Of course, you could opt to not rejoice if you were hoping for The Creative Assembly to return to a less ancient time period for its next Total War title. That said, they were well-served in going back to the series' roots with Shogun 2 (I would know!), so you can hardly blame 'em for revisiting my second-favorite Total War setting in Rome II.
The studio promises that they'll be applying the lessons they've learned from refining Shogun 2 and its Fall of the Samurai expansion and applying them on a much grander scale with Rome II. The game's signature real-time battles will now allow for simultaneous land- and sea-based combat, including amphibious invasions. Even more territories will be in play than were present the original Rome, and players won't be restricted to playing Roman factions at the start. New systems will also be in place to help players manage huge swathes of territory and head off the "province-creep" that tends to affect late-game play.
Further, the game will include deeper narrative opportunities and the ability to make consequential choices beyond the usual military-industrial dynamic, adding more "human drama" (their words) to the experience of ruling Rome (or Rome's enemies).
Check out some screenshots and concept art in the gallery. Sadly unpictured are battle elephants, though the game will have those too. I demand pictures of battle elephants!
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11:15 AM on 09.04.2014