll have to march through well-defended territory in the Appenines to get there. This is the faction for a militaristic player who has a very strong grasp on combat and serves as more of a challenge than their Gallic brethren the Insubres.

Samnites

The Samnites have the ability to magic an army out of nowhere using the game's special-abilities system, but they also have aggressive neighbors who won't hesitate to declare war and swarm in. This faction is great for players who like to fight early-game defensive battles before exploiting a weakness to break out and mop up an enemy after dealing their attack force a decisive defeat.

Iolei

The Iolei are in a league of their own, with troops that can deploy and hide anywhere on the battlefield, something they'll need when chasing Carthage off their island of Sardinia. This is a good faction to pick for players who like sea trade and diplomacy in equal measure.

Rome and Taras

Rome and Taras have the same problem: a poor starting position relative to their enemies. They also have a tendency to end up in two- or three-front wars. If you like mad dashes to put out fires in the early-game as your neighbors try to swarm you, these are your factions.

What's Different from the Total War II Basegame?

The most important thing to remember here with the Rise of the Republic DLC is this: it's still Rome II. Which means that the standard strategy of “deal with early-game threat, break out, then conquer toward your objectives” still applies here. Forming a fundamental strategy hasn't changed a bit.

Likewise, the new “ancestral” system gives more character to the game's politics. The “other” factions are the same as they've ever been, but now your dynasty is more like the family tree in previous Total War games, which gives a much stronger sense of the relationships between characters in the game.

By the same token, instead of time advancing by years, time now advances by seasons, while character progression continues at the same rate.

What this means in practice is that high-level characters are much more viable. There will be a lot of Level-10 spies, champions, generals, and the like, and moving characters up the game's cursus honorum to keep their political factions from revolting is a much more important strategic consideration than it's ever been in the basegame.

Imperium also racks up very quickly; this is both a good thing (benefits to running the empire) and a bad thing (civil wars happen early and often if you don't take proactive steps to stop them.)

---

The keys to getting the most out of the Rise of the Republic DLC:

  • Pick a faction that best suits your playstyle and skill level
  • Survive and consolidate in the early-game
  • Enjoy the ride once you get the steamroller going

Basically, this DLC is the same Rome II you know and love, but with a twist. Stay tuned for more coverage on Total War: Rome II's Rise of the Republic update on GameSkinny. 

]]>
Total War: ROME II Empire Divided Announced For Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/sx2yj/total-war-rome-ii-empire-divided-announced-for-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/sx2yj/total-war-rome-ii-empire-divided-announced-for-steam Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:33:47 -0500 Luke Luby

Creative Assembly has announced that Total War: ROME II will be getting its Empire Divided expansion on Steam. Describing the expansion, the developers have said:

"It is the crisis of the third century. A string of inept emperors and usurpers vying for power have torn the Roman Empire into three factions, and with barbarians and Eastern Empires ready to exploit the chaos, it's do-or-die time."

On release, Empire Divided will feature a host of new content to give a new lease on life to ROME II; including 10 different playable factions, new victory conditions and new campaign features such as plagues, cults and banditry. Empire Divided also puts a heavy focus on telling the stories of the characters and powers involved in this rich and fascinating period.

Some of the key features include:

  • A new grand-scale Campaign Pack for Total War: ROME II
  • Plunges players into the crisis of the third century, a critical turning-point for Rome
  • Play as one of ten different factions across five cultural groups
  • New Heroic Factions with elaborate victory conditions, famous leaders and crafted event-chains
  • New period-specific events, dilemmas and missions
  • New Campaign features: Plagues, Cults and Banditry
  • Restructured technologies and unique new buildings

Also joining Empire Divided on November 30 is the free Power & Politics patch update. This update overhauls ROME II's political system to create a more subtle and intriguing experience with farther-reaching consequences.

 

]]>
5 Time Periods the Total War Franchise Should Totally Explore https://www.gameskinny.com/7g4p5/5-time-periods-the-total-war-franchise-should-totally-explore https://www.gameskinny.com/7g4p5/5-time-periods-the-total-war-franchise-should-totally-explore Wed, 14 Dec 2016 03:00:02 -0500 Stefano Bonacchi

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/8/0/0/800px-akbar-shoots-jaimal-siege-chitor-d70dc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/8/0/0/800px-akbar-shoots-jaimal-siege-chitor-d70dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144752","description":"

The Rise of The Mughal Empire

\n

Hardly any game focuses on Indian History, this is a shame, since it is very rich in strife and warfare and very interesting.

\n

A Total War set in the times the Mughal Empire rose to prominence with the whole Indian subcontinent as a playable map would thus feel really fresh compared to another one set in medieval europe or Japan.

This is because as the Mughals were to be later known, they were one of the Gunpowder empires, muslim empires built quickly thanks to the use of cannons and muskets against technologically inferior foes, much like the Ottomans, who ended up controlling half of the mediterranean coast, thus an emphasis on both traditional cavalry tactics but also on siege warfare with cannons would be quite interesting.

\n

These were the time periods/locations I think the Total War series should be set in, do you agree? Do you think other time periods are more suitable? Let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/conquest1-91bf7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/conquest1-91bf7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144751","description":"

Muslim Arab Conquest of Egypt and the Levant

\n

Given how Important it has been for world history it is surprising that hardly any strategy game focuses on this time period.

\n

I feel that a Total War game set in the Levant from 630 to 700 would be very interesting and fun.

\n

Mostly because the arabs focused on light cavalry, tough not in the same way as the Mongols did, and had the luck of finding both their greatest existential threats, the Persian and Roman empires, exhausted from a long war and decimated by a plague.

\n

A mechanic that simulates the spread of the plague and how it weakens more the settled nations than the nomads like the arabs would be much needed to balance the starting situation, after all the arabs were not incredibly superior soldiers, but had luck and good generals on their side.

\n

Also to note is that arab warfare was mostly made up of raids, a mechanic to allow raiding the infidels unless they convert or pay a monthly tribute could also be introduced.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/e/fresian-3kingdoms-60ca9.gif","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/e/fresian-3kingdoms-60ca9.gif","type":"slide","id":"144750","description":"

Three Kingdoms Era China

\n

Romance of the Three Kingdoms has inspired an insane amount of video games, and the Total War series is not among them at the moment.

