I pre-ordered ‘Total War: Rome 2’, partly for the discount, and partly because I want to play it the damn second it comes out.
Sadly, I’m working a full day today, so I have to get home before I can play it (plus I’m right in the middle of an Empire Total War campaign as united Provinces… Those Indians are going to get damn well settled by some Dutch).
So, naturally, I’ve spent all day reading reviews and discussions on the subreddit /r/totalwar, and other forums.
A lot of articles and reviews have been published that give the game a less than stellar review because the game is “too complex” or “too complicated”.
Imagine what happens if Creative Assembly listen to these people? This is a Total War game, this isn’t meant to be accessible to a small child.
I want to feel challenged! I want to be confused and frightened at first, then slowly become powerful as my knowledge of the game grows, until I eventually reach the zenith of my power and the might of the great Romans comes crashing down upon all the known world!
I don’t want my damn hand held.
As an example, look at Civilization games. As they’ve been released they’ve become steadily more and more accessible – perhaps even easier. This has been seen to be an attempt to market the game towards slightly younger gamers, as too much difficulty will push younger people away.
This would be a terrible fate for any game series, as to rob the complexity of a game simply to make it more accessible to younger people is simply destroying the game itself.
A very important point on the Civilization series however is the fact that Civilization’s “dumbing down” was done pretty intelligently – the complexity of the game was somewhat reduced since the earliest iterations of the game, but in later editions what’s mostly happened is the in-game information and the encyclopaedia has been expanded and made more understandable.
For this to happen to a Total War game would be quite sad, however. There’s no real limit to when it can stop; does CA reduce the effectiveness or moral? Remove naval combat because it’s usually quite fiddly? Hell, let’s just make it so the game holds your hand the whole way!
I’m not saying that CA will certainly make the game suitable for a child and rob all the joy of a Total War game by its next iteration. Instead, consider this post more of a morose and alcoholic gamer’s grumbling diary entry – not too dissimilar from the raving of a man wearing tin foil for a hat, writing about his hatred for his government.
It’s not a warning, either. It’s a silent plea, with the hope that the underlying message of the post joins the collective voices of the Total War gaming community, in begging the company to please not make the game too easy…