Total War: Rome II

Common Sense Media says

Compelling war strategy game combines brains with brawn.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the game is very much about conquest, there are some positive messages about diplomacy, technology, and consequences for actions. The gamer must also make decisions about how they should rule a country -- through dictatorship or democracy, for example -- as well as messages about neighborly friendship versus one's thirst for power.

Positive role models

You don't play as any one character in this game, but rather, you take control over one of nine different factions. You must choose how to go about missions, including political, economical, and military campaigns.

Ease of play

While this isn't exactly an easy game, there is a comprehensive tutorial to teach you the mechanics of the game.

Violence

While played from a top-down perspective -- a commander view of the battlefield as opposed to one soldier's view, if you will -- there is a lot of violence in the game. While there isn't blood, some of the scenes show sword and spear fights, impalement, and explosions. You can hear screams of pain and battle cries before attacking. You can zoom in for a closer look at the combat.

Sex

There are some sexually suggestive lines in the dialogue, including jokes about fornicating with sheep, clothes "that would look better on my bedroom floor," and a sexually suggestive joke: "Is that a bread roll in your toga or are you just pleased to see me?"

Language

The word "s--t" and "damn" can be heard.

Consumerism

There is optional downloadable content (DLC) that can be purchased, which provides additional factions to the game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are a couple of references to drinking alcohol.

Privacy & safety

Minor privacy & safety concerns. There is support for multiplayer modes but no voice chat option.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Total War: Rome II is a strategy game about war. It features realistic combat on huge battlefields. While there isn't blood, you can see soldiers hack and slash each other and other potentially disturbing images (impalement, explosions, etc.). It's possible to zoom in for a closer look but by default the view is from up above. The game also contains some dialogue with sexually suggestive phrases, references to alcohol consumption, and some profanity.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Math

  • probability

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • government
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • strategy
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • motivation
  • time management
  • goal-setting

Emotional Development

  • developing resilience
  • handling stress
  • moving beyond obstacles

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others
  • integrity
  • learning from consequences

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This military combat game keeps kids involved in all sorts of strategy as they also learn about history, geography, power struggles, cultures, politics, diplomacy, and economics.

Learning Approach

This deep strategy game offers plenty of baked-in features that encourage learning -- including time management, history and geography, politcal decisions, military tactics after analyzing geography, and more. 

Support

A handy tutorial teaches most of the core skills required to play this game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Math

  • probability

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • government
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • strategy
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • motivation
  • time management
  • goal-setting

Emotional Development

  • developing resilience
  • handling stress
  • moving beyond obstacles

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others
  • integrity
  • learning from consequences

Kids can learn about military strategy by becoming the commander of an army. They will master battlefield tactics, as well as explore learning with other in the cooperative or competitive multiplayer matches. Playing Total War: Rome II offers plenty of baked-in features that encourage learning about time management, history and geography, political decisions, military tactics after analyzing geography, and more.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Similar to its award-winning predecessor, TOTAL WAR: ROME II is a real-time strategy game that lets you take control over one of nine unique, ancient factions: Rome, Carthage, Ptolemaic Egypt, Macedon, Pontus, Parthia, The Suebi, The Averni, and The Iceni. While there are some economic and political decisions to make, in order to advance your civilization, much of the gameplay involves military might. Using the computer mouse, you’ll select and move troops on a huge map, to support a number of offensive or defensive maneuvers. The main campaign begins in 272 BC, a time when the Republic of Rome dominates the Italian peninsula and is eager to expand. Along with a number of historical missions and an open “sandbox” turn-based campaign, the game also houses additional two-player cooperative and competitive modes.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 
Yes. Computer gamers who prefer some brains with their brawn will no doubt enjoy clicking through Total War: Rome II. The thoughtfully conceived and meticulously executed PC game offers deep and challenging tactical gameplay; multiple factions and modes to choose from; and unique weapons, battlefields, and tech trees. In other words, there’s a lot of meat here. A smart tutorial campaign will familiarize you with the controls, interface, and strategies needed to tackle the varied solo and multiplayer campaigns. Despite a few technical bugs -– many of which have been addressed in a recent software upgrade -- and a camera that doesn't quite zoom out enough for larger battlefields, developer Creative Assembly has created an ambitious and engrossing historical strategy simulation worth sinking your mouse into.

Families can talk about...

  • Can gamers learn about history, geography, and diplomacy with a strategy game like this? There is an educational component to the game, not to mention actions and consequences. 

  • Since this is a game about war, how do you feel about showing some violence in a game if it's rooted in history, and if there are repercussions for military attacks?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sega of America
Release date:September 3, 2013
Genre:Strategy
Topics:Friendship, History
ESRB rating:T for Alcohol Reference, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence (Windows)

This review of Total War: Rome II was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byJerry Rosh September 12, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great game for 13 and up

This game is a very good game, my son plays it and I even play it sometimes. I think common sense media exaggerated a bit with their review and I give this game 13 and up

What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byMovie Nerd September 30, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

WoW!!

The only game which i played longer than Age of Empires 3. Helps me to use my brain a lot in each and every step/decision I make.

What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byMaaah November 1, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

It IS the BEST;)

This is THE BEST historical strategy game.
If it wasn't for the difficulty of playing the game, it would have been fine for anyone who loves there RPG/Strategy/RTS games ;)

What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns

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