The lack of discussion on Giantbomb when it comes to Strategy games is sad. But that's how it is. We few around here know that.
Luckily there are other places to discuss the intricacies of Gary Gatsby's "War in the East", or why "Europa Universalis IV" is a great game.
This is not an ego trip, it's just the only thing I have done so far, I want to share. I rarly do anything but make 1000 screenshots in GTA IV - and delete them. But I was fed up reading all this negative comments on Rome 2. People trying to out-yell each other, turning it into a competition, who could scream louder than "Angry Joe". I wanted to counter that, with evidence of what was my own, very different, experience. I did not write a game guide, I did not write a glowing fan review, or articles, nor made "Let's Play" videos, (to make 10$ from people, forcing them to watch YouTube ads, before they see another guy playing and babbling nonsense over a game). Not my thing.
The amount of negative comments and threads on totalwar.com and on Steam - justified or not - made me question, if I accidently bought a different game. Or maybe had a different "build" installed.
"Not every game can be everything to everyone all the time" #iquotemyselfalot
I was amazed by Rome II, Day 1. I understand, veteran players and Rome I enthusiasts, disagree with many changes in this new version. They have extreme opinions about the Game AI, although this topic is almost as complex as it is to write proper pointers in C or debug multithreaded C++ code, featuring "undocumented behavior". Every casual "Go" player beats the most sophisticated AI to this day. Why do you think, many game devs prefer to make "multiplayer only" games? One major headache less ... I digress.
After the latest patch, this game seems to have become more playable to many other people, I hear. Maybe because I am older, and getting even more older, I am more tolerant, when I see "imperfect" releases (and when I am also not affected by them).
I understand, better than ever now, how hard it is to make a video game. I understand, how difficult it is to sustain a business, when you see and hear about layoffs of "proper" studios, all the time. Yes, some people in this industry make more money than ever. But the push is away from games like THIS one. Mobile, Indie ... I also can see better, what the game developers and designers intended to do. I have read the game manual. The complexity of the different game-"systems" and how they were intended to work together. I am ok, when CA are able to deliver only parts of those ideas, as long as they strive for excellence, as long as they are willing to do the risky thing, enter uncharted territory.
Triple-A strategy games in a market that is losing money by the week, is something I appreciate, as long as it still exists.
To me every TW release, is a opportunity to go back and read the books, I was reading at school. We read, Caeser's "De Bello Gallico" (in Latin - not the easiest of prose for beginners. Believe me). We read Seneca and Virgil and Tacitus and Ovid. And I did go back to the literature of my youth ever since. Less often, than I wanted to. A video game that embraces the history and the source material, without turning it into nonsense (God of War) or a background to smash things up (again, God of War), but treats its subject with respect and as much attention to detail, as they can afford, deserves my respect. Even if they fail at times, even if things break and don't work as intended, even if they decide to cut or change things for the purpose of gameplay, to make it "fun" for you. That does not deserve the kind of uninformed, vile criticism from immature, over-caffeinated brats, who sit at home all day and call themselves "Gamers" in chats and forums. I guess, they don't get enough attention from their moms, cooking next door, or their fathers, being at work the whole day. And if you are an "adult" (at least legally), you should know better than to whine like a 5 year old, who cannot find his/her most favourite teddybear.
So here it is. Some short videos (no ads), some screenshots, I made in the last 10 days. I am not looking for hugs or shoulder-petting, nor for "eyeballs". If you own and play the game yourself, you would not waste time here, right?
This "Forest Hunt" gameplay video is longer than others. If you like Terrence Malick, you might know the reason why. Otherwise, I warn you. It may be extremely boring to you!
I tried some different resolutions. I play the game now in [edit:]
3366x1080 px glorious 5760x1080px my monitors (or the game) won't go higher, atm. The Battle of Carthage, in it's scope and scale, in it's excellence of design and architecture, is worth the purchase of that game, if you ever was even remotely interested in history. I can play this battle alone for the rest of the year. It feels like history books came to life; like you are now allowed to be IN them. Or compare it to old Hollywood movies, in 70mm CinemaScope or Super Panavision ... and Technicolor. And not only are you gazing at those things, you are able to command the largest sizes of fully animated units, doing all kinds of things. If only Paradox Interactive would have the manpower to compete with CA in this field! Imagine the games, we could enjoy in the next decade?!