\n

Although, given the very volatile and interesting political situation that China was in during the Three Kingdoms period, it should really be covered in one of the next games of the franchise.

The Three Kingdom period was the era that followed the collapse of the Han dynasty, as no Warlord proved to be overwhelmingly superior to the others -- though Cao Cao came close -- the empire ended up divided in 3 sovereign kingdoms that were in a more or less constant state of warfare against each other.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/confederate-78ec9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/confederate-78ec9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144748","description":"

American Civil War

\n

Set more or less at the same time of the Third Italian Independence War, yet in a completely different continent with very different armies and strategies being employed, in fact here trench warfare was prominent although not as much as in WW1, the same can't be said for the European wars of the time.

\n

While there has been a Revolutionary War focused expansion, there isn't a Total War game or expansion set in or around the civil war, thus it would be very much needed. It might even work as an expansion for a game set during the Italian Independence wars period, to sort of show that warfare was not the same everywhere.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/3/2/0/320px-custozza1866-f33f5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/3/2/0/320px-custozza1866-f33f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144747","description":"

Italian Independence Wars

\n

These three wars spanned a time that goes from 1848 to 1866, a time of turmoil in the whole European continent, thus a Total War Game set in Italy and Europe around these years could prove to be quite interesting and unique -- especially so for an American audience

\n

The same goes for everyone really, these particular wars are not well known outside the nations involved in them, but are nonetheless interesting for they still employed some 19th century tactics but at the same time evolved significantly from napoleonic warfare. In fact train transportation of troops became quite notable and important in that era, so train systems along with roads can be in game.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/t/total-war-logo-73410.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/t/total-war-logo-73410.png","type":"slide","id":"144746","description":"

The Total War series, has proven to be one of the most well known and loved series of strategy games in existence.

\n

However, despite its renown, there are still some very interesting times and places it has yet to explore -- no matter how many time periods it has already gone to.

\n

Starting off by taking on the Shoguns of Japan, Total War: Shogun and it's sequel Shogun 2 is set in feudal Japan. The Roman empire also featured twice, in Rome and Rome 2, which comes with the the Geek empire too -- and the 'spin off' Attila, which added in roving factions which don't have a set city. We then got the Medieval series, which was set in Europe during the Medieval era, and completely changed how trading and negotiations worked. Then, a shift for the Total War series with Empire, being set during the 18th century it focused much more on ranged combat with gunpowder weapons, and cannons. It was mostly set in Europe (due to the faction choices), India and the Americas featured also -- Napoleon took the same idea, but was focused around the Corsican born French general, and Empire maker. Most recently, the Total War series once again did something new and moved into the fantasy world with Warhammer -- it improved the roving factions with Chaos.

\n

But even with all these eras, there are many more which could make for an interesting setting in a Total War game.

"}]]]>
Total War Warhammer Tops Half a Million Sales on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/pg0ox/total-war-warhammer-tops-half-a-million-sales-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/pg0ox/total-war-warhammer-tops-half-a-million-sales-on-steam Sat, 28 May 2016 09:03:37 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

As a long time fan of the Warhammer franchise and the Total War franchise, it doesn't surprise me that the blending of the two has made a huge splash in the gaming community. A splash that, according to Creative Assembly, was to the tune of half a million sales in the first few days -- surpassing any other in the Total War franchise history.

Total War: Warhammer was released on Steam on March 24th 2016, and marks a huge departure for the series, which has had a rough time in recent years. Total War: Rome 2 struggled with release bugs and a lackluster campaign mode that was never quite fixed. It was also the beginning of Creative Assembly's love affair with paid DLC. This was, and still is, a hot topic for most fans of the series.

Total War: Attila was a much better game in many ways, but continued the DLC business model that frustrated many fans. The pre-order of Total War: Warhammer included the "Chaos Warriors" DLC for free. It will also be free of charge for those of us that purchased the game on Steam during the first week. After that, it's not clear how much it will cost. One thing seems apparent though; the paid DLC business model is here to stay.

The pairing of the series with the Warhammer franchise appears to be just what the doctor ordered for Creative Assembly. With such high sales, it makes me wonder if this will be a new direction for the series going forward or if they will return to their historical roots at some point in the future. Only time will tell. Until then, at least a half of a million of us can sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

]]>
History is Hindering the Total War Series https://www.gameskinny.com/prdwz/history-is-hindering-the-total-war-series https://www.gameskinny.com/prdwz/history-is-hindering-the-total-war-series Sun, 29 May 2016 06:19:33 -0400 Ian Ilano

With the release of Total War: Warhammer, Creative Assembly gave fans of the Total War series a menagerie of fictional factions and units to play with. Glorious griffons, giant trolls, and spider-mounted goblins are just a few of the unique selection of units that players have at their disposal.

Recently, it was said that Warhammer was the fastest selling Total War entry yet.

And although it is easy to attribute that achievement to the game's overall refinement and surprisingly stable launch — considering the series' history — I do not think they're the only two factors at work here. The installment's profound success may finally bring to fruition an age-old concern many fans have held for the series:

Creative Assembly's dedication to history may be stifling the potential of the Total War games

Let's not ignore how suave a dwarf-king fighting while on his throne, is.

In the past, each installment of the series was met with a barrage of questions from the fan-base regarding moddability. 

While users have churned out some high quality texture packs and mods that introduce small mechanical improvements, there has always been a small niche of players who wanted something with a little more oomph. Overhauls and mods that introduced units that completely changed the way battles played out were the types these players were looking for. Maybe they were onto something.

To prove my point, let's take a look at one of Total War's most popular mods.

The Third Age is a complete overhaul that brings Lord of the Rings to Medieval II: Total War. Whole factions are replaced, units are changed, and maps are constructed exactly like they were envisioned — down to every last pixel. You can tell yourself that the mod was only successful because it managed to mesh Tolkien's world with Total War, but I believe its a testament to something else.

I've grown accustomed to seeing the same old units duke it out on the battlefield.

You see, history is undoubtedly very boring. The usual catapults, trebuchets, and archers don't do it for me anymore. Epic battles are no longer epic because I've grown so accustomed to seeing the same old units duke it out on the battlefield. As a long-time fan of the series, I've seen my fair share of Samurai; the Huns no longer scare me like they used to.

I commend Creative Assembly for paying tribute to the past, but looking at it now, they're really limiting themselves. 

