Though the patch did not work, much to my brief rage, I managed to find help on the support website from a user, rather than a Creative Assembly worker. After messing around with a few files, reinstalling Direct X and that odd Microsoft Visual C++ thing, that I’m still not sure what it does, I finally managed to get past the loading screen for the first time in almost three days. Unfortunately, by the time it started working it had just turned midnight and so I had little time to play the game before I dragged myself to bed.
Perhaps it was due to a sense of worry that, once I switched the game off, I wouldn’t be able to switch it on again, but it seemed as though every move I made, during the hour of playing I managed to squeeze in before I stumbled away, was blessed. In that hour, I had more than half of Britain under the Iceni’s control. Only the area that eventually becomes Wessex and Ireland remained free from my tribe’s grasp, and they will fall first thing in the morning… Providing the game actually remains playable.
Anyway, with the game now working, I’m going to get a few more hours in the morning, enjoying the gameplay, then start on the ‘review’. So, expect that at some point soon.
The solution I used to fix my problem can be found here. Thank God for Baren, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have been able to play Total War: Rome II for a few weeks at least. There are solutions to a huge number of the problems found in the title, but most can be fixed simply by following the advice given on the support forums.