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Eurogamer: Total War Kingdoms

Following on from Jim’s review, Eurogamer have published my piece on Total War Kingdoms. Which mainly exists as a glorified referral post to my previous first-impressions piece which almost warped into a full review. To avoid repeating myself, I wander into increasingly esoteric terrain. For example…

This is kind of one of the problems running through Total War games. You don’t really get to change history. Sure, you can make – as I did – the Apache run rampant over the continent, but fundamentally the Apache don’t change by their experiences significantly. What would Apache civilisation be like when they’d got hold of the Gold of the Incas, for example? Pretty much identical. One of the standard problems that the harder-core Total War fans have is with the quasi-fantastical units – the flaming pigs in Rome, for example – but when you severely changed history, you need that imagination to cover the holes and populate that alternate history.

I’m surprised I ended up marking this as low as I did – I thought it was a shoe-in for the top end of the marks, but when returning to review it, elements grated more. That I concentrated on the weakest of the campaigns (The Americas). A couple of extra notes though…

1) Completely forgot to mention the install system for the game, which required a full install procedure for each campaign. Clicking through it all four times was incredibly tiresome and a system where you selected which of the packs you wanted to install at the start before sitting back and letting it get on with it all would be far, far preferable.

2) It strikes me as odd that Creative Assembly (Or publisher Sega) choose to announce Empire: Total War just before the expansion pack hits. Following online conversation, it appears to have completely undermined anyone’s enthusiasm for the Kingdoms. Before, more Medieval II sounded splendid. Now, it’s difficult to be excited about. If they wanted to announce at Leipzig, bringing it forward even a couple of weeks would – I suspect – made a huge difference in terms of consumer buzz. Hmm.

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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