There’s a point about 5 hours, 28 minutes and 40 seconds into Gamespot’s Tuesday E3 stream where, if you listen very, very carefully, you can hear the clackity clack of thousands of screencaps going off all at once.
It’s there, you see, that Rome 2’s humongous campaign map crossed public eyes for the first time. Would you like to see it?
Rome 2’s colossal map takes us from Scotland all the way down to North Africa, and everywhere inbetween. It’s filled by Provinces, just as its predecessors were - you can see their borders clearly demarcated above. What you can’t see is the new bit - the smaller Regions that make up Provinces, all of which need to be captured individually before you can claim the larger territory.
The consequence of this? A smaller proportion of siege battles, for one thing.
“Back in the days of Shogun 2, every region on the map had a castle in it or a settlement of some kind, so every region conquering ended up being a siege battle,” explained the Creative Assembly’s Al Bickham in a studio update. “And we wanted to bring more tactical variety, more battle types into Rome 2 and not just rely on siege battles, like a series of headshots.”
Once you’ve taken a province, you’ll enjoy a choice of area-specific buffs. For example, a low population province can benefit from a boost to happiness if you issue a decree to increase the number of festivals.
“It’s about local management benefitting your greater empire, just like any Total War game to some extent,” said Bickham. “You’ve got to manage each region individually and deal with its specific problems. You’ve just got more ways in your armoury to deal with that then you ever have before.”
Which all sounds great. But, flipping heck: it’s really, really large, isn’t it?