I would choose a troll over a catapult any day.

You can only work so much with history. However, if you consider the future and fantasy, your options are practically limitless. 

Now, I don't expect to see a modernized Total War game complete with guns and gunships anytime soon, although that would be pretty cool, but I do expect to see Creative Assembly recreating what they made with Warhammer and delving into other fantasy worlds.

Warhammer is great, and it is a small step towards stepping away from tradition.

Perhaps it's time for Creative Assembly to consider injecting a little more fantasy and creativity into their Total War formula.

]]>
Sega Announces Total War: Attila For 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/zc2oc/sega-announces-total-war-attila-for-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/zc2oc/sega-announces-total-war-attila-for-2015 Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:50:04 -0400 Brian Spaen

Sega officially announced the next game in their Total War franchise, Total War: Attila, coming out on PC and Mac in February 2015.

Attila is the ninth installment of the Total War series. The hybrid of turn-based strategy with real-time tactical elements takes place after the events of Total War: Rome II as the Dark Ages approach, according to the press release.

In the great steppes of Scythia, a vast and terrifying force gathers, led by a warrior king whose thirst for conquest is utterly unequalled. The Scourge of God, the very herald of the apocalypse, Attila the Hun.

Total War: Rome II sales and reception

Total War has been a bigger hit in Europe than the United States, but the series' latest installment, Rome II, has been the biggest commercial success. It already outsold all the previous releases on its first day thanks to a huge volume of preorders. As of this spring, that game sold 1.13 million copies in Europe and North America combined.

Gamers may be a little bit skeptical this time around. Rome II was plagued with a large number of technical bugs and glitches such as installation issues, crashing, broken AI, and consistently poor game performance. Commentors of various articles posting about the announcement are a little worried that this is more of an expansion because of when and where it takes place, and Sega is selling it as a full price game.

What are your thoughts surrounding the announcement of Total War: Attila? Will you be preordering the game despite some early worries?

]]>
Top 5 Historically Great History Games https://www.gameskinny.com/6ki1v/top-5-historically-great-history-games https://www.gameskinny.com/6ki1v/top-5-historically-great-history-games Sun, 20 Jul 2014 14:48:57 -0400 Alex D'Alessandro

History, especially in the video game format, has a funny way of conflating itself with war and the most atrocious moments in human history. While war and history aren’t mutually exclusive, there hasn’t been a long time where humans aren’t trying to kill one another. Because of this apparent lack of compassion for each other and the “idea” that history is behind and not ahead, most of the best historical games have some aspects of war, but not all.  With that said, historical facts and figures will always capture our attention, especially when we can connect with those past moments by interesting and interactive means.

Take my hand, historical time traveler, and gaze through the ages at 5 great historical games. 

1. Victoria Series (Paradox Interactive) 

Paradox Interactive has a lengthy lineage of historically based grand-strategy games that have you leading your chosen country to great heights or, on a bad day, eradication. Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Hearts of Iron all have excellent historical depth and addictive gameplay, but when it comes to complete control and immersion, none stand taller than the Victoria series.

So much of our modern foundation was set in those turbulent years of the 19th century...

 

By accessing the spiritually destructive yet modern world building event of the Industrial Revolution, the Victoria series deals with the most important era for modern man. As you take your country from your humble, pre-steel, pre-electrical, pre-penicillin days, wholly useless as a modern human, you will find the driving force behind your country to advance --all in the name of capital and nationalism. So much of our modern foundation was set in those turbulent years of the 19th century and because of this Victoria is as relevant as it is challenging.  

 2. Assassins Creed II  (Ubisoft)

 It’s difficult to pick one title from the "Assassin’s Creed" series, but because our historical cause demands it, Assassin’s Creed II is the most rewarding, historically, of the series. Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV have beautiful vistas entwined with engaging and addictive gameplay but Assassin’s Creed 2 had me longing to be wrapped in some Venetian cloth as I strolled down to the local duomo for a quick shout out to family in purgatory.

The gameplay's balanced on a concealed knives edge, slipping between fast and fluid combat and white knuckle, urban climbing. With the help of the frequent codex alert, AC2 invites you to look upon great historical structures, cultures, and people in a fresh light as you meander down the narrow alleys, alive with fast talking commoners or overly protective royalty, enticing gamers with the prospect of living in a reconstructed past.   

3. Rome: Total War (Creative Assembly) 

 Ancient Rome has no shortage of histories, plays, and other forms of artistic representation. With Rome: Total War, we are allowed to conquer the lands of proto-Europe and at the same time advance the noble cause of Romanization. With every unit, building, faction, and philosophical advance, you can read a small pamphlets worth of information that might teach you a thing or two about those ol' imperial Romans. It’s like being in history class but without a teacher or fellow students to warn you not to enslave an entire town. What do they know?  With Rome the real historical fun comes from the choice to sack cities and then crucify their entire male population. Those were the days…

4. The Oregon Trail (Mecc)

Who didn't want to be the leader of their family as they crossed rivers and fought off venomous snakes

 Oregon Trail works on so many levels of historical goodness. First off, a large majority of gamers and non-gamers alike played this game at school; reliving one of the most harrowing and endemic parts of the American narrative. Who didn’t want to be the leader of their family as they crossed rivers and fought off venomous snakes, or had to stop trail side for a few days while your daughter's dysentery calmed down — it’s what making your way out west in a covered wagon was about. Oregon Trail is that beautiful blend of player interaction with a strong historical narrative; teaching the player about American history through difficult choices and thoughtful gameplay. 

5. Civilization Series (Firaxis)

Sid Meier's games might slowly whittle our lives away, one turn at a time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something in the process. From that one more turn philosophy, you slowly start you to realize the destiny of your nation. Civilization has always prided itself with real world leaders, architectural wonders, and military units. What would happen if Genghis Khan and the Mongolian people started on a tropical island abundant in bananas and sunshine? These are the types of questions that lead to a deeper historical inquiry, and if you want real world application the game lets you read a rather large civopedia that has historical information on all things within Civ. Oh Leonard Nimoy, your dulcet notes are a wonder to my ears.with real world leaders, units, building, wonders, etc… within a sandbox world.

History will always be a great avenue to stroll down when the wellspring of game ideas has run dry. Although almost all of these games are PC and strategy exclusive that doesn't mean that great historical games aren't available in other game genres and consoles. 

