Rome: Total War Image
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 58 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 844 Ratings

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  • Summary: Rome: Total War is the next generation in epic strategy gaming from the critically acclaimed and award winning Total War brand. The aim of the game is to conquer, rule and manipulate the Roman Empire with the ultimate goal of being declared as the "Imperator" of Rome. Set in a time when theRome: Total War is the next generation in epic strategy gaming from the critically acclaimed and award winning Total War brand. The aim of the game is to conquer, rule and manipulate the Roman Empire with the ultimate goal of being declared as the "Imperator" of Rome. Set in a time when the mighty Roman Empire emerged to conquer the known world against powerful enemies; when gladiators fought to a bloody death in the Coliseum; when Spartacus defied the might of the empire; when Hannibal led his invincible army and his war elephants across the Alps to strike fear into the very heart of Rome itself; and when Julius Caesar finally smashed the Barbarian Gauls. This was a time of brutal confrontation between civilisation and barbarism, and of civil war as the ancient world's only superpower turned on itself. A completely new Total War engine uses innovative technology and groundbreaking design to bring the world of ancient Rome to life to deliver the biggest and most cinematic battles ever seen in a videogame. So the battles in Rome: Total War maintain the epic scale that fans of Total War are used to, but now use high-detailed 3D polygonal troops and allows huge cities to be displayed on the battlefields. The result is truly spectacular. [Activision] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 58
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 58
  3. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. It has so much depth and aptitude that you'll find yourself drawn in for hours, which will quickly turn into days, months and, dare I say, years. There's been so much effort put into every single aspect of the game that it's hard not to admire the hard work of the developers behind it.
  2. Without a doubt one of the best strategy games I’ve played. Activision has successfully combined full RTS and turn based genres in one game while maintaining the balance between them, putting any serious strategy fan to the test.
  3. Combining a powerful turn based engine for the management, and an insanely enjoyable RTS engine for the battles, Activision and The Creative Assembly have produced what could easily be the best strategy game of 2004.
  4. 92
    If you loved "RISK," you’ll feel right at home with this title.
  5. The multiplayer could use a few more game options, like allowing players to actually play the campaign rather than only skirmishes. Still, for anyone who wants strategic depth with their RTS game, there's no better title out there. [Dec 2004, p.131]
  6. 90
    A stunning title... Sure, it might be a little complex for the casual gamer, and it might be a little rough in places, but Rome is as deep and as satisfying as they come.
  7. As it stands, Rome: Total War is merely a good empire simulation with a minor real-time strategy diversion built in. [Nov 2004, p.165]

See all 58 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 162
  1. Jul 10, 2011
    10
    Although I replayed Medieval Total War many times the only one that withstand time is Rome Total War. I haven't played Medieval II although IAlthough I replayed Medieval Total War many times the only one that withstand time is Rome Total War. I haven't played Medieval II although I have it but it just won't start. Rome is never boring and it is perfectly replay-able because of the three possible factions you can play with from the beginning.
    Fact is thus that you encounter three total different foes or allies which make a great difference in playing style and approach. I had much problems to withstand the Gauls with the Julii since their units are much larger than the roman ones. Thing is to use the terrain to your advantage, a very important thing in Rome, for example defend at a bridge if you're outnumbered. A bad thing is putting units on a huge scale because units cost much more to raise but your income isn't changing. Another bad thing is that the AI is able to defend/attack with 2 or 3 whole armies and you my friend can only defend with one army, eventually reinforced with another but your maximum of units can't be more than the one army fighting.
    This can form a stalemate in certain areas, I had it with the Brutii against the Britons, and is maybe an advantage well thought of which makes you can't overrun the enemy.
    The whole game is well developed, almost no bugs and in my opinion one of the best games where it comes to empathy. A classic one and certainly a must have!! It's totally not outdated.
    Expand
  2. PatrickT
    Oct 29, 2009
    10
    One of the greatest Strategy games of all time
  3. Sep 26, 2013
    10
    Based on the time it was made, this is a rarely PERFECT game.

    The beautiful core of the game is the tension between the 3 main political
    Based on the time it was made, this is a rarely PERFECT game.

    The beautiful core of the game is the tension between the 3 main political factions of Rome. The player takes on one faction and has to earn glory for Rome, while watching his back. Too much success can bring on the ire of the other factions.

    It is interesting that this beautiful design was not invented by Creative Assembly, it reflects the genius at the heart of the real Roman political system. This system was destroyed historically by the megalomania of Gaius Julius (known to us as Julius Caesar. Caesar is not a name, it is the title: Kaiser, or king). Julius Caesar effectively destroyed the republican system and for this sin, he was assassinated. His son. became the first emperor (Augustus).

    This game is great because it learns from and makes accessible to us, the dynamics of true political genius. Its a history lesson, and it took its design cues from the real past.

    Beyond that the tactical battles are fun. Following the lives and careers of your factional families is intriguing. You always want to see how many stars you can get a general before he dies or goes crazy.The campaign is big and challenging. Final success is rewarding.

