Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.
Around this time last year, Total War: Rome II stumbled out of the gate seemingly with its pants down. Despite our rather positive review, we felt that the game wasn’t completed to the level we expected it to be: it was buggy, the AI was lackluster, and some advertised features were stripped from the game right before launch (I’m looking at you, defense deployment and political system). However, Creative Assembly has blessed us yet again with the game that should have been: Total War: Rome II – Emperor Edition.
To start out, not too much has changed between Rome II and Emperor Edition aside from the inclusion of a brand new Imperator Augustus campaign that puts you in the middle of the Second Triumvirate with Rome split into four factions vying for control. With the same scale of the original grand campaign, Imperator Augustus is bound to keep you on your toes with further threats of splintering (if you’re Roman) and opportunistic wars (for everyone else).
Play as either Marc Antony, Lepidus, Octavian, or Pompey and bring peace to Rome. Or, if you’d like something a little less Latin, the Iceni, Marcomanni, Dacia, Egypt, Parthia, and Armenia are also available for you to enjoy (the last of which is now also available in the grand campaign, alongside Syracuse). With the political system now overhauled, civil war has become a significant factor in large empires–especially if you haven’t been watching the generals of other houses closely. The more stable your faction’s political situation, the better economic and military bonuses you receive. Finally, political intrigue is viable option, both within and without your fledgling country.
In addition to these gameplay fixes, balances, and the new campaign, the game features entirely new faction colors… for some strange reason. Personally, I loved the black and gold of Pontus’ soldiers, but I suppose I can handle muted shades of blue and teal. Twitch.TV has also received better integration and Mac users can now enjoy conquering the Classical world, just like their PC brethren.
If you already have Rome II, Creative Assembly was nice enough to include Emperor Edition as a free update. However, if you hadn’t bought the game yet, you can snatch it off Steam for $59.95 USD.
Overall, Emperor Edition has reinvigorated my love for Rome II, however much like Empire and Napoleon before it, it stands as a testament to how Creative Assembly should slow down and plug all the holes in their games before launching. I certainly hope they treat the upcoming Attila with the respect it deserves.