Rome: Total War

aka: RTW
Moby ID: 15182
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

370 BC. A select group of influential families have united Italy under the Roman banner. It is time for them to turn their eyes outward. You will be leading one of these families of Rome (Julii, Scipii, Brutii) for more than three centuries in an attempt to conquer most of the known world. The Julii are in control of northern Italy and they are very close to the borders of Gaul lands and the remainder of Europe. The Scipii are in control of southern Italy and Sicily. They are facing the Carthaginian people, who are one of the prime powers in the Mediterranean. And the last family, the Brutii hold the eastern part of Italy. They have already set their eyes on Greece and Macedonia, the most advanced civilizations of the ancient era. No matter which you will be choosing, your faction's ambitions will ultimately lead you to open war against the Senate and the other Roman factions.

The game, true to the Total War series, lets you manage your empire and armies in turn-based mode. In the Imperial Campaign you command the movement of your armies and generals on a regional map comprised of Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East, managing cities, hiring spies and mercenaries and using diplomats where your military might can't reach. When the time comes to war, the game takes you to a 3D real-time environment where you control your army directly on the field of battle and you can employ different formations and tactics using the units' individual advantages (killing from a distance with archers, chasing routing enemies or flanking with cavalry etc.). Both modes of play let you make strategical decisions that affect your entire game. Each civilization you conquer will be added as a new playable faction. After finishing the game you will be able to choose from all the playable factions. The game has some pre-arranged historical battles for those who want a quick fight. These are the same 3D real-time battles but with pre-determined forces.

During the Imperial Campaign it's important to increase the number of your family members. They can act as praetors, which means that, depending on your choice, they can either lead armies in battle or function as a governor of a city or town. In both cases they may offer certain bonuses or penalties based on the traits they possess and the retinue they hold. Characters earn new traits and retinue members depending on what actions they perform. For example, a general who has run from the enemy once, may find out that he is lowering the morale of all nearby units under his next command. Another element that is imperative to winning the game is conquering settlements, not only because the victory conditions state how many you must have, but also because they generate income through trading and taxes. All settlements are capitals of a province--they usually start as a village and can be developed up to a huge city, unless they are already populous by the time you discover it. An entire collection of edifices can be built, such as temples, public baths, defensive walls, barracks, archery range, and so on. Every one of them has a purpose, be that increasing the public health and order or allowing the recruiting of a specific military unit. If the public order is beyond tolerable, the population becomes discontented and will eventually riot, which in the worst case scenario may lead to losing the entire province to rebel forces or a powerful neighbour state.

Spellings

  • 罗马:全面战争 - Simplified Chinese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Videos

See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (Windows version)

220 People (213 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 42 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 67 ratings with 2 reviews)

Rome: Total Uber-age

The Good
I've always loved the Roman Empire. I read Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". It was always just so interesting, so when I heard of RTW, I was excited and, as I will show here, rightly so.

First of all, the graphics are simply incredible. You can literally have THOUSANDS of men in a single battle, all perfectly animated with realistic animations and excellent textures.

The single player mission is extremely large and has tons of replay value. You will begin with a gigantic map that goes from North Africa, Easter and Western Europe, the British Isles, and the Middle East. The entire map is divided up into provinces just like the classic game "Risk".

Each province generates income etc. and allows you to build a slew of armies, fortifications and improvements which enhance your income. When you build armies, they can be moved and combined on the world map, just like Risk. You move them from area to area etc. until the inevitable happens, a BATTLE!

The battles are incredible and can be divided into two categories, sieges and field battles. The sieges are very fun and allow you to use up to four siege weapons in fairly realistic ways. Like on real-life, you need significantly more powerful forces to take a besieged city by storm.

The field battles are also excellent. Throughout all the battles, advanced battle tactics such as flanks, charges, and fighting on a hill apply, which add much more depth and strategy to the game beyond that of most other RTS's.

The single player game is mostly a gigantic campaign in which you basically attempt to take over the world. As you play, you can unlock other factions like the Greeks, Egyptians etc. This adds much replay value.

The various factions are also very unique, with a variety of strengths and weaknesses along with different looks for basically the same type of unit.

Playing as the Romans, you will be given various missions from the senate. Accomplishing these missions will either grant you rewards or keep the senate from penalizing you.

The Bad
Unfortunately, even though the diplomacy is much enhanced from previous "Total War" games, it still isn't much. The diplomacy, except for war\peace isn't particularly vital and is mostly for show.

The requirements to run the game are also extremely steep, which is somewhat disappointing, but not surprising given the quality of the graphics.

The Bottom Line
Buy this game. Period.

Windows · by James Kirk (150) · 2005

The future of 3D Mass Combat IS NOW!

The Good
Bwahahaha! Actually this one word explains how I feel about the game. But they don't accept one line reviews about the game, so here goes!

First thing I'd like to clear out is that I will separate this review into 2 different sections:
[1] Rome: Total War, original game.
[2] Rome: Total War, after Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion Expansion.

