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Total War: Rome II – First Impressions

Total War: Rome II – First Impressions

With a gentle whisper the embargo for coverage of Total War: Rome II has lifted and I would assume that many sites are going live with their reviews. We here at The Reticule are in no rush to deliver our Verdict’s right away, and thanks to my flat moving and two job shenanigans I’ve only managed to play about 8 hours of the game so far. In a game of this size, that really isn’t enough time to really dig into everything. What I have done though is gather some brief early thoughts together, which you can read after the break.

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I can’t wait for… Hegemony 268BC for Mount and Blade

I can’t wait for… Hegemony 268BC for Mount and Blade

Mount and Blade has one of the least interesting settings in gaming. It’s a generic pseudo-Medieval world with no soul. But the game mechanics and superlative modding capabilities it affords are uniquely well suited to bringing to life historical warfare, and for me this is no more evident in the mod Hegemony 268BC, set during the middle Roman Republic, or Hellenistic period. It’s an ancient historian’s wet dream, allowing you to take command of Republican Roman legions, the steamroller style Hellenic Pike Phalanx,  Sarmatian cataphracts and more. As proven by mods like Rome Total Realism and Europa Barbarorum for Rome: Total War (both of which I highly recommend) interest in a realistic ancient themed game is popular ideal. Hegemony has its origins in a simple mod for the beta for Mount and Blade that simply incorporated some Roman legions  that the prolific Ealabor took control of and expanded on to reach it’s unprecedented level of detail.

gergovia

The last playable version was prior to the release retail of Mount and Blade, and the barbarians have been howling at the gates since then to see it brought forth in all its glory to the new version. But Ealabor has a grander vision. He’s bringing the ancient world to Mount and Blade owners. We’re going to see more highly detailed units than ever, and stunningly, recreations of ancient settlements, from Rome, to Carthage, to Gergovia. Okay, so the 3rd year history student in me knows that Rome was a rather drab, muddy place in 268BC, and the realised version previewed is somewhat anachronistic, but who cares? It looks simply stunning, and a true labour of love.

rome

carthage

battle

Other touches of authenticity include the music of Nick Wylie who you might know did the music for Europa Barbarorum. There are also more detailed formation options, allowing you to form up your units in massive pike formations and the like, adding not only new and detailed content, but some welcome gameplay additions. All in all, it’s about as comprehensive as a mod for Mount and Blade gets.

No word on a release yet sadly, but given the huge amount of content going in, it could be a while; though it will ultimately be worth the wait. Briefly commenting on this article on the mod forums, he indicated that progress is good, and his recent team additions are speeding things up nicely. Good luck to Ealabor and his team I say! More information can be found here: http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php/board,98.0.html