The Total War series has done it again. Rome 2 delivers a captivating story that puts your grit to the test as you work toward ruling an empire.
Rome 2 stays in line with the Total War formula, combining real-time battles with grand empire building. This is clearly a winning formula and the reason why Total War games are among the finest Mac strategy games out there.
Total War: Rome 2 for Mac was developed by Creative Assembly and published by SEGA. The MacOS version of the game was released in October 2014.
Enter Total War: Rome 2
Whether you’re new to Total War or a veteran, the game will ease you into it. First of all, Rome 2 offers a Prologue Campaign oriented towards new players and old-timers alike. In both cases, it is definitely the best place to start. After playing through the three episodes of the Prologue, you’re off to the Grand Campaign.
Rome 2 takes place in a time period full of savage tribes and warring clans and factions. Having a strong military is the only way to make sure you can protect your people. Because on top of that, you will make many enemies as you move along your quest to rule the empire. Oh, and do not forget to protect your citizens from themselves (i.e. riots and revolts are not uncommon).
Speaking of fighting, army control hasn’t changed much from past Total War games. You can move your armies from place to place to either protect or destroy other cities or armies. When your army arrives at its place of glorious battle, you will be presented with a menu of battle statistics. There you will see the most likely outcome of the battle, as well as the option to engage in battle, auto-resolve, retreat or siege (if attacking a settlement or city).
By the way, your military strength will have to be proven on the sea too. There you will be asked to show the might of your empire through glorious naval warfare.
Besides fighting, you can also trade with other factions within the game. This is done through the diplomacy tab and can lead to fruitful relationships with other factions that may have resources (or money) that you want. Trade can be made on both land and sea, but remember that you need to protect your trade routes from tribes and enemies. The diplomacy tab also offers the ability to make treaties and forge alliances, as well as declare war when need be.
Politics is another realm that has been introduced in Rome 2. Cementing your family’s position in the Senate and maintaining ties with other powerful families can keep the people under your rule happy and ensure that they do not revolt against you. The game gives you many options on how to handle yourself in the political realm. You can marry your daughters to other families, disavow members of your family that have embarrassed you, and you can even assassinate members of the court to increase your influence.
After finishing the Grand Campaign, you can choose any of the DLC campaigns that include Imperator Augustus, Caesar in Gaul, Hannibal at the Gates, and the Wrath of Sparta. Or you can play historical battles or create a custom battle from scratch.
Regarding Multiplayer, Rome 2 offers both co-op campaign as well as competitive multiplayer battles. Do keep in mind that only the Steam version of the game offers it. Also, Steam’s multiplayer is restricted to Mac-only matches. If you wanted to play with your PC buddies, you’re unfortunately out of luck… That said, you can join this Steam group to find other Mac gamers wanting to play online. You can check this official FAQ for more information specific to the different versions of the game.
Total War: Rome 2 Performance
As you can tell from all the stuff we talked about before, Rome 2 is an incredibly large and heavy game. It is tasking on your system, and of course, this can generate some lack and drops of framerate. This would be the only real issue I had with the game. This is a decent port but clearly Feral Interactive has more experience bringing these games to MacOS. Just look at what they did with Total War: Warhammer.
That said, the game ran fairly well on my MacBook Pro, even though it is clearly below specifications. I did have to set the graphics to low and I still experienced some lag time, especially when loading cutscenes. Overall, the minimum requirements are so that you can run the game on medium settings with little to no lag.
- OS: OS X 10.7.5 (or later)
- CPU: Intel Core i5
- Ram: 8GB
- Video Card: 1 GB NVidia 750
- HDD: 25 GB
The machine used for this review:
- Model: MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014)
- OS: OS X 10.10
- CPU: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M (2 GB)
- RAM: 16 GB
Rome 2 has an awesome storyline and beautiful graphics that transport you to the time and place of Ancient Rome.
Settle In! Be aware that if you are like me, you will get into the game aiming for a few turns, but then you look at the clock and it has been 4 hours. This game is one of the very best games in its genre on the market today. Be ready to spend hours and hours building your empire and conquering the world.