The later updates the original Rome: Total War in many gameplay aspects of the game, so it cannot be entered as the same review.

[1] Rome: Total War - Original Game
I'm a big fan of the Total War series. I was first astounded by the series ever since I played Shogun: Total War (those Medieval: Total War sucked big time). But the passion I got when playing those 2 earlier games IS NOTHING compared to the excitement I got while witnessing the programming genius of THIS game. I once said to a friend of mine who also loved the series but hasn't played Rome: Total War: "The two previous games combined doesn't even come close to Rome: Total War". Is it that good? Yep. It really is.

So what's so great about it? Here we go...

  • Opening Cutscenes I really remember the first time I watched it. My mouth was opened the whole time. I was expecting an upgrade in graphics and the mass total war combat engine, but I wasn't expecting THIS MUCH of an upgrade! The opening cutscene was a success to arouse my curiosity about the game. And after playing it, I wasn't disappointed.
  • Installation Process and Game Loading I think this is the only game where someone actually comments in a good way about the installation process. Actually what I'm commenting is the artistic graphics when you wait for the game to install. The black shadows of warriors surrounded by a blood red background really prepares the mood for war! Each time the game loads, there are a lot of different quotes from various sources regarding wars. Now there's a little educational value for you!
  • Music Egad. Never in my life have I experienced a game that really describes Battle Music in the exact precision! The game presents Roman Latin Opera style music. When you play the real-time 3D combat, the music you experience is something like what you felt like when you watched the battles in Lord of the Rings: Two Towers!
  • Political Map Upgrade The political map was upgraded in such away that masterpiece is the only word that came into mind when I first saw it. Detailed geographical terrains and borders. Mostly I eye candy really, but I ain't complaining much!
  • Welcome to Mass 3D Combat - The Future IS NOW! Roman legion formations, special abilities, detailed unit graphics, upgraded graphics and sounds. This is something you need to experience!
  • Sound and Voice-overs Now this is the part when you know the developers did a helluva job in! Each time you start battle, your commander starts a speech (does not effect gameplay, purely entertainment only) in accordance to his capabilities. A veteran commander does really great speeches, while an idiotic commander does some really funny speeches. Each unit you click on replies to your command in a "grunt Roman" kind of way. The sound of your troops in itself shows that these blokes are mean bad-asses! Here's an example: Clicking on your Commander Cavalry unit to attack an enemy. Commander says in a rough voice: "Unleash Hell!". Really, this game has the best gaming quotes in war, ever! [2] Rome: Total War, after Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion Expansion Barbarian Invasion acts like a "patch" to the previous Rome: Total War. It updates a helluva lot of things in the gameplay that is bloody crucial to Rome: Total War. Most of it anyways is a good thing. Though I must admit, this part sounds more like a patch thing...
  • Better Aggressive Enemies Barbarian Invasion did a total upgrade in the enemy AI (Artificial Intelligence). Before, most enemies were passive, excluding the Romans (Julii, Brutii, Scipii). Now, all nations are aggressive as hell and they attack like hell.
  • Sieging Enemies Can Actually Siege! Some stupid bug in the original Rome: Total War prevents enemies from actually attacking you if your city has walls, since they don't build siege weapons. Now they attack with a vengeance!
  • Better AI in Combat Tactics The enemy usually have mediocre defensive tactics, where they can easily be lured into traps. Now the enemy acts and reacts to your formations. They also pay attention to your Guard Towers to avoid archer attacks from those towers (though some Barbarian nations still aren't smart enough to notice this...)

