Total War: Rome Remastered - Return the Eagle!

I’ll fire it up tonight.

I wouldn’t put much stock in steam reviews (at least not yet anyway), I mean who at this point has spent even an hour playing it?

The amount of troll behavior in the steam forum prior to launch and especially today on launch was/is significant, for whatever reason this remaster has brought them out of the woodwork.

Just finished a solid 6.5 hour play session according to Steam, been playing it since it unlocked. Can’t say I encountered any issues during my time with the game so far, so YMMV. As it says on the tin, it’s very much a jazzed up remake of the original Rome: Total War. Enjoyed the original Rome and so far enjoying the new remaster of it.

Finished a short victory conditions Julii campaign in 66 turns and the Seleucid Empire was somehow alive and prospering in my game. That has to be a first or something! In non-remastered Rome usually they get curbstomped by a combination of Egypt, Parthia and Pontus. Carthage and Macedon were putting up stiffer than usual resistance too so the Scipii and Brutii been having issues starting the usual Roman snowball, Scipii currently fairing better than the Brutii in that regard.

Had a quick glance at some of the user reviews on Steam and some of the complaints seem like people who haven’t played the original Rome in a while. Nostalgia clouding their memories of how responsive the unit commands really were. Can’t say I had much issue with unit responsiveness personally, either on par with the original Rome or improved. Anyone complaining about units (e.g., skirmishers) caught in melee combat being difficult to pull out ought to go replay original Rome.

Value proposition might have been different without the 50% loyalty reward discount for owning the original games on Steam. At the “loyalty” price though seems like a decent deal to me so far. I received exactly what I was expecting, a modernised Rome: Total War. Appreciate the modernised camera and controls and other improvements, love being able to alt-left click drag my army formations around during battles.

Would definitely be interested in a Medieval 2 remaster, having access to modern Total War controls in Rome is going to make going back to Medieval 2 even harder now.

Remake hasn’t even been out for 24 hours yet and the mod community is already releasing some interesting projects on the workshop. Playable naval battles wasn’t something I was expecting so soon.

I’ve only played a couple hours so far, so I’ll circle back with thoughts once I’m further into the campaign. So far it feels like coming home and finding a fresh coat of paint on the place and I like it.

When it initially came out I never for whatever reason played Alexander or Barbarian Invasion, I’m looking forward to taking both for a spin this go round.

Amassed over 20 hours in the Remaster now and can report that I have not had any major technical issues so far. Performance has been good and haven’t had any issues starting the game or crashing to desktop, that some people have reported. Largest issue I have had so far was an achievement not triggering for me, so guess I’m completing another Alexander campaign some time in the future.

The AI Seleucids have survived and prospered in two out of two grand campaigns for me now. So, I guess the first time during my Julii campaign wasn’t a complete fluke. They managed to repeat the feat during my Scipii campaign as well. Playing with all the Remaster options toggled on, so the unit rebalancing, AI improvements, and autoresolve improvements might be helping them out a bunch.

Finished up an Alexander campaign recently, wiping everyone from the face of the map. Actually the first time I have ever completed the campaign for the Alexander expansion. Mainly touched the historical battles and some custom battles\online back in the day since the turn/time limit seemed daunting back then (really isn’t that bad). Some fun units to play around with as Macedon, the versatility of the Hypaspists a god-send at times. Ended up with some diverse army compositions by the end due to supply lines, recruited a bunch of local mercenaries along the way to bolster my numbers as casualties dwindled the ranks of my Macedonians and Greek units.

Was certainly an interesting challenge towards the beginning and at the end due to the disparity in numbers, with the middle portion of the Persian Empire mostly a weak underbelly ripe for speedy conquering. Almost thought I was facing the zerg there for a moment with how many Dahae stacks came flooding out of fog of war once I reached the Persian heartland and Bactria. Fortunately, money and manpower were abundant by then so I wasn’t short of armies to counter the threat.

The amount of experience some of my starting armies amassed was crazy, Alexander and his companions were like demi-gods by the end with all those chevrons. Sadly, Parmenion did not quite live long enough to see the full extent of Alexander’s conquests, dying of natural causes (old age) near the end.

Extreme unit scale definitely not optimal for city sieges but it was a trade-off worth doing to have the massive field battles that I had. There were some satisfyingly large blocks of phalangites going on.

