September 18, 2013
Total War: Rome 2 Review (Part 3)
We’re continuing the review of Total War: Rome 2 with Part 3 of this blog series, explaining public order and other mechanics of The Creative Assembly’s most ambitious project to date.
Public order deals with everything that you’ve come to expect with keeping Italian people happy. To keep the region happy, you must attend to your growth rate. This is essentially the speed at which your empire grows, economically speaking, but there’s a major drawback. That drawback lies with the other rates of managing the region, which include things like food surplus and cultural affinity. To increase your chances at success, you’ll need to spend some time allocating your motives to the needs of the people.
The public order bar is numbered from -100 to +100, an indication of your standing with the province. When the public order rate is in the green, the population is generally starting to see some economic success. When it’s red, they’re not happy. This is apparently based on the province’s ability to judge the predicted success of the settlement. Because of this mechanic, players are now able to march numerous agents and military factions to the farthest reaches of Europe without needing to worry too much about micro-managing your home settlements. This doesn’t mean that you can simply capture and then walk away. Oh no! You’ll need to check back in on a regular basis to make sure the economy hasn’t plunged because of a lack of food or public order. But because the UI allows you to see what you need to expand, getting your provinces to 100 isn’t tough at all. But alas, you’ll need to keep a continuous eye on them as you spread out.
The reason for this is because while the provinces can maintain themselves for 15-20 turns without you, an over populated city attracts thousands more, but also depletes the resources over time. Because of this mechanic, food is the most imperative resource to maintaining a good empire. Unfortunately the game is set up right now to naturally always run out of it sooner or later, which means you’ll feel the sting of public repression if you don’t continuously evolve the nation over time. Quite honestly, this is a bittersweet mechanic for me.
I understand why it’s there, but it really discourages me from even bothering with trying to conquer provinces when I’ll be struggling with them in 30 turns. In that 30 turns, I should try as best I can to catch the nation in a period of golden perplexity. After that 30 turns, however, you’ll start seeing some unhappy people. This doesn’t mean that the provinces will always naturally skew downward. In fact, if your pacing is great than you’ll hardly experience the above mentioned mechanic. Seeing that most people can’t comprehend the gameplay, you probably will.
You don’t always have to maintain the provinces. In fact, you are allowed to raze the town and kill everyone, occupy it, or make the province a client nation. The raze ability is just selfish. The occupy route will open up windows of opportunities for economic advancement. Finally, the subjugate option allows you to make the nation a client state, basically a servant nation to your empire. A high number of subjugate states means you’re a badass on the battlefield, but it doesn’t mean you’re that great of a tactician.
And still, there’s so much more to be discussed! More on this review in the next blog post.
Image Credit: Sega