    **The Bad**
    Now for the bad: [1] Rome: Total War - Original Game
  • Enemy Aggressiveness Enemy nations (mentioned earlier) are not aggressive (referring to non-Romans). They usually take a defensive stance (if not, no stance at all). Romans usually do all the massive attacking, though non-Romans do attack, the frequency is not as much as the Romans.
  • Diplomacy Stinks Another strategy game that has a diplomacy screen that doesn't do much. The only thing you can do is request Trade Routes, Alliance and Sue for Peace. Requesting Military Access is impossible, requesting help from other nations is almost impossible, offering to attack other nations for a sum of money for some reason hampers your relationship with that country (the one you asked for money), relations with other nations is impossible to find out (good/bad relations).
  • Each turn=6 months Is is a very irritating feature, especially since your generals die one your very quickly in this feature. Let's face it, Alexander the Great became emperor before he was 20 (I think). If we used this 6 month thing, he would be emperor in his 60's.
  • Retinues cannot be removed Retinues (servants of generals) have different abilities. The thing is, the maximum is 8 and you can't get rid of the ones you don't like. The only way to get rid of these lesser retinues are by moving them to an old general and wait for that general to die.
  • Irritating General Skills I don't know about you, but I really hate it when my general develops a bad skill (ie. a moron, drunk, womanizer, etc.). Eventually I hacked and edited the script to change the character script to my liking, but I wish there was a way in the game to have the computer remove those traits (like an Oracle or something for the price of money).
  • Sieging Enemies do not attack Well they can't siege your city, but they never attack. They just wait there until you attack or surrender.
  • Not enough information on neighbouring politics Especially when you end each turn. Personally I'd like to know if an enemy nation is sieging or attacking another city or army close to my line of sight. Since you usually accelerate the "end turn" by pressing Space Bar, since the units move to slow, you end up missing any military action going on.
  • No strategy in Naval Combat It's just about more ships. The more ships, you win. No strategy whatsoever involved.
  • Siege weapons cannot live city in when defending Either that gate is too small, or they forgot that siege weapons should actually be able to leave a city in the first place.
  • Grouping Nightmare Commands They f*ucked up big time when it comes to unit grouping. Attacking using a group doesn't send them to the intended unit you want them to attack, but they attack the closest unit to them. This is a nightmare when your using cavalry and those phalax spear units have their spears aimed at you. Grouping only works well for moving, but doesn't work very well when attacking.
  • Archers don't know when to stop shooting Hello, please notice that my cavalry are currently squashing that enemy unit. Will you please stop firing those arrows at my behind? I've had more than one instance where I've had more causalities due to friendly fire than the enemy. The archers also don't following the "stop firing" command very well. They have to fire a final volley before they stop. What are they, trigger happy? The only way to prevent this is by ordering them to move, which they stop firing immediately. But sometimes it f*ucks up the formation.
  • Chaos on the walls Moving units on the walls is a total nightmare. Sometimes they move where you want them, often they go round-and-round not sure where they're going. [2] Rome: Total War, after Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion Expansion
  • Not much of a patch... The only bug they fixed in the original was regarding the enemy ability to siege and attack. They didn't fix anything else. Doh.
  • Corrupt saved games Ever since I installed Barbarian Invasion, the game often crashes when loading after a battle. And you can't load that game directly from the main screen.

    **The Bottom Line**
    Great strategy game, though with a lot of flaws that may require your personal tinkering to suit your liking.
  • Windows · by Indra was here (20768) · 2006

    Discussion

    Subject By Date
    Merge game groups SharkD (425) Jan 22, 2009

    Trivia

    1001 Video Games

    Rome: Total War appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

    Combat

    If you ever wondered whether manual combat brings better results than automatic combat (e.g. better character trait results), then the answer is yes. This is because the game programming requirements at an end battle are usually much better during manual combat than automatic combat. Automatic battles usually inflict minimal enemy casualties which usually is not enough for a character requirement to progress.

    References

    When you look in the building description for aqueduct, there's a quote "what have the Romans ever done for us? This is what!" This is a line from the Monty Python comedy movie Life of Brian.

    Sales

    In December 2004 has Rome: Total War won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

    TV

    The Total War engine was used in The History Channels TV program called Decisive Battles to depict ancient battles and on the BBC television program Time Commanders, where contestants reenact historical battles and must work together to find the best battlefield tactics to win.

    Awards

    • 4Players
      • 2004 – Best PC Strategy Game of the Year
    • Computer Games Magazine
      • March 2005 - #5 Game of the Year
    • GameSpy
      • 2004 – #5 PC Game of the Year
      • 2004 – PC Strategy Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • GameStar (Germany)
      • February 2005 - Best PC Strategy Game in 2004 (Readers' Vote)

    Information also contributed by Indra was here, Maw, PCGamer77, uclafalcon and Xoleras

    Analytics

    MobyPro Early Access

    Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

    Related Games

    Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion
    Released 2005 on Windows, 2017 on iPad, 2019 on Android
    Medieval: Total War
    Released 2002 on Windows
    Shogun: Total War
    Released 2000 on Windows
    Against Rome
    Released 2003 on Windows
    Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion
    Released 2003 on Windows
    Shadow of Rome
    Released 2005 on PlayStation 2
    Rome: Total War - Alexander
    Released 2006 on Windows, 2014 on Macintosh, iPad
    Total War: Rome II
    Released 2013 on Windows, 2014 on Macintosh
    Rome: Total War - Anthology
    Released 2007 on Windows

    Related Sites +

    • Europa Barbarorum
      Home of the "Europa Barbarorum" total conversion mod.
    • Hegemonia: City States
      Home of the "Hegemonia: City States" total conversion mod (Hellenic wars topic).
    • Rise of Persia
      Home of a "Rome: Total War" mod covering the rise to power of the Achaemenid Persian Dynasty in ancient Iran.
    • TOTALWAR.COM
      Official website for the Total War games

    Identifiers +

    • MobyGames ID: 15182
    • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

    Contribute

    Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

    Contributors to this Entry

    Game added by reeZe Risowisch.

    iPad added by Sciere. Android added by Kabushi.

    Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Unicorn Lynx, Sciere, Stillman, Silverblade, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

    Game added October 14, 2004. Last modified January 20, 2024.