Huah! Attila: Total War Riding Out In February 2015

This guy? He's a Saxon. You get him anyway.

“Warr! Huah! Yeah. What is she good for?” I like to think Philippa would open this post with. “Being furious about pencils,” she might say next, “but also writing this post about the release date of Total War: Attila.” My Pip fanfic – Pipfic, I call it – has yet to capture her tone, cadence, diction, humour, or any other aspect of her writing or personality, but I like to think I’m improving.

Sadly, we’re stuck with me writing about this. Sorry. Attila: Total War is scheduled for release on February 17th, 2015, publishers Sega announced today. Also they revealed stuff about pre-order DLC with proto-Vikings and the game’s Special Edition. Pip would do this far better.

February 17th, then, is the magical day when Total War will visit the dying days of the Roman Empire (those Byzantine posers can do one). It’ll also bring the launch of the Viking Forefathers Culture Pack, a DLC pack that’ll add the Danes, Geats, and Jutes, each with their own units, missions, and traits for £6. Unless you pre-order or buy the Special Edition, that is, in which case you’re paying for them with trust (also money). While I can’t condone pre-ordering, I suspect Total War fans probably know what to expect by now.

The Special Edition also includes a biography of Attila, and a poster with the campaign map on one side and “a comprehensive playable faction reference guide” on t’other. Sega haven’t said how much extra that Edition will cost.

(For the record, I think Edwin Starr’s follow-up song Stop the War is underrated.)

52 Comments

  1. Thurgret says:

    “I suspect Total War fans probably know what to expect by now.”

    An unplayable mess? I guess people might throw money at CA in the desperate hope of them turning out a quality product again.

    • Hypnotron says:

      Bugs. Lots of bugs. Little bugs. Big bugs. Funny bugs. Crashing bugs. Minor annoyance bugs. Full on rage quit bugs.

      and DLC. Lots of DLC that should have been part of the original release.

      • SubmarineRocket says:

        Lots of waiting between turns, too, as the game laboriously steps through its 50 factions.

        • Balance of Power says:

          >”Lots of waiting between turns, too, as the game laboriously steps through its 50 factions.”

          Oh. my. god. This is such a red flag you’ve not played the game in close to 6-10 months because slow turns were fixed very early on. In fact most of the game’s performance issues have been addressed and the game plays flawlessly now even on my mid-range 5 year old rig.

          In fact all these complaints should be red flags that most of you are just parroting the same tired drivel that’s been said since launch, most of it untrue.

          “Bugs. Lots of bugs. Little bugs. Big bugs. Funny bugs. Crashing bugs. Minor annoyance bugs. Full on rage quit bugs.”

          and DLC. Lots of DLC that should have been part of the original release.”

          Except that it’s a double-standard. You whining hypocritical toadies turn a blind eye to all the shitty DLC parceled from Paradox spreadsheets simulators like Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV; everything from unit skins to music, something that could add value to an expansion, are sold separately at marked up prices.

          It’s only bad when CA does it. Right.

          You kids really put the “boy” in boycott. Don’t worry though, just as Rome 2 was the best selling Total War to date so will Attila: Total War – which I will preorder without hesitation to show my support for CA.

          Rome 2 is easily one of the best entries in the series, not just because of its design strengths, but also because CA has stood by their product and not just fixed the issues – yes, it had issues but certainly not to the degree that the vocal minority made it out to be – but have improved on the game remarkably since launch.

          You kids can sit on the sidelines and complain, as you’ve been doing for over a year, while the REAL players have been enjoying Rome 2.

          • Admiral666 says:

            I think there may have been a way to do that without A) being so hostile, B) assaulting Paradox Interactive needlessly and without basis, C) entirely discounting any opinion but your own, and D) showing your ass.

          • Hypnotron says:

            Categorically deny all posters claims. Check.

            Use personal attacks and insults against posters. Check.

            Drag in competing products in attempt at employing “beautiful by comparison” tactic. Check.

            Praise and champion product as 2nd coming of Christ. Check.

            Did you escape from a FoxNews.com debate page?

          • Jediben says:

            This will never outsell Rome 2, the subject matter is too narrow and nowhere near as iconic.

          • GeminiathXL says:

            I don’t post often, but when i do, it’s to applaud beautifull people like you. Well done, Sir.

          • Misha says:

            Well said, sir.

            Unlike one of your detractors, I don’t see you “assaulting” Paradox, you’re merely pointing out a very real double standard. I, for one, absolutely adore both CA and Paradox, I have and enjoy immensely playing both the Total War series, the EU series and I am positively infatuated with CKII, and I truly don’t understand why any sort of criticism of either is immediately seen as a holy war by the fanbois of the other. In my fantasy world, a game would come out that would combine CA’s epic battles and graphics with Paradox’s undeniable talent for believable and immersive AI behavior.