What did we learn? For one, history class is for the birds, especially with such a great wealth of gameplay focused on Western history out there. What can we really learn from history other than humans have magnificent moments of enlightenment followed by horrid moments of exploitation and destruction. Oh yeah, and we can have fun doing it. 

]]>
A List of 10 Bang-For-Your-Buck Games to Watch for on the Steam Summer Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/tr7v0/a-list-of-10-bang-for-your-buck-games-to-watch-for-on-the-steam-summer-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/tr7v0/a-list-of-10-bang-for-your-buck-games-to-watch-for-on-the-steam-summer-sale Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:44:13 -0400 Derek Paulus

The Steam Summer Sale is finally here. It is a celebrated time when gamers from all around abuse their wallets to purchase games they will play for 15 minutes before forgetting them forever to collect virtual dust on the Steam library shelf. 

It doesn't have to be this way, however, and with some research and a little willpower you can restrict your summer Steam purchases to games that will keep pulling you back time and time again. Here are my picks for games to keep tabs on in this year's Steam summer sale that could get you the most for your money. These are either games that allow extensive gameplay, gameplay variety, have strong modding communities, or a combination of the three, regardless of whether or not they have yet been discounted on the Steam summer sale.

10. Garry's Mod 

This is not a game for everyone but if you like a sandbox that allows you to create vehicles, flying machines, structures, and just about anything you can imagine, this is a game for you. Garry's Mod uses Valve's Source game engine to allow players to manipulate objects, meaning you can spend hours crafting and testing your builds.

Sharing items and downloading user-created props is made easy with the Steam Workshop. There are 342,165 entries in the Garry's Mod Workshop at the time of writing this article. If you get bored with the limits of your own imagination, you can always check out the imagination of someone else.

Additional multiplayer game modes are also available, with PropHunt currently being the top rated entry in the Workshop. "Trouble in Terrorist Town" is also a popular multiplayer mode that pits innocents against traitors, requiring social engineering to determine who is the traitor (or to convince others that you are not the traitor).

 

9. Fallout: New Vegas 

This title almost didn't make the list, but after hearing so much about the endless playability from others, I felt it had to be included.

New Vegas seems to have a strong modding community despite releasing back in 2010. The game ends after the main quest is completed, so to get the most for your money, you will want to be sure to download a mod that allows you to continue playing even after you've beat the game.

There are also six inexpensive DLCs available right from the Steam page that can add even more gameplay.

 

8. Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition 

What Borderlands 2 lacks in variety, it makes up for in length of gameplay. If you're looking for a roleplaying first-person shooter that provides lots of gameplay, this may be the game.

While the original Borderlands 2 provided under 100 hours of gameplay for some players, the Game of the Year edition has the potential to offer over 200 hours. With enough of a discount from Steam, this could be a no-brainer buy.

 

7. Total War Series 

Pick the time period that best suits your interest and you will find yourself playing this game for a long time. If you prefer, however, you can purchase the whole series and play even longer if Steam offers the right price.

From Gamespy

Total War offers a single player campaign mode that can continue as long as you want it to. Hours will be spent managing cities, recruiting troops, entering diplomatic negotiations with other nations, and of course, testing your military tactics on the battlefield. If you conquer the world with one nation you can always devise new tactics and conquer with another.

If you need more of a challenge, you can hop into multiplayer and battle one or more opponents to really put your skills to the test.

Moreover, Total War has a healthy modding community, with the Steam Workshop also available for Rome II and Shogun II, allowing players to continually alter their play to experience the game in new ways.

 

6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 

This game is long. Mind you, the main quest can be completed in a relatively short period of time, but with the variety in character creation, the adventuring, the side quests, and the time you will spend just staring in awe at some of Skyrim's sight-seeing spots, it seems like this game could never be explored to its full extent. 

Many mods are also available that not only tweak various aspects of the game to fit individual preferences, but can also add news storylines and worlds to explore. 

If you want to take a step back in the series, Oblivion is also an excellent choice with huge amounts of gameplay for your money.

 

5. Arma 3 

Multiplayer is where you will likely find the most bang-for-your-buck in this game, though there are many player created missions that you can download if you want to increase your single player experience.

If you don't like putting in a lot of effort (what can sometimes feel like actual work) then this is likely not the game for you. If you're someone who doesn't mind coordinating with other players and traveling to your mission objective for 20 minutes before encountering the enemy, then you will find Arma 3 can keep you entertained for hours at a time. 

 

4. Don't Starve 

Don't Starve is a unique experience that seems to offer players new and strange encounters every time they open the game. 

As a survival game it is no surprise that Don't Starve has the potential to offer lengthy gameplay. What really keeps this game interesting, however, is that you never quite know what you will find. You're thrown into a world that you won't quite understand and seems to continually provide news discoveries, keeping the game fresh for a long time.

A free multiplayer expansion will be released this summer, further increasing the games bang-for-your-buck quality. It would be wise to purchase Don't Starve during this Steam summer sale, however, since the regular price of the game will increase once multiplayer is released.

 

3. X3 Series 

This is not a title I have experience with but from what I have heard, it has tons of replay value. Despite being a single player game with a campaign story, it takes place in an active world where you can expand your space empire through military and trading. This is a game I will likely be checking out.

 

2. Dark Souls 

Despite the second installment of this series being released only months ago, some players expressed the feeling that the original had more replay value, which is why this particular game makes the list. Even so, both games seemed to be praised for this aspect.

Steam offers the Prepare to Die Edition, which features an untold chapter in the story.

 

1. Mount & Blade: Warband 

Warband released in 2010, yet it still seems to be as popular as ever. Much of this has to do with the game's modding community constantly finding new ways to reinvent the game for both singleplayer and multiplayer modes.

From Mountandbladewarband.com

The campaign has players take the role of an adventurer who starts with next to nothing and must build an army and income to slowly make a mark on the land, which by itself can go on without end. Singleplayer mode ends when you want it to. If you get bored with the original singeplayer, there are countless mods for you to download to enhance your experience

The game's multiplayer also has a wealth of mods with an active multiplayer community. With so many mods, it won't be surprising to find that many are no longer active, but you will find many that are. If you have a few friends, however, it can be fun to download a mod together and enter an abandoned mod to play by yourselves.

