First 8 Hours Review - Unfinished game, a step back from Shogun 2
With the number of bugs, lack of polish, poor performance (a visual step back from Shogun 2), and straight-up missing content, Total War: Rome II serves as another stark reminder to not purchase AAA PC games for at least a month after release.
I've only played through the prologue (very weak tutorial), a few hours of single player campaign, and a few hours of multiplayer campaign. Already I have encountered all of the issue types listed above.
- UI flashing in and out
- Voice audio cutting out before the end of sentences
- Multiplayer games desyncing regularly, requiring an entire game reload
- Alt-tabbing not bringing game back up correctly
Missing Content / Polish:
- Tooltips missing at all game levels (creation, world map, battle stages)
- Many empty pages / missing keywords in the manual / encyclopedia make it impossible to understand how the game works
- Shogun 2 style visual items like different stances of armies/champions/spies/etc. on the map when they've finished moving are missing
- Game looks absolutely atrocious at this point and a mid-level PC. Either the engine or just the way they created assets makes it look worse at most settings than games that came out 15 years ago on less powerful computers (earlier Total War games, Civ games, Homeworld, Sins of a Solar Empire, take your pick)
- The above applies to both the world map and battle stages
- AI turns take way too long, and they aren't very smart. Need to find a way to make it faster or pre-run some of it during the players' turns.
I'm sure I would see more as I played. The core of a good Total War game is here, but that game is not finished and should not be on sale to consumers yet. Wait it out and see if they patch it to complete the game, although it will be tough to tell without reviews.