I haven’t had any technical issues either. Actually, I played the original TW:Rome some last year and found I was getting some stuttering/catching when moving the camera as well as what seemed to me to be excessively long AI turns, both all gone in the remake. There have been some super minor glitches - So far I’m playing a Jullii long campaign in the base game…

  • the first Senate mission got me into a war of extermination with Carthrage. I don’t know if that was a glitch, but I thought I was supposed to be directed into a war with Gaul instead. It was still fun.
  • Once I was eventually at war with Gaul, at one point Britannia lay siege to one of the cities I captured from the Gauls and had only left a couple town watch in for a garrison. I brought cavalry up from somewhere else and ran them off. Then the -following turn- the Brits made a tribute demand with ‘accept or we will attack’, even though we were already at war. In the context of a TW game, I think this was an error, but in the story of the game in my head it was like the Japanese ambassador delivering the declaration of war after the attack at Pearl Harbor, or the Battle of New Orleans happening even though the peace treaty had already been signed. :)
  • I generally really like the QOL improvements in comparison to the 2003 game. And I like having steam achievements available.

Pretty common for the Julii to have their second Senate mission, after the opening mission to conquer Segestica, to be Carthage-controlled Caralis. That is part of the reason why the Julii AI commonly ends up expanding onto Sardinia in most campaigns, in both the original and the remaster. The Scipii AI will eventually end up attempting to conquer Caralis if it remains unconquered by the Julii for long enough.

Controlling Caralis usually doesn’t require much defense from Carthage so that is the extent of Julii and Carthaginian confrontations (excluding naval engagements) in the original game. So, I wonder if that situation has changed and Caralis is now more prone to reconquest attempts by Carthage. Because in the original game you could practically leave it relatively undefended all game as the Julii and focus on the Gauls to the north, with no need to pay much heed to Carthage.

I have noticed that the AI is frequently more competent at conducting naval invasions in the Remaster, with the Remaster’s improvements active. Plus the AI factions are often more aggressive as well, which can lead to situations like Macedon conquering Apollonia before the Brutii to happen far more often in the Remaster compared to the original Rome.

It would be fair to say that elements of the Campaign AI have seen some noticeable improvements with the Remaster. Which leads to campaigns in the Remaster taking on some new dimensions compared to how they would commonly play out.

as it turns out, I own Rome Total War, but on CD, not on Steam. I guess that means I cannot get the discount… Which means I will wait for another discount before buying this…

Do still you have the CD-key at all? It might be worth trying to activate it on Steam and seeing whether it will accept it. Doesn’t seem to work for everyone but some people have reported having success doing that.

Well I’ll be damned: that worked! Thanks!

Whoa, I will have to try that! I think I still have my disk.

Well, I tried it for a bit, but decided to go for a refund. That is not the game’s fault: it runs smoothly and does what it promised. I just cannot (or will not) get used to the older graphics anymore, particularly on battle maps, which are just bleak and empty. Too spoiled, I guess.

So, back to Total Warhammer 2. And back to hoping that they will one day do a proper remake of RTW…

Have you downloaded the upgraded DLC graphics pack?

If it wasn’t in the original full download, then probably not. But I doubt that would solve my ‘everything feels empty’-problem?

Nah - it’s just some 4K textures - it doesn’t change the landscapes to fill them out more :-)

Fair enough. I’ll just continue to cherish the fond memories I have of the original then, but leave the playing to others!

That is fair enough, tough for even some of the more modern historical Total War games to compete with the Warhammer Total War games for visual spectacle.

Some of the steppe and plains can be rather drab and empty battlefields even with the addition of grass and some shrubbery at closer camera zoom levels in Rome Remastered. Though, I do enjoy how the terrain becomes littered with more points of “interest” as campaigns progress. For example, upgrading a settlement\province’s farming infrastructure on the campaign map not only leads to progressive changes of the campaign map texture but also adds physical farms to the geoscape, causing them to pop up in battle maps.

The higher the level of farming infrastructure constructed in the settlement/province the larger and\or more common said farming infrastructure becomes on the battle maps. So, I dare say some of the battlefields that feature a combination of high level farms, high level roads and natural forests can still look pretty decent. Plopped down a Watchtower on the campaign map? That will show up too if you fight nearby it.

The original is hands down my #1 game. Looking forward to being able to play this weekend. Kratos The Conqueror, First of the Selucids shall rise again!

Having access to the functionality of the keyboard arrow keys to shift formations fowards, backwards or sideways been a blessing in disguise for commanding phalanxes. Never has marching a nigh impenetrable wall of spears into the face of the enemy battle line been easier.

For all the foibles of the battle AI, you have to admit that they still have one very specific leg up over the more recent Total War games. They can actually conduct a tactical retreat from the battlefield if they sense the situation does not favour them fighting it out. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour and the AI is not afraid to live to fight another day, where the terms of battle might be more favourable.

Playing through some of the Historical Battles today to re-experience them and unlock the associated achievements. Consider the Macedonian phalangites well and truly crushed after that showdown at Cynoscephalae, with Philip V’s plans to rewrite history strongly denied. A prompt smashing of the Macedonian left flank making the task of tackling the rather more prickly Macedonian right a much easier proposition.

Looking back at my screenshots, you can tell there was a heavy morning fog on the day of the battle.