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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2011
Read any review from a credible source and you'll see great scores.
Medieval II is a fantastic game. I believe that the "Risk" portion of
the game is actually more fun than the giant battles. Enjoy a wonderful game!

PS. This game works on windows 7 64bit.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2011
As a long-time TW:Rome fan, I was a little slow to get around to purchasing this. Medieval II closely resembles Rome, but offers several improvements in game play. The improvement in graphics is subtle, but nonetheless noticeable. My favorite feature is that you can queue up unit and building purchases even if you lack funds in your current turn. This reduces the time spent on micromanaging your cities. The strategy element is also more nuanced - with priests, merchants, princesses, the pope, crusades, and of course spies and diplomats. Dealing with the Pope is especially enjoyable (or sometimes dangerous). I also enjoy using early gunpowder - it adds a new element, particularly to siege warfare, yet without being totally dominant.

The game has been very stable. The only drawback, in my opinion, is that it lacks the variety of cultures and units that Rome had. This homogeneity of cultures is not a problem as such (it is more historically accurate that different Medieval civilizations utilized the same tactics, especially a heavier emphasis on cavalry). Nonetheless, it gets to be kind of the same thing a little quicker, because you're using essentially the same kinds of units and tactics against everyone you conquer, especially in the West. It just doesn't have the vast differences that Rome had between the Gauls, the Greeks, the Romans, the Parthians, Carthaginians, the Thracians, the Egyptians, etc..., who each had very unique armies. This is somewhat ameliorated in the Americas campaign, which features the unique Aztecs and the Mayans, but fighting against them seems like cheating. They suffer from the plague, they have no cavalry, no siege equipment to speak of, no navy or ports to blockade, and generally just have to rely upon numbers against the Spanish. So yet again, its historically accurate, but not necessarily the best game play. The battles of Medieval II also seem to take a bit longer, perhaps because the heavier armor provides more protection than most units in Rome.

These are all minor quibbles though. The game is very enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2011
If you enjoy turn based strategy games this is an excellent game. Great survey of medieval history, cultures, commerce, religion, diplomacy, war and nation building. I've owned disc based versions of this game and got tired of repairing the scratches. When I have a weekend to kill or need a good strategy fix I love to pull this up and try to keep Spain from getting wiped off the map by the Moors and France. It, like the Civ series, can steal time from you though so beware. I set a kitchen timer to keep me from dying of starvation or forgetting to sleep. The game is great and I'd give it 5 stars if it had a timer like some others out there, also the in battle mode (while fun) is still a bit cumbersome at times - resulting in me auto-playing the battles about 80% of the time. Definitely worth the $10 download - never had an issue with install on XP, Vista or Win 7.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2012
I will break down this review into five parts:
(It will be quite a lengthy review, just a heads up, but I believe that this will be enough for most to make a decision for purchase)
1) Introduction/Snappy review
2) Turn-Based Gameplay
3) RTS Gameplay
4) Expansion Packs
5) Conclusion