    Overall, Rome Total war remains a triumph of game design. With a few mods to update the graphics it remains eminently worth playing.

    Update to September 2013: This month CA went and took a dump on the brilliance of Rome total War by stripping away all the best bits to give us soul-less overblown, pretty-as-a-picture-but-no-fun-to-play Rome 2.

    Nice work guys!

    NOT!

    Orctowngrot.
    Expand
  4. TR
    Feb 5, 2009
    10
    Although it begins to get a little crazy nearer to the end of a campaign game (The Romans had ninjas? Pigs > Elephants???) Rome: Total War is Although it begins to get a little crazy nearer to the end of a campaign game (The Romans had ninjas? Pigs > Elephants???) Rome: Total War is one of the best strategy games i have ever played. Not just RTS, that means ALL strategy. People complain about the graphics, but on with the graphics set on low i can still see the nose of each individual soldier. Not only is it fun, but I learned more about world history from bits of information they throw at you (245 BC, such and such happened this year) than all of the last 8 years of History class/American revolution propaganda. If you like to play real time strategy, turn based strategy, or even risk, then you owe it to yourself to at least try out Rome: Total War (note: I officially rated it a 10, but it would have been an 8 or 9 if not for those who think they can hate on a game because it has graphics that look like they're from around 2002) (note: Rome: Total war IS from around 2002). Expand
  5. GregA
    Sep 25, 2004
    10
    Another leap ahead in the series. Simply a fantastic game - hope to see more like!!!
  6. Apr 25, 2013
    9
    A great game with awesome climate, also even today quite appealing to the eye. The strategic options are wide and enjoyable and battleA great game with awesome climate, also even today quite appealing to the eye. The strategic options are wide and enjoyable and battle simulation, when it came out, was absolutely amazing.

    The amount of factions and huge differences in troops they can field make it a little unbalanced (especially when it comes to late-period roman troops, obviously [and somewhat realistically] overpowered), but makes the whole thing even more interesting and make you use different strategies, when using different troops or facing different foes.

    The main downside is the amount of micromanaging that will bore less patient players, especially when combined with slow troop training and pretty slow army movement. If you don't mind that, the game can give you hundreds of hours of enjoyable gameplay.
    Expand
  7. May 30, 2014
    0
    Absolutely useless. Nothing to do with strategy. This game is clearly an unfinished project. Bought in 2014 and it still drops out for noAbsolutely useless. Nothing to do with strategy. This game is clearly an unfinished project. Bought in 2014 and it still drops out for no reason, due to its programming and despite two patches. Graphics can not be adjusted even with a new powerful machine. If your idea of a fun strategy game is to babysit every single unit and issue orders to run three to four times to each unit and then still find them walking -loosing every single opportunity for advantage in open battle or defense. Also the AI is utterly unreasonable, while apathetic in battles with large numbers, the game allows a single defending missile horseman to venture out of guarded gates and attack 80 arches surrounded by other friendly units, and risk routing them! 3 missile horsemen against 80 javelin men completely routing them, again, while surrounded by friendly units, such as multiple phalanx units chasing them, to which the horsemen pass neatly at the edges of the spears without being engaged and rout your weakest units without even have a reasonably sized force. In the meantime of course none of the attacked units thinks about eliminating their single attacker. Other occasions missile horsemen reduced to 4 units surrounded by 30 heavy cavalry units with General and taking ages to eliminate them, you have to constantly click on them. In the meantime other bigger forces approach and your units are still dealing with the one unit that had been also routed previously. The turn based map is ridiculous also, there is no undo if you accidentally move a unit wrongly and as your turn ends, the next turn's events could be detrimental. You have to be precise with every move to the degree of being impractical. The economy can not really be managed efficiently due to being non intuitive , obscured and embellished with information that does not help the game, you have to try hard all the time for the simplest tasks and you rarely know how economy in some cities will go in the next turn. The impact of each decision is not visible and it can not be managed well. All this while battles, enemy alliances and own expanses are ongoing. The auto management does not seem to achieve much especially in military build. Some cities build more others less with no clear indication. It is a total waste of time. Honestly the one thing this game deserves credit for, is that it forces you to spend hours playing despite immense frustration and upset because you just can not believe that it can be so bad and you keep trying in the hope that it was only one frustrating mission or a particular element that was bad. Unfortunately this game is a constant source of never ending frustration. It feels like its been designed to keep you occupied rather than allow you to have fun. It is definitely worth an uninstall. There is no cure, newer versions in the series maintain the same problems. Graphics are not great, unit management could not be any worse, economies and user interfaces perplexing. The first thing that is needed in order to be on the road of fixing this game is for units to obey orders. Very few other games do not give you even this basic control. This game is the worst I have ever encountered in this respect. Literally unplayable. No amount of patience can solve the problems of this game. Expand

See all 162 User Reviews

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