Total War: Rome 2 is out now; here's our Total War: Rome 2 review.
Just a hint of elephants; Creative Assembly sure know how to tease us. Even with 10 minutes of gameplay footage, showing off the invasion of Carthage by a large Roman force, formed of both land and sea units, we don't see the ancient world's tank-equivalent. We know they must be there, somewhere, chewing grass, waiting for their moment to strike, like a two tonne cruise missile with a payload of ivory death.
See if you can spot any.
Lifted from Gamespot, a chat with James Russell set to the video of Carthage being destroyed:
The emphasis is making the battleground seemed lived in, its certainly something we're seeing more of in strategy games as more powerful machines allow that visual detail - just check out Company of Heroes 2 for more of the same. It's more than decrepit models and dirty textures though. Check out the troops disembarking at the 3:30 mark. Rather than drop a ramp and have the men run off the boat, Creative Assembly have the soldiers jump over the side. It's a small difference but it lends the wee men a sense of physicality, makes them more a part of the world.
We can see something also of Creative Assembly's experiments with Camera. In Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai the team introduced a ground level camera, principally, for aiming artillery but it also gave us that view of the battlefield which is usually occluded in a strategy game, the view of your foot soldiers. That motion of camera is on show throughout the video, showing the men run up the beaches, not from the sky but over their shoulders.
Also, Carthage is vast. We've had city assaults in all the Total War games but they've usually been small collections of buildings with a number of repeating buildings. Carthage is made up of more than varied building models, it has different segments, a harbour, a municipal sector, a poor district: it's a richer city.
If that video's tickled your tastebuds, check out Dan's preview.