1) Medieval II: Total War (hitherto referred to as MTW2) is a game which allows the play to take command of various European powers circa 1080 to about 1500. These powers include England, France, Holy Roman Empire (ironically it was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire), Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Venice, Milan, Sicily, Byzantine Empire, Turkey, Moors and Egypt. The unplayable factions are the Papal States, the Mongols, the Timurids (basically Mongol invasion with Elephants which comes later in the game), and the Aztecs. MTW2 is a refreshing blend of turn-based strategy and real-time battles to form an empire midst the chaos of the Middle Ages. In the turn-based portion, one can conduct diplomacy, move armies, govern cities, build forts and watchtowers, and prepare for war. When two armies meet, the player has the ability to control the troop movements to achieve victory, with corpses littering the battlefield, only reinforcing the bloody path of the player to victory. It is very enjoyable to watch two armies face. This is not a game which can be played in one sitting, but rather, needs constant attention over the course of days, if not weeks. Some bugs plague the game, but they do not detract too severely from the game, which fully deserves its 9/10
2) In MTW2, the turn-based gameplay is where the core of the game takes place. Perhaps as a first step, one must cover cities vs. castles. A city allows trade to flourish, and these are the economic centers of one's realm. They bring in large numbers of revenue, and cap at around 7000 (this was reached by a fully upgraded, so to speak, Antioch). The downside is the fact that they are not as easy to defend as castles, as there is only one layer of defenses, as well as the best trained units cannot be bought here, with the exception of some beginning knight units (I am not considering Mailed Knights and Feudal Knights as "Knight" units - that honor goes to units like Polish Guard or Knights, Chivalric Knights, English Knights, etc., which are vastly superior to Mailed and Feudal Knights.). These beginning "knights" units such as the French Gendrames and Polish and Hungarian Hussars are valuable troops, and are only trained in the cities. Losing a city means decreased revenue and potential bankruptcy due to lack of funds. Castles, on the other hand, do not bring in as much revenue and cap at around 2500. Here, one can hire the best-trained units available to each power, and are much easier to defend than cities, especially citadels, which allows for a three-layer defense. Losing a castle means slightly decreased revenue, but the worst is decreased military capability, which can hurt in the long run. This is an enjoyable change, as it brings a sort of a dualism into the map - no longer is one simply training units in strongholds or only in cities, but in both, each with its own distinct advantages. This is a welcome addition to the series. Secondly, agents will be covered. There are six types of agents, Diplomats, Princesses, Spies, Assassins, Merchants, and Priests/Bishops/Cardinals/Imams. Diplomats let the player engage in diplomatic relations with other powers to forge alliances, trade rights, marriages, seek help in a war, peace treaties, map information, payment, tributes, etc. In general, the diplomacy system is rather sound, but there are some rather grievous errors. Upon enacting diplomacy, I decided to have an alliance and trade rights, and I was going to pay 1500 to sweeten the deal. They declined, and decided to pay ME 1500. However nice it is to get more money, should not they accept when I was the one paying? The alliance system is also rather misguided. I enacted an alliance with a country much weaker than me (I was waging war elsewhere), and three turns later, they break the treaty by blocking a PORT.... Let us just say that they did not last long. I find this to detract from the overall feel of the game - why is it that an enemy would do this, knowing that there was no chance of victory? It is a problem that has plagued the series, and I am unhappy that it still has not been fixed, so -.5 here. This is probably among the greatest of my contentions against the game. Princesses can also engage in diplomatic relations, but can also marry enemy generals, thereby bringing the generals to one's side. The negative is that fact that your princesses do not really show up all that often, so it is rather rare to experience such enacted marriages. Spies spy, assassins assassinate enemy generals, cardinals, or if necessary, the pope himself. Priests and Imams convert populations to their respective religions, thereby decreasing or increasing public content. Merchants allow for increased revenue, but there are not many places in which it is actually very helpful (slaves around Kiev and Caffa, Mines around Vienna, Ivory and Gold in Timbuktu - by far the best place for Merchants to expand, gold and ivory in Dongola, and the silk around Constantinople and Nicaea; other than that, nothing else is really worth it). The agents allow for various things to happen, and I am very happy with how things play out - large check here. City management is OK, but after getting the largest cities, squalor levels become rather unbearable, making one wish for the Black Plague (and it does come, and kills not only citizens, but your agents and generals). Adopting new generals is rather annoying, because they either spawn in your capital or with a faction leader or heir and then take a long time to send to the frontlines. I don't have too much of a problem with this because I can't find an alternative - it would seem silly to adopt someone and then choose where to have him spawn - that would destroy the realism. Moving armies is fine and the ability to build watchtowers and forts is really nice. I think that that is enough here.
3) When two armies meet, the player has the ability to auto-resolve, fight on the battle map, or withdraw. Assuming one fights one the battle map, one first has to set up troops in wanted locations. While this is usually a painless process, glitches exist; mainly the fact that after dragging a formation, and seeing the proper formation and letting go of the mouse to have the formation there, it never materializes, even though there is nothing blocking the path there. Annoying, but manageable. The AI fights as well as it can, but do not expect much of a challenge after about 5 hours of gameplay - then, one can take on very large armies and come out victorious with small losses. I routinely fight about 2000 on 2000 on very hard, usually losing less than 400 troops, while the other army was fully vanquished. The corpse-strewn battlefield is a nice touch - a reminder of the player's bloody path to global domination. The soldiers fight, and it is breathtaking to watch them stab, hack, and parry incoming blows, and absolutely disheartening when your General gets killed by a luck axe from a woodsmen (yes I had that happen - charged head-on, and completely destroyed the enemy unit, killing ¾, while myself losing one - my general... '). This is a game from 2006, but I wish that it was slightly more realistic up-close. While they do fight, there are times where there seems to be no contact, but a unit recoils as if struck. Also, the enemy AI sometimes stands still while being hacked by enemy troops, rather than fighting. These are not major contentions, but they detract enough from the gameplay to warrant a loss of .5. As a side-note, I am not happy with the "historical battles." The numbers are rather erroneous, and even the parties taken in them are flawed (e.g. Battle of Grunewald / First Battle of Tannenberg saw allied Poles and Lithuanians against the Teutonic Knights - in the game, it is just the Poles vs. the Holy Roman Empire). Since I don't play these (a)historical battles, I did not bother meriting a loss of points.
4) The expansion packs allow for the player to assume more roles as various factions in various continents (Teutonic Knights, HRE, Poland, Lithuania, and Novgorod in Teutonic campaign; Turks, Egyptians, Byzantines, Principalities of Antioch and Jerusalem in Crusades campaign; England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Baron's Alliance in Britannia campaign; Aztecs, Mayans, Indians, Spanish Conquistadors in the American campaign). This is enough to keep even the most die-hard fans busy for a while. The hardest I would say is Britannia, especially as England - there is too much to be done and too little time. The easiest is probably the Teutonic - money flows nicely and no giant armies to surprise one as they show up in Crusades. The gameplay is similar to the aforementioned, just more focused, which I like. It is worth the $1 over the original game to get.
5) Overall, this is a highly recommended game for anyone with an interest in Medieval warfare and global domination. Get it now!

