Following a claim that Creative Assembly, the devs behind Total War: Rome 2, increased the percentage of female generals in the game, the game’s Steam page is being bombed with negative reviews.
Total War: Rome 2 released 5 years ago, in September of 2013 and has for the most part enjoyed a “mostly positive” overall rating on Steam. However, the recent reviews currently sits on a red “overwhelmingly negative” rating, with almost a thousand of the recent reviews being negative.
So what could be the reason for the negative review bombing? As it turns out, it’s a claim that the recent Ancestral update increased the chances of generals in the game being female. However, the thing with female generals has been questioned since the beginning of the year. But a screenshot on Steam which showed five out eight “Available Generals” being women sparked the debate yet again. The reasoning of course being historical accuracy, since the existence of female generals in that time period would not be historically accurate. This also prompted the creation of a “Patriarchy mod” which reduced the percentage of female generals or politicians spawning in the game, on the Steam workshop.
The thread that spawned thanks to the above was eventually locked, after a Creative Assembly dev called it a mess. The dev also added, “As has been said previously: Total War games are historically authentic, not historically accurate,” they wrote. “If having female units upsets you that much you can either mod them out or just not play.”
The most ironic part about all this is that female general spawn rates apparently have not been increased at all. The patch notes do not mention any such upscaling. A video by RepublicofPlay on YouTube says that there’s only a 10 to 15 percent chance of a general being female, except when you’re playing the Kush faction, in which case it’s 50 percent.
He goes on the explain that the likelihood of getting five out eight generals as females is 0.04 percent. Considering that the game has thousands of active players it’s not unlikely that someone came across such a situation.
However, another thing that irked the playbase was the way the Creative Assembly mod handled the situation. You don’t tell a player base that has stuck around for five years that if they don’t like something, they should stop playing. This was incredibly rude to a lot of the fanbase of the game, some of whom didn’t really care about the female general issue, but were simply irked by the way the response was handled.
TL;DR – Nothing in the game actually changed, players got mad, a Creative Assembly mod told them to either mod the game or stop playing if they didn’t like it, players got even madder. And so the game now has a recent review rating of “overwhelmingly negative”. Yep, that about sums it up.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.