Creative Assembly’s much-revered technique classic Rome: Total War is getting a remaster, in event of the Total War video games reaching their 20th anniversary this year.

It’s a huge very first for the series, and is mainly being managed by London-based Feral Interactive, in cooperation with Creative Assembly itself. It’s pertaining to Windows, Mac and Linux on 29th April this year, with cross-platform multiplayer offered from the off – another series initially – and will consist of both the Alexander and Barbarian Invasion growths. It’ll likewise launch at £24.99 here in the UK, with a 50 percent discount rate to £12.49 if you currently own the initial. Here’s a take a look at the very first trailer:

Total War: Rome Remastered reveal trailer

Feral Interactive has lots of history with Total War, handling the mobile ports of the initial Rome along with dealing with the Mac and Linux variations of the lots of others in the series for a long time now. Rome: Total War is an appropriate classic for technique fans, naturally – Feral’s handling director, David Stephen, described the procedure as “a bit like recutting the crown gems”, which sounds rather nervewracking, however we spoke with Tom Massey and Edwin Smith, the group’s head of production and head of style respectively, to get a bit more information on what to get out of the remaster, and it sounds substantial.

The huge point they both worried was that this is quite a “remaster, not a remake” – the majority of the modifications or brand-new things are experiential, above all. A great deal of time has actually been invested ensuring that it “seems like a contemporary video game”, as Smith put it, “so you can leap directly from Three Kingdoms into Rome Remastered.”

The set provided lots of examples. Shortcuts and commands have actually been upgraded, as there were “specific restrictions” with the initial. The user experience in basic has actually been enhanced, so you can see and arrange correct lists of settlements by things like population development, suggesting less time invested “clicking around” discovering things, and there’s a brand-new “representative center and fast representative panel” so you do not need to go trying to find specific diplomats or spies that are offered. There are likewise modern-day tools coming however, like tactical maps in the 3D fights and heat maps in the project, and a massive 16 freshly playable factions on top of the initial 22.

There’s been a relatively comprehensive hand down balance, too, by the noises of things: gamers typically discovered there was “a bit excessive squalor” in the late video game, according to Smith, so that’s been modified to “enhance the reasoning” there and provide you much better tools for managing it. There’s a focus on filling the later video game with “less grind, more enjoyable”, and Massey pointed out the group has actually “attempted to do a whole rebalancing of the factions and systems”, too.

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Aside from that, Smith highlighted the efforts made to add “quite a huge amount of uplift on the visuals”. The remaster is based on the original engine, “with some modifications, and improvements”, as Massey put it, but with an “entirely rewritten renderer”. The result, basically, is “access to modern image processing techniques, visual effects – we now support Ultra HD resolutions, ultrawide screens, and pretty much every asset in the game has been reworked in one way or another. All the systems across all three games have been updated”.

Those units have now been “remodelled, retextured,” and likewise where the original only had a single soldier variant for each unit, Massey said, the remaster has now added the kind of variation you’d expect from the modern Total War games. One crucial part of that has been in a more accurate approach to soldier ethnicities, Smith noted, where the place you replenish units from will accurately reflect the ethnicity of those newly recruited soldiers in your armies.

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There have been some “unique challenges”, Massey said. “Everybody has a memory of what Rome was to them, and quite often the ‘best’ version of what Rome was to them.” There are some “quirks” in the original game, as he put it, “and for some people, they gave it flavour – and some people use it for the benefit of the way that they played the game, and other people they just simply remembered it with those quirks.”

Feral has added some toggles, for that reason, letting you turn the new features or updated elements on or off, including those unit and faction balance changes. There are “four or five” main ones: one for all the 3D battle improvements, for instance; one for all the campaign ones, and then others for standalone features – merchants have been added, for example, but this means you can toggle that whole system off if you fancy it.

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Finally, there’s proper mod support, which intentionally ties into the toggled improvements. Smith used an example of Feral’s fixes to “population issues with recruitment”: players could easily have a mod that uses all the other campaign improvements, but that specifically doesn’t use that tweak because they don’t want it.

Even with those toggles though, Feral seems to have attempted some real restraint in how much exactly gets changed. The remaster’s been in the works for a good two or three years, Smith told me, and so naturally the team was tempted to look at some more ambitious tweaks to things. One example is law and order, which Rome requires you to handle by keeping some units back in a garrison, while the newer Total Wars give you more automatic ways of handling things. As Smith put it: “there is a question of, if you include all those things in, is it still Rome? I believe we have actually simply attempted to be really, really mindful.”

In other words then: still a remaster, not a remake. Although there is another huge modification – it is now Total War: Rome Remastered, not Rome: Total War, which lines up the name with all the others in the series. Fellow fans of Steam library organisation, rejoice!