-Great gameplay
-AI plays OK
-Fun and Immersing
-Beauty to watch the battles
-Need to think (at least for me this is a pro)

-Diplomacy system still needs work
-AI plays OK (random general kamikaze charge into a spearwall....)
-Allies treat you like trash
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
If you enjoyed Sid Meir's Civilization, you are going to love this game. I was up into the wee hours of the morning playing the very first Civilization game 20 years ago so the micro-management type of SG is a hit with me. However, I am also a big fan of history. This game gives me all of it!

Sure, you get the feuding and war crafting of the middle ages but you also get the war of assassins and spies, you get the political intrigue, the war between merchants and trade, the war of religion and the war to discover all of the new technology.

Wrap all of that into an overall turn based strategy game and you have a recipe for just playing 1 more turn when you have to go to work or school in a few more hours. You could lose a girlfriend or a wife or your entire social life! This game is well made and very addicting.

The graphics are amazing. Watching a dozen trebuchets pound a castle with flaming projectiles is something else. The same goes for a few hundred flaming arrows on a night assault. Watching charging knights plow into the ranks of peasant militia is hysterical.

One con would be that there isn't much detail for naval warfare. You can have navies and block ports and transport any land units but having a battle on the seas is handled by AI and is, therefore, a numbers game. It still adds to the game but not as much as it could. Still, not a big deal to me. The game is so deep that I don't have time to think about it really.

The only other drawback is that I don't have more time to spend playing it. This game is phenomenal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
When I found Medieval II: Total War, I was looking for a game a lot like the old Westwood games like Red Alert 2 or a game like Stronghold 2. This game is much better. Overall, a very worthwhile purchase for any war strategy/economy management game lover!


