Total War: Rome 2 is set to release for Windows PC on September 3, 2013. The Creative Assembly has uploaded a promotional video on the strategy game focusing on naval battles. The video explains the key points of naval combat, such as ranged combat that includes fire arrows, as well as ramming and boarding. The video shows gameplay examples of each tactic, and how they can be beneficial during your campaign. For example, a larger ship set at the right angle, and speed can sink smaller ships simply by ramming them, destroying the ship’s entire crew in one fell swoop.
The video also details the variety of ships available to the player, such as smaller boats meant for overwhelming large ships with numbers and coordination, or ships that have firepots that can be equipped to the front of a ship to cause explosions when making collisions with enemy ships. A battle on the sea can tilt your position in an ongoing war, so dependent on how you maneuver your ships, and approach sea combat can turn the tides in your favor.
The AI in Total War: Rome 2 is no fool, as it will make tactical decisions as well, choosing to flee a losing battle rather than make a suicidal decision like plunging the remnants of its fleet at you.
The concept of loyalty and fear has been greatly emphasized by the developers, who want to utilize the morale of soldiers in the game. This has been tied into the naval combat, where performing impressive feats, like sinking a ship with a successful ramming attack, will impress your commander. In an interview with Polygon’s Megan Farokhmanesh, the developers stated how soldiers will flee if their morale is low – “It’s quite a good tactic on the battlefield to aim for morale breakage, rather than simply killing everybody. Individual fights are over quicker, and then you can reform your forces and be more effective because you’ve got greater local superiority. You’ve got more forces against the next unit that you fight. Morale is absolutely key to battles.” This same concept applies to naval battles, where if an enemy ship’s units are defeated, the men that are in control of the ship, and in the hull will flee the scene.
The developer’s notion of incorporating morality, and loyalty into battles will make the game far more strategic rather than just tactical combat. It might be better after crushing opposing enemy units to let the remaining units flee than to chase after them, simply to put more fear into them for future battles.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Adam Smith had a chance to play the game, and mentions that it is a more character-driven game than any of its predecessors, where there is a heavy focus on the deeds your armies performed in battle. Opponents will react accordingly, and might see a successful unit of cavalry as a threat, and give every battle a new perspective based upon how you dealt with previous battles.
Politicians will have an impact while you are at battle, so going off to sea while at war might give them the chance to incite rebellion, or civil war in your absence. The direction of this game makes it exciting to see how things will take place while you lead your troops to battle and how things will change while you are out in the field with scoundrels hoping you fail so they can take your place as ruler.
With the amount of depth being placed into Total War: Rome 2, it will be interesting to see what other clips and gameplay the developers will release in the coming months.