Additionally, a DLC is available titled Napoleonic Wars, which brings the muskets and cannonballs of the Napoleonic era to the multiplayer game. Spending a few extra bucks on this DLC will open you up to even more mods that can provide even more game experiences. 

 

No doubt many games did not make this list, so feel free to share your bang-for-your-buck picks in the comments. Enjoy the summer, and spend wisely.

]]>
Why I've Completely Given Up On AAA Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/frotw/why-ive-completely-given-up-on-aaa-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/frotw/why-ive-completely-given-up-on-aaa-titles Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:09:34 -0400 Mat Westhorpe

“If your time to you is worth savin',
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.”

 - Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)

There was a time when I could lose weeks to the glorious indulgence of a well-polished triple-A game. I would be happy to pay premium price, which here in the UK is usually £30-$40 ($45-$65,) then invest dozens of hours in working through the content.

It felt like great value for money and an acceptable use of my time. Fond memories of overnight marathons playing through Half-Life 2 or Rome: Total War are forever lodged in my brain.

But that was a decade ago and things have changed. I want to be able to look the game industry in the eye and say, “it's not you, it's me.” But I'm not certain that's true. I think it's them.

Corporate-Led Gaming

I suspect that, as we consumers have tightened our belts and been forced to make hard decisions about how we spend our time, game development studios (or more accurately - the publishers) have had to find creative ways to extract money from us. Not content with moderate successes, the corporate need for ever more profit efficiency will almost always be the driving force behind AAA titles.

The same forces that have led to the cynical practice of drip-feeding game content through various “in-app” purchases or other “let the gamers choose how much they pay” freemium nonsense are also the faceless enemies of creativity which make it impossible to see past the rabid hype of the AAA title.

As Indie developer Mike Bithell tweeted recently:

But you only need to look at recent debacles like Sim City, Aliens: Colonial Marines or even the troubled Total War: Rome 2 launch to see that there are no guarantees of quality even at a premium price.

Throwing out sub-standard or unfinished material under the pretence of being a AAA title is certainly not a new practice, but one which seems to be showing no sign of going away.

It won't unless consumers stop supporting it.

Pre-Ordering is for Mugs

The ridiculous practice of allowing the pre-purchasing of unreleased digital content is the damning nail in the coffin which shows the extent of the corporate greed defining the industry.

Pre-ordering a product is only appropriate for the sale of goods which are in limited supply. It makes no sense for the consumer to pay in advance for games available for download in infinite quantities. People who blindly pay for a product unreleased and unseen – whether as a show of good faith, brand loyalty or other weak justification – are simply encouraging this culture of exploitation.

The sad truth is that, somewhere beyond this desperate scramble for the almighty dollar are true, talented artists and visionary creators of content whose work deserves to be experienced. It's just a shame that in order for that to happen, their work has to be fed through a parasitic system which obfuscates and dilutes their creativity to the point where it is lost in a repellent miasma.

The Indie Answer?

However, perhaps there is some hope. In recent months, I've found a lot of joy in a number of indie titles and will be spending my money in that sector in the future.

The problem that exists within the indie developer ecosystem is that, in order for most young development studios to succeed, they have to make the choice between falling in with a pushy ultra-capitalist publisher or going the crowd-funded route. For the consumer, this essentially equates to pre-ordering with a large dose of roulette thrown in.

Add to that the thought that today's successful indie studio is probably tomorrow's EA buyout and I find that I've ranted myself into a corner.

Somebody please give me some positive examples of honest, ethical and noble working practices from the video game industry.

Afterthought

Of course, the irony of opening with the Bob Dylan quote is that the next lines to that song are:

“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again.”

Make of that what you will.

]]>
Parenting: The Hardest Game of All https://www.gameskinny.com/4gci2/parenting-the-hardest-game-of-all https://www.gameskinny.com/4gci2/parenting-the-hardest-game-of-all Sun, 08 Sep 2013 02:14:45 -0400 Brian Armstrong

As I sat next to her in bed, gently running her long blond hair through my hands, I wondered how I could be so lucky. My five-year-old daughter, Reese, is the most gorgeous person you've ever seen, is incredibly smart, and can dance your ass off in Just Dance. Yet I still expect too much of her sometimes, and on this particular evening, I was feeling guilty for being a little too hard on her for doing exactly what she's supposed to do: be a kid.

She had a long day, and was still really excited about the two fish we bought for her (which she named Glowy and Glow, by the way), and she just wanted to stay up to talk about them. Being tired, and knowing I had to come down to the basement to write this article, I snapped at her, telling her it was time for bed, and she needed to be quiet. She of course gave me the sad puppy dog eyes that all too often works wonders, but tonight I was grumpy and just wanted her to go to sleep so I could play some Total War: Rome 2 and talk about it here.

"Go to sleep," I said forcefully. She promptly did, but then I felt terrible. It hit me just how mean I was being to her, and being a kid, she just wanted to talk about her fish and ask questions to learn more about them. Obviously there's a better time and place to have this conversation, but I could have handled the situation better, and in a more loving way. It's times like this when I wish I could reload a save and try again. Because I absolutely failed.

Want to play a game that has real, lasting, and meaningful ramifications? Have a kid.

Unfortunately, parenting doesn't allow "quick saves" or restarts. When you mess up, you mess up for good, and all those "open world consequences" us RPG fans love to talk about really start to come into play. Want to play a game that has real, lasting, and meaningful ramifications? Have a kid. I don't mean having a kid is terrible, because it's clearly not. What I mean is that you never get a second chance to make the right move. And if you make enough wrong moves... let's hope none of us ever has to experience what could happen as a result of that.

Back In My Day...

My daughter loves to play games on the iPad. Currently her favorite games are Where's My Mickey, Pretty Pony, and Fruit Ninja, and while I'm glad she's taking an interest in gaming, I really want to get a controller in her hands more often.

I feel it's important to let her learn to play games the way we did as kids. We didn't have all these crazy touch screen controls and Wi-Fi access when we were growing up. In my day (oh gosh, did I actually just say that?), we had to help Mario save the Princess by using both hands and several fingers to navigate him over deadly caverns, past man-eating plants, and through multiple worlds. I'd like to think these early days of gaming shaped who I became later on, and I wonder if I would be so interested and invested in PC and console gaming today if I'd had an iPad back then.

