Total War: Rome II

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Total War: Rome II Game Poster Image
Compelling war strategy game combines brains with brawn.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

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.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMaaah November 1, 2013

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/Stra... Continue reading
Parent Written byJerry Rosh September 12, 2013

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 gam... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMovie Nerd September 30, 2013

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.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMavrah333 August 24, 2014

Good in itself, but compared with the original?

I bought the original Rome Total War in 2010 on amazon, including its expansion packs, for £9.00. Amazing deal. A great central game, along with a challenging s... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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