Total War: ROME REMASTERED from game developer / porter Feral Interactive and Creative Assembly with SEGA as publisher is now officially out with Linux support. Note: key provided by Feral Interactive.
Bringing us another quality natively supported game originally known as Rome: Total War, Feral really pulled out all the stops on this one. Some remasters simply give a refreshed look but this is a truly huge revamp of all parts of the game allowing people to relive a favourite and for Linux users - to play through it perhaps for the first time.
The file size got a bit big for their liking though, so you will notice that a free DLC is available right away with the Enhanced Graphics Pack. Not surprising though, because together the installed size comes right up close to 70GB - so if you want the true full experience be sure to have some space ready.
On the subject of drives, you're going to want to put it onto a speedier driver too. On a standard HDD, the campaign loading took a good 3+ minutes. Even once loaded-in on the campaign map a normal HDD it had periods of freeze-loading while sat waiting for it to load while zooming and scrolling. Keeping an SSD or better for this is going to be an absolute must if you want a good experience.
As usual for Feral Interactive games, it includes their fancy launcher. Incredibly stylish too, since it's always nicely branded to each game. It's not just for show though or "yet another launcher", it allows you to tweak some settings before entering and pick between different game packs for Total War: ROME REMASTERED.
Highlights of what's new:
- Improved Visuals: Total War: ROME REMASTERED ushers the classic strategy title into the modern gaming era with full 4K visuals, native support for ultra-high-definition resolution and overhauled environment, battlefield, and character models.
- New Gameplay Content: Wage war across new fronts with 16 previously unplayable factions to play on top of the original 22, and send the new Merchant agents on missions to establish lucrative trade networks across the map, buy out rival Merchants, and assert your empire’s economic power.
- Modern Features: Players can exercise more control than ever with new features such as a tactical map during battles, plus heat maps and icon overlays in campaign mode. Existing mechanics have also been improved, including an overhauled diplomacy system, wider camera zoom levels throughout the game, and camera rotation on the campaign map.
- Improved Help Systems: A swathe of improved support has been added, including a redesigned tutorial, a new in-game Wiki, expansive advice and tooltips, and improved accessibility for colour blind players.
- Cross-platform Multiplayer: Players can enjoy cross-platform multiplayer between Windows, macOS and Linux, a first for the Total War franchise.
- Complete Content: Total War: ROME REMASTERED includes the Barbarian Invasion and Alexander expansions in glorious new detail, and players will also gain access to the original ROME: Total War Collection (Windows only).
Personally, usually I find it quite difficult to get into Total War titles, they're just not my favourite cup but Total War: ROME REMASTERED is surprisingly easy to understand. There's a reasonable tutorial which allows you to play while learning the ropes, plus your advisor will give you some actually useful tips as you're playing through the first time. Thanks to the intuitive interface and the various enhancements made to the experience it's been quite a joy to be able to play through.
While it is a remaster, the specifications needed are still reasonable in keeping with the original. Running it through on my NVIDIA 1080 with all graphics maxed-out, it's not really a big surprise to see incredibly smooth performance. Feral have nicely tamed the Vulkan API so it purrs along quite happily once you're loaded in. The campaign map has been giving a fantastic 150+ FPS almost at all times, except when switching around between screens and jumping back and forth between the Map Overlay which gives a split-second drop which isn't noticeable unless you have an FPS overlay up. So when it comes to scrolling around the map, absolutely no issues there.
How about the battles though? They're just as smooth on max details, usually hovering somewhere around 100FPS. There's no benchmark mode though as far as I can see to show it off.
Performance is great then, how is the stability of the Linux version? Well, it is without a doubt one of the smoothest Linux launches I've seen. Absolutely no crashing, no freezing or any other problems. It's click, play and enjoy. It's been a lot of fun sending agents across the map, to infiltrate various towns to spread my influence, only later to come knocking with a battering ram and an army.
A slow game, with each turn taking a while and longer as the game goes on while you wait for all factions to do their thing. Unit movement on the campaign map is also slow but thankfully you can speed that up with a click. You can just tell it's an older game, through all the work Feral put into it there's no getting around the clunky feel of it. Even so, there's definite comfort in it. Total War: ROME REMASTERED does a lot of things right in the gameplay, which some more modern games can end up lacking. Although Total War: ROME REMASTERED is also simplistic in some ways, the effort that was put in with the new UI improvements to help managing your empire seems good.
If you did play the original, you're in for an upgraded nostalgic treat. For everyone else, it makes it super easy to get into. Overall, it's absolutely fantastic. To see Feral Interactive continue to support Linux with some great ports is wonderful. They've done another brilliant job, not that we expected any less from them. It's an easy recommendation to pick up if you love strategy games and previously missed out it due to the original lacking Linux support. It just became one of the best strategy games available on Linux.
Hopefully we can see some more of the older titles get a fresh life like this, as it would certainly be welcome.
Creative Assembly and SEGA would do well to continue with Feral Interactive.
Linux System Requirements
|OS: Ubuntu 20.04 64-bit||OS: Ubuntu 20.04 64-bit|
|Processor: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz | AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz||Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz | AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6GHz|
|Memory: 6 GB RAM||Memory: 8 GB RAM|
|Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB | AMD R9 285 2GB (GCN 3rd Gen)||Graphics: NVIDIA 970 4GB | AMD RX 480 4GB|
It also requires ~70GB free space total with the Enhanced Graphics but around 45GB for just the base game, and Vulkan support in your GPU is a must. On the driver side you need:
- NVIDIA driver version 460.32.06 (latest tested)
- AMD require Mesa 20.3.4 (latest tested)