The reason I bring this up is because some of the most fun memories I have with my daughter revolve around gaming. Just recently she really got into DuckTales: Remastered, and we spent a couple hours one Saturday just playing it together. I remember feeling proud that she was taking interest in a hobby that I loved.

Several months ago she sat and watched me play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and while I made sure to stay away from the inappropriate content, she absolutely adored the mudcrabs. And even before that, we sat together on the computer and played some games on the PBS website together. It certainly wasn't Bioshock: Infinite, but it was such a blast watching her enjoy gaming.

Making It Right

So tonight, as I walked out of her bedroom thinking about how dumb and selfish I had been about her bedtime, I thought about how I could make it up to her tomorrow. First of all, I plan to sit down with her at breakfast and answer any questions she has about fish. I may know absolutely nothing about them, but I have an iPhone, and Google can probably answer all of her questions. Secondly, I plan to tell her how amazing she is. I sometimes worry she feels like I don't think she's good enough, because I'm constantly snapping at her over something stupid. This is my issue, and I'm working on it. She's such a sweet little angel, and even if she DOES put her shoes on the wrong feet sometimes on purpose... who cares? She's five!

Lastly, I'm going to set up the PS3 and join her in a game of DuckTales. Ever since the last time she played, all she can do is sing the theme song and talk about swimming in Uncle Scrooge's money vault, so I think she's due for another session. We'll laugh, find some treasure, and make some memories together. I'll do my best to make all the right moves, not just in the game, but throughput the rest of the day as I try to parent her in a way that is loving, uplifting, supportive, and with realistic expectations. I don't want to have to wish for anymore reloads, and I don't want my daughter thinking I'm disappointed in her. She's amazing, and pretty much the most interesting person I've ever met.

If you're like me, and you know you've been a little hard on your kids when maybe they don't deserve it, I hope you can learn from me before it's too late. Realize that kids have but one job, and that is to simply be a kid. We need to enjoy them at this age and watch with pride as they discover the world. 

But for now, the birds and the bees can wait. Reese and I need to play some video games.

]]>
10 Great Games You Should Be Playing Right Now https://www.gameskinny.com/kdbpe/10-great-games-you-should-be-playing-right-now https://www.gameskinny.com/kdbpe/10-great-games-you-should-be-playing-right-now Fri, 06 Sep 2013 23:52:07 -0400 Brian Armstrong

I've been doing a lot of writing about console gaming lately, and it's a little unsettling, as for the last few years I have considered myself primarily a PC gamer. Not that it matters, because as a gamer, I pride myself on not being a fanboy of one console or platform over another. That gets you nowhere. There are many great games and experiences on all formats that you'll miss out on entirely if you let fanaticism plague your mind. So it was this thinking that inspired me to create the definitive guide to the top (exclusive) games that you should be playing right now.

These are not necessarily new games, and they're net necessarily old either. Some of them may have been reviewed poorly, and some of them won every award there is. But what I wanted to highlight here was how allowing yourself to experience games on multiple platforms, you open yourself up to a world of opportunities. Just for the record, I have included games from the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita, as these are the systems I have currently. If I owned a Wii U I would certainly have included them here as well. But I can only go with what I know, so without further ado, let's begin!

SimCity (PC)

Might as well start the list off controversially, right? SimCity is pretty much a love it or hate it kind of deal. Launch issues plagued its release last year, and many gamers never forgave EA for their always-online stance. It's their loss though, because what waits on the other side of an internet connection is a fantastic city-building experience. Yes there are issues. For example, I am still not a fan of having to choose from little plots of land scattered across the map. I want to be able to build anywhere and everywhere on that map. I don't like the limitation. There are other minor quirks, but if you can get past these issues, the game is incredibly deep with a wealth of options to help you build a beautiful, jam-packed metropolis.

The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

This is one of those games that will earn a "No duh," from many readers, but this is absolutely not only a contender for my favorite game of the year, but perhaps all time. Its gripping story, beautiful graphics, and fun and engaging gameplay make for an incredible ride that begs to be replayed. If you don't own a PS3, this game is absolutely worth the purchase price alone. And I don't say that lightly.

Bioshock: Infinite (PC)

I know, I know... this game was not console-specific, but it shines brilliantly on the PC. With incredible graphics and its intense action, Bioshock: Infinite harkens back to a time when first-person shooters were just as much about the story as the action (Half Life). If you don't have the gaming rig capable of cranking up the graphics, I can attest that it still looks great on either Xbox or PlayStation, so don't hesitate to pick up whichever copy you can immediately.

Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)

The game I'm looking forward to the most from the early lineup of next generation games is Forza Motorsport 5. But the 4th version of the game is no slouch either, and if you haven't played it, there's no better time than now. The Forza series rapidly caught up with (and in my opinion passed) Sony's Gran Turismo franchise. The cars are beautiful, the races are fun, and the customization is addicting. This is a game that you'll want to just keep playing and playing, even if it's way past your bedtime.

MLB 13: The Show (PS Vita)

The Madden and NBA franchises have received most of the attention when it comes to sports games, but the Sony exclusive The Show franchise is probably the best of the bunch. Incredible graphics, smooth gameplay, and an amazing career mode with seemingly unlimited customization options make this game endlessly playable. The thrill of starting out a player in the minor leagues and working your way up the ranks until you eventually land with a major league club is addicting. I've singled out the PS Vita version of this game simply due to the portability factor. The game looks better on PS3, but it's tough to beat the pick-up-and-play functionality of the Vita. And depending on how you have your games set up, a game can last as little as five minutes, so it really makes squeezing in some gametime during your lunch breaks feasible.

Fable (Xbox 360)

Before anyone yells at me, yes, I know Fable was released on the original Xbox. But a while back I picked it up through the Xbox Live store to play on the 360, and as you may also know, Lionhead Studios is re-releasing the game in an anniversary form later this year. So I'm counting this as an Xbox 360 game. Even though it's nearing a decade in age, this game has an appeal that I can't resist. Whether it's building an evil menace that kicks chickens and swoons all the girls, or a knightly hero that does his best to make all the right decisions, Fable offers a level of freedom that wasn't seen much at the time. It's a little dated today, but I am hoping the anniversary edition breathes some new life into the game. I spent hours in this game upon release, and I still return to Albion in my free time today, and you should too.