Excellent graphics. I went from Stronghold 2 to this game and I was blown away by how each soldier has random bits of armor. I can't play Stronghold after this game. The soldiers aren't blocky clones of each other. They also make slashes and dodges at enemy soldiers, but they aren't always lined up with the enemy soldier when they're striking, but it looks much more lifelike than 30 soldiers crammed into a single square like Stronghold 2!! Walking and movement is very lifelike.

Easy interface. No important buttons stuck in odd locations. The interface is quite nice to use and is easy to learn.

Simplified battle command experience. No overwhelming floods of randomly moving soldiers. Soldiers are trained in companies of 20-75 men which can be commanded as a group or placed into a formation. Often, they spread out realistically and attack enemies on their own. These companies can be custom grouped into larger companies.

Custom battles. Create sieges and choose the soldiers for yourself and for your enemy. Relive historical battles.

Variety of soldiers. Choose from spearmen, siege engines, archers, cavalry, and even elephants and more.

Grand Campaign. This was truly the thing that absolutely impressed me. You see the entire map of Europe, divided into territories which trade between each other. Natural resources can be taken advantage of with merchants. Assassins, spies, diplomats, and priests can be used strategically to spread your influence and stop or start wars with other factions, even assassinate the general of an army. Alliances can be created and strengthened. Your princesses can outwit Generals and bring them to your side. You can choose from 6 factions and you're fighting around 10-20ish Catholic and Muslim nations. You have a reputation you have to keep up with the Pope and other nations.

Development of technology. IT starts you out around 1080 AD and you can play through the black plague and other events in history, though they do not control the game.


No sea battles. A drawback. You can still attack other fleets but you don't get to move the individual units around like you can with land battles.

AI's can be a little dumb sometimes, even on the highest difficulty; but they are still very formidable
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2012
This is a good, solid entry in the strategy genre, though it does have a few minor blemishes that could and should have been fixed.

First, the good: The graphics are excellent, the ambient music delightful. You really do feel as if you are running a medieval kingdom. This is more than building armies and sending them off to kill things and take their treasure (though it does have an engaging, realistic combat system if that's your thing). Political and economic considerations are also paramount. This game is definitely worth the price of admission.

The bad: Sometimes the play system and rules show signs of perhaps not being tested quite enough. For example, a character can have both "Smart" and "Ignorant" attributes. When I had one of my priests try and denounce a heretic, the odds the first time he tried were 25%. I failed. I tried again. Odds 25%. And a third time--same odds, nothing happened. Seems to me my odds of success should have gone down each time, with perhaps some penalty attaching to my priest after the second or third failed attempt. The idea of having merchants develop and trade resources on the map was great--but then it was undermined by making it too easy for rival merchants to displace your merchant--even on your own territory. And while the game's treatment of female characters improved a notch from Rome: Total War, your princesses basically become unpeople once they marry: all they can do is have a child or die. I would have liked to see more improvement here.

But these are pecadilloes or relatively minor flaws. If you like empire-building and strategy games, don't let them hold you back.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2013
While I was able to play and enjoy the game especially its various expansions, I was not able to successfully install the game from the download. According to my installer, a particular program was missing. Just to give you an idea of my computer's specifications, I have an i7 graphics card, Windows 8 OS, 8 GB memory, 450 GB storage, etc -- all extant programs are optimized and updated to their latest versions. And when I attempted to triangulate and activate the program, the game still would not complete its installation.

I instead bought the disk version of Medieval II: Total War - Gold Edition, and everything worked well. I'm unsure if others have run into a similar problem with the downloadable version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2015
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2013
I originally bought this game because it looked awesome, epic, and the graphics weren't too high that my PC would bog down. When I bought the download of the game, I got the product code, put it in, let it download, and started the game.

When I got into the game to play a quick match, my computer was lagging horrible. I went to the graphics options and found that the settings were set to high. I put them to low and started another game. This time it ran smooth, but looked really bad. The visuals were not even close to high graphics, and were just disgusting.

I love this game though even though the graphics on my computer stink. The game is epic and has it's moments.

I would suggest buy it, but just know to have the quality of that trailer above, you need a beefed up computer.
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