            But some people apparently see that as heresy. You have to hate one if you love the other.

      • anandus says:

        Regarding DLC, I think the core problem is that games nowadays are seriously underpriced.
        If the game industry would raise the prices, DLC would be less needed.
        But I think they might be afraid for a consumer backlash, consumers being used to (too?) low prices. Prices have stayed the same for decades, not keeping up with inflation, in effect getting cheaper all the time.
        Also revenue being cut by piracy hasn’t helped either.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Their games are pretty good if you wait a couple years for patches and mods to clean them up. Plus they are cheaper then.

      Really Shogun 2 was pretty solid on release too.

      • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

        For me it was waiting for them to stop patching it as every time they released a patch all my savegames corrupted, which was pretty much gamebreaking in a game in which you can put dozens of hours into a single campaign. Especially annoying as the game worked okay for me so I didn’t need the patches, but there’s no option for not updating games on Steam anymore. And the DLC patches (which come whether you buy the DLC or not) break it too. Grrr.

        Sorry, needed to rant a little bit there.

        Maybe when Attila comes out they won’t patch Rome 2 any more and I can finally play a full campaign of it. Maybe…

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Pret-ty much. It’s a series which has its fans, fans who do desperate things as no one else offers a big fancy thing with comparable production values and fancy 3D battles. I think anyone who pre-orders a Total War game at this point does so knowing exactly what they’re getting, slightly hating themself for doing so.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Well, that’s about right. But where else are we going to get our fix of quasi-historical 3D battles with swords and pointy sticks? Sometimes I just need a good pointy stick battle. And I admit it, I’m too spoiled by TW graphics to appreciate the more abstract historical war games.

        As bad as Rome 2 turned out to be (and never fully recovered), at least it scratched that itch for a while. I won’t be buying this expansion though. Just not that interested in this particular timeframe.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Yeah, not a Total War “fan” by any stretch, though I fell for Rome 2 thanks to hype and a lack of a new, decent Age of Empires from Microsoft.

        Once bitten, twice shy, the saying goes. This is more like “Once arm bitten off, twice unconvinced that it’s a good idea”.

      • Ethelred Unread says:

        Totally this.

        But after Rome 2 which was so shoddy at launch I’m not going to pre-order, so I have learned something.

        Will definitely be getting it though, because shiny things. Rome 2 is in quite a goiod shape now and even without official mod support the mods are great. Once polished they are great games.

        If anything, CA should go down the beta route for pre-orders and not claim their releases are the final version, which presumably comes from publisher pressure?

    • SuicideKing says:

      Also, a “Scourge of the Gods Edition” which will release in Feb 2016.

  2. Jamesworkshop says:

    Warrface

    • SlimShanks says:

      Actually, judging by the header, Axeface. Not axe-actly what I would have done, but I still sword of like what you did there.

  3. DarkFenix says:

    This will be the first Total War game since Medieval 1 that I don’t buy. Rome 2 was a fuck up of such legendary proportions (worse by far than even Empire in my opinion) I just can’t imagine giving CA money for anything short of a perfect game.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      This. After the amazing quality of Shogun 2, Rome 2 was a total cock-up.
      I’ll wait in the wings this time.

    • laijka says:

      Same here.

      Not only because of the poor state Rome II was released in but also because the directions they took made me realize the Total War series isn’t my thing anymore.

      I’m curious though, why didn’t you buy Medieval 1?

      • Unruly says:

        I think he’s saying that this is the first game since he bought Medieval 1 that he won’t be buying. Meaning that Medieval 1 was the game that got him hooked on the series. Or at least that’s how I read it.

        • DarkFenix says:

          I was a bit ambiguous there wasn’t I. But he read it right that I didn’t buy Medieval 1, though I didn’t not buy it for any kind of quality reason. Medieval 1 was my pirated introduction to the series, pirated as an exploratory venture into a genre I had zero familiarity with, suffice to say I loved it and bought every subsequent entry in the series including DLC. Until now that is, I’ve had enough of CA’s shit, Attila doesn’t look worth my bandwidth let alone my money.

      • Archonsod says:

        I’d say the same thing, although I’ll inevitably pick it up when it’s on sale at some point (as I did Medieval 2 and Shogun 2). In my case though it’s more simple fatigue. The series has lost much of it’s character since Empire and I’m not really feeling the need to have another game in which commanding a bunch of men with pointy sticks to go hit some other men with pointy sticks.

