Rome: Total War update

Activision have released a batch of new shots of the impressive looking Rome: Total War, the ambitious realtime strategy that aims to combine accessibility with a truly epic scope.

The game, which has been in development ever since work was completed on Shogun: Total War four years ago, allows you to lead the largest armies in RTS history, which are made up of a wealth of different units, from Scythian war chariots to Hannibal's elephants. As well as training your own troops, it's possible to hire mercenaries while, on the non-fighting side of things, there's more detailed diplomacy and treaty negotiations.

As you'd expect, cities are fully destructible - destroy an enemy's barracks and they won't be able to train new troops, for instance - while the tactics that are effective in the game correspond to real-world battlefield tactics: imitate the methods that Hannibal (and his elephants) used to wipe out the Roman army after he crossed the Alps and they'll be successful in the game.

Part of the reason that this works is that units now have morale and they will, at times, surrender or run away. The wusses.

Rome: Total War will march on to PC in September