Gamers everywhere will soon find out what the phrase “When in Rome” really means as they take control of the “world’s first super power” and expand their influence through smarts or brute force in Total War: Rome II, set to release on Sept. 3. For those planning on diving into the carnage, the developers at Creative Assembly are promising plenty of post-launch content in both the free and for-pay variety.
Rome II continues the Total War series’ epic tale of world domination with a large focus on, you guessed it, the Roman Empire. Players will join the budding nation as it prepares to take over the globe, given the ability to expand your influence via military might, economic strength, political prowess or any combination of the three.
Any good leader knows that force is not always the correct answer. Sometimes diplomacy is the best means to an end, often granting power, favor and wealth without needing to shed one drop of blood. But not everyone can be reasoned with, however, and a nation that’s weak in military can often be seen as an easy target for those who would take your kingdom. Finding a balance between the game’s multiple facets of play is all part of the fun in Rome II and, according to Creative Assembly, the game itself is only the beginning.
“Rome II will be the biggest game we’ve ever released, in terms of scope, gameplay features and sheer weight of content,” said Lead Designer James Russell. “But even then we’re just scratching the surface of the Roman period, an era so rich in diversity that it’s easy to foresee releasing relevant content for years after Rome II has shipped.”
And that’s exactly what the team plans to do, too. Those who pre-order the game from certain retailers, like Steam, will have day-one access to the first bit of for-pay DLC in the Greek States Culture Pack. All others will have to pay a small fee to add in the content. Everyone, though, will get the Pontus faction for free on release day and, by October, the for-pay Nomadic Tribes Culture Pack (featuring the Royal Scythians, Roxolani and Massagetae) and the free Seleucid Empire DLC will also be available.
And that, as it turns out, is the plan for the foreseeable future. Alongside paid-for DLC, Creative Assembly plans to continue to provide free content and feature updates, including AI and balancing fixes, as well as compatibility and optimization tweaks.
“In addition to free content, gamers can expect to see Culture Packs that add more playable factions and unique units, Feature Packs that add gameplay or wide-ranging aesthetic changes, and Campaign Packs that add entirely new story-based campaign expansions,” added Russell.
And, just like with the studio’s Shogun 2, the team hopes to keep the community mod support flowing through services like Steam.
Look for Total War: Rome II to hit PC on Sept. 3. And if you got some extra cash lying around, don’t forget about that uuber-pricey special edition.