Lord of the Rings Online (PC)

I'll start off by saying I'm not even close to max-level in this game yet, but I have really enjoyed every moment I've spent in LOTRO. Living out my character's adventures in Tolkien's world is so much more rewarding than any other MMO I've overplayed, simply because of where it's based. I can run through the Shire, I can retrace the Fellowship's route, and coming soon, I'll even be able to visit Helm's Deep. Good Lord that is some epic stuff. Better than all of that, it's free-to-play, so you can try it out for yourself and never spend a dime!

Infamous (PlayStation 3)

Perhaps my favorite game on PS3 is Infamous, thanks to the open-world, parkouring, super powers, and fun story. Being able to make decisions that ultimately shape your story is a great touch, and makes for a game that is replayable even after you've played through it exhaustively once. I continue to return to this game to find the hidden items, do lightning strike landings when jumping from tall buildings, and to slide across power lines between buildings. It's crazy, it's unbelievable, and it's pure fun.

Dragon Fantasy, Book 1 (PS Vita)

Much like MLB 13: The Show, I am picking the Vita version of this Final Fantasy-style game for its portability. With a great story, humorous and memorable characters, and nostalgic gameplay, Dragon Fantasy is a great game to play on the go. The game even features cross-save, meaning even if you do want to switch over to the PS3 version at some point, simply save your game to the cloud and load it up from your PS3. I got my start on RPGs playing Final Fantasy on the original; Gameboy, and this game on the Vita brings me back to those simple days instantly.

Total War: Rome II (PC)

This game just came out, but I can tell already it will be sucking my life away. The long-awaited sequel has ramped up the graphics and sheer size of the game, giving players an endless selection of ways to enjoy battling through the Roman Empire. It's a daunting game at first, and it has a pretty steep learning curve, but it is rewarding, and players who stick it out will be hooked on a game that shows what makes real-time strategy games on the PC one of the best genres in the industry.

What are the "must play" games for your console of choice? What games are out there for systems you don't own that you're itching to get your hands on? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

]]>
History and Video Games, a Match Made in Heaven? https://www.gameskinny.com/ht545/history-and-video-games-a-match-made-in-heaven https://www.gameskinny.com/ht545/history-and-video-games-a-match-made-in-heaven Sun, 01 Sep 2013 22:48:28 -0400 Synzer

Many games use historical facts or base the story completely around historical events. Real-time strategy games are among the most popular genres to use history and is probably the most accessible one to do it with.

History can just be a setting, or the gameplay can be made around the history and culture of a time period. Craig Laycock of Creative Assembly lead the panel at PAX Prime, History vs. Gameplay: Hey Creative Assembly, where's the accuracy in my pew pew shooter?, and a great discussion was made about historical accuracy, realism and gameplay in video games.

History, gimmick or gameplay gold?

Sometimes, history might just be used as an opportunity to sell games and have no real value to the game itself. The developers of the Total War series think differently. They don't just use history as a setting, they incorporate many aspects of the culture at the time into their games.

"[You] have to deal with it sensitively, but also not shy away from it." - James Russell, Lead Designer, Total War

James Russel, Lead Designer of Total War, explains how a lot of research goes into the issues at the time the game is set, to design systems. They research the cultural norms of a particular military and make sure that it is implemented into the game.

If a faction took slaves after conquering a land, for example, that would be a part of the gameplay. As James put it, "[You] have to deal with it sensitively, but also not shy away from it."

History vs. Gameplay

So what happens when history gets in the way of gameplay? The answer is simple, gameplay wins. It is still a game after all. That doesn't necessarily mean change history, just leave some parts up for debate.

If a certain nation or unit in history was reported as the "best" that doesn't mean it has to be in a game. Things still need to be balanced in multiplayer. They should play like you would expect them to be in real life, while still keeping things fair.

The panel also pointed out that realism doesn't always mean sans fun either. Sometimes a realistic feature can be a fun gameplay mechanic.

History in video games can be a great way to explore the past and even teach people things they may not have known. Plus, what way can be more fun? Leave a comment about how you feel history in video games is or should be portrayed.

]]>
Total War: Rome 2 on Pre-Purchase, with TF2 Content in Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/vi0oi/total-war-rome-2-on-pre-purchase-with-tf2-content-in-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/vi0oi/total-war-rome-2-on-pre-purchase-with-tf2-content-in-steam Thu, 22 Aug 2013 11:31:02 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Sega has launched a new game on Steam for pre-order:Total War: Rome 2. If you thought Total War: Shogun 2 was great, Rome 2 will definitely impress you. Not only does this game come with Team Fortress 2 content, it's also sold more pre-purchase copies than Shogun 2 did.

Free TF2 Content?

With a pre-purchase on Steam for Total War: Rome 2, players will be given a wreath in their Team Fortress 2 inventory. Now here's the cool part: when you equip the wreath, it'll make your game of TF2 look like you're playing Total War: Rome 2. A game to use this content in would be Mann vs Machine, and you'll start to notice Rome Bots come alive. Not a bad idea, you get a new game and content for your TF2.

What should we expect from Total War: Rome 2?

In Total War: Rome 2 there will be player factionsbased on key powers. The powers include Greco-Roman, Barbarian, and Eastern Cultures. Using these factions players will have a more in-depth game experience not found in earlier Total War games. Don't forget, you'll have different military specs, political systems, and tech trees. A few factions brought in with the game are Rome, Carthage, Macedon, Iceni, Arverni, Suebi, Parthia, and Egypt. 

A new pack, Greek States Culture Pack, will be available for purchase and pre-purchase with more factions such as Athens, Epirus, and Sparta.

We can expect great game-play and battles from Total War: Rome 2. Post a comment with your favorite memory or battle within the Total War franchise.

 

]]>
Total War: Rome 2 campaign map and factions shown off https://www.gameskinny.com/xz83w/total-war-rome-2-campaign-map-and-factions-shown-off https://www.gameskinny.com/xz83w/total-war-rome-2-campaign-map-and-factions-shown-off Fri, 26 Jul 2013 05:37:21 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Total War: Rome 2 is the 8th Total War game.

The series has been mostly published by Sega, with Creative Assembly as the developer.

What's in the video?

Dominique Starr, the Campaign Designer, shows off some of the specialities the major factions families have, and the over all faction traits.

The whole campaign map is shown off, with the overview map, and the Carthaginian provinces are shown off also.

