Jamie Russell, lead designer of Total War: Rome 2 spoke at indie games conference Rezzed in Brighton, UK, this morning, shedding light on upcoming sequel Total War: Rome 2.

"Close-up, we want the men to feel more human," he said. "We've got facial animations, emotional interactions between men, so that if the guy next to me gets hit by an arrow, I'll react to that.

"It's all about a darker vision of war. We want the combat to feel more brutal, more visceral. And we want the form-combat to really get a sense of that Roman war machine, that unique fighting style of the Roman meat grinder legions." That's up close. On the larger scale there are "epic" cities with multiple capture points. There are also combined battles, so soldiers can jump out of boats to join the battles on land, and artilleries on ships can "tear down cities". They're not separate components. "Our aim," said Russell, "is for Rome 2 to deliver some of the most spectacular sights you've ever seen in a video game, and I really believe that we can deliver that - I'm not being hyperbolic there."

"The game our player base really wants us to make, and the game we want to make."

The campaign map will be “much larger” than in its predecessor. There are “exotic” eastern kingdoms in the desert landscapes, barbarian tribes in northern forests and then there’s, well, Rome.

There’s a lot to be getting on with then: a "huge variety of fighting styles, cultures and environments".

There’s political rivalry to deal with, both with families and the Senate.

"We want the player to be thinking things like, do I save the Republic or do I play to become Emperor," said Russell. "This was a time when the personal decisions of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra shaped empires, they forged history with their personal decisions."

Later came footage, apparently "super, super early" - "We're way, way, pre-alpha," Russell informed the audience.

The lead designer went on to discuss the history of Creative Assembly, which has been around for an impressive 25 years.