        It’s possibly a sign of it’s success though. The earlier games (the original Shogun, Medieval and Rome) felt distinctly different from one another. The past two haven’t – probably down to the similar mechanics behind characters, cities and combat. The past two entries for example didn’t feel like a game about the Japanese Shogunate or Roman Empire, they felt like a Total War game which just happened to have a Japanese or Roman theme.

      • cederic says:

        I reinstalled Rome because I still love the gameplay. Sod the graphics.

        Rome 2 could’ve won my heart by SEGA’s stupid EULA demands that I give Sega ownership of anything I create or do using the game. How about.. No.

  4. jasta85 says:

    won’t be getting it because of the very buggy and incomplete rome 2 launch, will check it again next year when it goes on sale. shame because I’m actually a fan of the time period and the huns

  5. mariandavid says:

    Good – Rome 2 is now the best of the Total War series, and by a considerable margin. Bugs vanished months ago (I wonder sometimes if those who complain on this are even aware of updates), endless nations added, all significant issues resolved (even most of the complaints on sieges have vanished) and, by all accounts a frequently and financially successful game helped by perhaps the most gifted set of modders around.

    But since for some strange and perverted reason this game triggers more raw emotion than any other recent release, these words will no doubt be condemned as one of the following:
    – paid for by Sega
    – written by an ignorant pre-teen
    – heretical, inane, ignorant, inexperienced, inaccurate, irrelevant and *******

    • dsch says:

      The problems with Rome 2 are (now) not bugs or the amount of content. They run to the heart of the engine and the design itself. I played it at release and didn’t have any significant bug problems, but couldn’t manage to finish a single campaign because of how disjointed and crushingly soulless it was. The failures of Rome 2 are failures of imagination.

      Having said that, what I’ve seen of Attila looks promising. A tighter focus, with game mechanics to match. Not expecting it to be as good as the first Shogun or the first Medieval (a lot was lost in the move to the 3d campaign map), but I’d be pleased with something like Napoleon.

      • Unruly says:

        I found the original Medieval to be terrible. Even on the easiest difficulty I was unable to do anything without provoking war on myself from every other nation on the map. Because Catholics. And even after killing the Pope, taking over the Vatican, and getting my own Pope elected, it still happened. Maybe it was because I was playing it as a teenager and didn’t understand the nuances of the politics or some other mechanic, but it just crushed me that I couldn’t seem to do anything right no matter how I tried to play. I recall Medieval 2 to be similar, but I didn’t play it near as much outside of some online skirmishes with friends.

        Never played the original Shogun, but Shogun 2 was an absolutely wonderful game. It took me a while to actually give it a chance, but once I did it’s never left my system. My only major gripe was with multiplayer campaigns de-syncing, as I played more than a few with friends and had that happen. Nothing is more infuriating than having a game de-sync right after you won some critical, hard-fought, nearly-lost battle, because then you’ve got to exit the game, trade save files to get them synced back up, and replay the entire last turn including that battle. Of course, I only bought Shogun 2 after all of the expansions were out and it went for a deep discount on Steam, so it had been pretty well fully patched by then. But that’s the same thing I’ve done with every Total War game I own except Medieval 1.

        • dsch says:

          Hm, it should have been pretty easy to avoid excommunication in MTW because you get a message telling you to stop attacking or else, and it also only kicked in if you were bigger than your opponent. I thought it was a nice way of limiting the rate of expansion (and blob-formation). Of course, towards the middle- and end-game, you’re going to have a lot of DOWs simply because you are the dominant power. Alliances and marriages help, and the result of the first battles have a lot of influence on which way the allies of the belligerents line up (they like to side with the winners). I have very fond memories of longbows, Spanish jinetes (javelin cavalry), and going to town on the HRE as the Poles in the early game.

          Edit: Also gaining high level units early through a crusade, marching a crusade through provinces with high zeal to suck up the troops of your rivals, the personality traits of the generals, the flavour text on general attributes (“This man conducts battles like a symphony.” TBF, CA have remained quite good at this, at least until ETW: “I say, those fellows over there mean to shoot us. What rotters! Shall we have at them?”), watching the Golden Horde spunk all over the continent and holding them at the bridge map in Kiev, ransoming the king of France, those beautiful janissaries …

          Edit 2: And the music, the sound of the wind, the clunk as you move your pieces on the board …

          • Unruly says:

            I usually played as the Holy Roman Empire, which may have been the reason that every time I attacked anyone I got an excommunication notice. But that made it impossible to expand without everyone going to war against me, so I’d try to sit back and just do a buildup. But then I’d get hit by someone who was able to expand, because the game apparently cheats and doesn’t excommunicate NPC factions or something, and I’d get crushed by the overwhelming force that they were able to support through their expansion.

            Shogun 2 had something similar in the Realm Divides, but by then you’re usually the dominant power and can typically handle that sort of situation.