My Thoughts

I think that the campaign map looks massive, and beautifully designed. The overview map has a really nice style to it, and looks like a drawn map, but you can also tell it's from a game. The character models look amazing --for an RTS.

I really like how the cities look on the map, the capital looks massive, as it is the capital after all.

Rome 2 will be out on 3rd September on PC. Pre-ordering will grant you free access to the The Greek States Culture Pack. Presumably (as this was the case with earlier Total War games) it will be using Steamworks.

]]>
Got Your Total War: Rome II on... Too Hard, or Too Easy? https://www.gameskinny.com/56kpd/got-your-total-war-rome-ii-on-too-hard-or-too-easy https://www.gameskinny.com/56kpd/got-your-total-war-rome-ii-on-too-hard-or-too-easy Tue, 14 May 2013 22:36:08 -0400 Dragonchicken

How many people here can say they have beaten Total War: Rome II on the hardest difficulty?  How many people could say the same thing, but say they did it in 16 turns?

I personally have beaten the game on the hardest difficulty multiple times, but never in so little turns; but someone has done it and I would like to introduce the forum post of Genius the Restoration, a man who was able to Speed Run the Greeks to victory in little to no time.

Although this looks pretty fun and really puts your skills to the test, I really am disheartened that people can think the game would be this easy.  And I am hoping something more will come to Rome II.

I don’t want Rome to be too easy or too hard--or more importantly, all about the battles.  

Despite what some people think, the administrative side to Rome (building roads, mines, units) is the part I enjoy.  A recent post from some of the devs suggest that they will be removing this feature from the game, or “dumbing it down,”  making it easier to let the computer take it on and manage so that you as the player can just keep on jumping into the real time battles.  Gamespot highlights some of the changes that will be made tweaked in the new game, and I am interested to see the result, but at the same time dreading some of the decisions that will really reflect how the game turns out.

Also to consider in this is the success and failure of the last few Total War games--mainly Shogun 2.  I have never played it, but I hear that a lot of the elements that made the game complex have been removed, and that worries me.  I like complex systems, which take some figuring out and time to plan a strategy; if I really wanted to play something super simple with limited options, I would play a different game.

What I want people to get out of this is that I think Rome II will be an awesome game, but I am skeptical about the turnout of some of the decisions made by the company, and am really hoping to see some of the campaign map before the launch to better gauge how the game will play.

On a side note, does anyone know of some other people who have done similar things such as speed runs?  If so, please leave a comment, and would you try something like that--if you would, what faction would you be?  Personally I would be the Brutii, but I would probably need a few more turns in order to gain the popularity in order to take on Rome.

 

 

]]>
Total War: Rome II - To Buy or Not to Buy? That is the Question! https://www.gameskinny.com/ih67m/total-war-rome-ii-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-that-is-the-question https://www.gameskinny.com/ih67m/total-war-rome-ii-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-that-is-the-question Tue, 14 May 2013 20:40:32 -0400 Dragonchicken

Total War: Rome II finally has a release date!  I tell you, I was excited when I first heard Creative Assembly was going to continue the franchise with another Rome game.  Right now you can hit up their website and pay for one of the two options that they have available; the Collector’s Edition and the standard digital copy.

Collector’s Editions are something game companies do to squeeze your wallet just a little more, and my thought right now is... “To buy or not to buy?”

Pros

I could get the super awesome cool collectors edition that has a whole bunch of stuff in it that looks cool and shows my dedication to the franchise and also support the game I love!

Cons

Well do I really need to spend an extra 100 or so dollars on something I will probably never use, simply because it’s sort of useless?

I figure I should talk a little about each, in case all of you are still scratching your heads in bewilderment.

The standard edition includes the game, and the first DLC pack, “The Greek States.”

The Collector’s Edition on the other hand includes the DLC and the actual game copy.  On top of that the set includes a scaled down catapult that apparently works (yet I am skeptical that it actually does fire and wondering about the strength of it in general).  The game also comes with a cool metal case, as well as a card game that is apparently one they played during the Punic Wars--but again, is it really that or is it some knock off of Go Fish (I have seen companies do that)?  Other than that there is a canvas map to hang on your wall, a play board/box, the dice and roundels to play what looks like some type of board game.

What gets me here is that there is nothing digital in the Collector's!  In WoW, for example, we get pets--but here there is none of that.  I think adding in some portraits for the online servers or some customization would really make this worthwhile, considering the stuff in it is not all that great.

Personally I want to buy it just because I just want to support the company, but at the same time I really don’t think I need the set, and it will probably join my Cataclysm Collector's Edition box on the shelf, collecting dust and never be used again!

]]>
Total War: Rome 2- Set To Hit The Shelves This Year! https://www.gameskinny.com/g6mme/total-war-rome-2-set-to-hit-the-shelves-this-year https://www.gameskinny.com/g6mme/total-war-rome-2-set-to-hit-the-shelves-this-year Wed, 08 May 2013 20:16:43 -0400 Captain Rob

From the creators of the Total War series comes their newest RTS game, Total War: Rome 2! Whether you’re a fan of the Total War games or just love playing real-time strategies, this game truly looks impressive. Not only have they enhanced the graphics by using a new graphics engine, but the gameplay looks even more diverse than ever. Conquer Europe and parts of Asia as to how you see fit; with politics or straight brutal force with many factions to choose from.

Keep Your Friends Close, But Your Enemies Closer!

Politics, ugh I hate politics only because I can’t read minds, yet. However, politics in Rome 2 will be introducing new ways of how the game is played, such as key players in your faction turning against you! Not only will you have to watch your front lines from being overthrown, but now you will have to watch your empire internally. You just never know who will turn against you as your empire grows!

The Faction List Has Come With A Bonus!

At the moment there are 8 factions you can play as ranging from the Spaniards to, of course, the Romans. Each faction will have a unique style of gameplay by recruiting mercenaries for their military might or using vassels to boost their economic might. Of course they could always just train their own army, however it might be obsolete compared to other factions. So here they are, a total of 8 factions, including 1 bonus faction that will be Free Download Content when the game is released. There will be Rome, Carthage, Macedon, Iceni, Arverni, Suebi, Parthia, Egypy, and the bonus faction is Pontus.

Let The War Begin!

Rome 2 is set to be released this year at a date TBA. I myself cannot wait for this and will be pre-ordering it as soon as possible! I will see you all on the battle field!

]]>