          • dsch says:

            Yeah, the HRE isn’t easy. Long borders and enemies on all sides. You have to pick your battles and wait for your rivals to be at war. The excomm threat doesn’t stop you from defending your territory, though, and I think I remember it was bugged (or designed) so that if you are in the excomm cooldown period (when you are warned against one faction) you can attack any other faction without the excomm warning kicking in.

    • SuicideKing says:

      I lost patience at Patch 7 or something.

  6. Chaz says:

    Once they get up to and do Total War WW1, they’re going to have run out of big, many peoples running across a field, style battles to simulate.

    • MacTheGeek says:

      There’s room for a game in between Empire and WWI. Start with American Civil War tech (repeating rifles, the Gatling gun, railroads, observation balloons, ironclad warships) and carry it forward through the technical advances and geopolitical climate of the late 19th Century.

      Starting scenarios include the Crimean War, the US Civil War, the French invasion of Mexico, and the Austro-Prussian War; the ensuing decades see colonial expansion around the globe, as well as the Franco-Prussian War, the Spanish-American War, and the Russo-Japanese War.

  7. Unruly says:

    They should do a Total War that takes place in China for once. They’ve done feudal Japan twice, medieval Europe twice, the Roman empire twice, and two games taking place in 18th/19th century Europe. But China has nothing. They could do something covering the Warring States period, at the least. I mean, it’s the period that gave birth to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for Pete’s sake!

    Or they could do the Mongol invasion of China. Something. Pick an area of the world that they haven’t done yet.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Let’s just make it Total War Asia? The Indian subcontinent has seen plenty of wars, wouldn’t want it to be left out!

      • Unruly says:

        I’d be fine with something that took place during some key point on the Indian subcontinent. Or North Africa and the Middle East, since that area has seen quite a few major historical civilizations. I only brought up China because it’s an area of the world that I’d personally like to see done in the Total War style.

        My greater point was that the folks at CA seem content to retread their old stomping grounds yet again with Attila, rather than take the game to somewhere that’s actually new.

      • DarkFenix says:

        I’d love to see a TW game of grand scope covering Asia. China ought to be the focus in my opinion, but all of south and east Asia should be included.

        • Unruly says:

          It could also follow the same flow as the Sengoku Period main game, Genpei War expansion, and Meiji Restoration final expansion that they used for Shogun 2.

          Have the main game take place during the much more well known Three Kingdoms period and release an expansion that covers an earlier period, in the form of the Warring States, and a later period, in the form of the Mongol invasion or the (much later and much more drawn out) Manchu takeover.

          edit: whoops, meant to reply to the guy below.

    • Arathorn says:

      This.
      A warring states TW could be great. The area it takes place in is not huge, but that would keep the game smaller and more focussed (a good thing IMO). Perhaps they can throw in a couple of the Chinese’s neighbours for variety?

      • Unruly says:

        It could also follow the same flow as the Sengoku Period main game, Genpei War expansion, and Meiji Restoration final expansion that they used for Shogun 2.

        Have the main game take place during the much more well known Three Kingdoms period and release an expansion that covers an earlier period, in the form of the Warring States, and a later period, in the form of the Mongol invasion or the (much later and much more drawn out) Manchu takeover.

  8. Kerr Avon says:

    We loved the first Shogun TW, then Rome appeared and was an instant classic but my favourite is still Medieval II + Kingdoms with the community Stainless Steel mod being the zenith. Shogun II is a beautiful masterpiece too. One would hope that we’ll see “Medieval III” at some point, but after the Rome II fiasco… who knows? It seems that after Creative Assembly ditched their old Australian dev studios (along with Jeff van Dyck) and kept development based in the UK only, things just seemed to go downhill from that point on! CA once had a great dev team but amazingly messed it all up by apparently hiring a bunch of cringe-worthy *beepers* more interested in lying and marketing than making great games anymore!

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      Grizzly says:

      CA has said that they will not be doing games with three’s in them.
      That being said, there’s plenty of space for a Joan of Arc: Total War.

      • Volcanu says:

        How so? That would be very limited (being confined to a couple of years, and a relatively small area – i.e. Northern France).

        If you widen the scope out you then you are basically doing Medieval TW 3 anyway. I suppose a ‘Kingdoms’ style campaign covering the whole of the Hundred Year’s War could be viable- working in Burgundy and Scotland as well as ‘France’ and England.

      • Kerr Avon says:

        Yes, whatever the final title, a Medieval reprise is surely the way to go.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      I agree, Medieval 2 + Kingdoms will always be the best. Combine it with total conversions such as Warhammer / LOTR and I have no need to ever play another TW game.

      No official Warhammer or LOTR game scratches those itches and never will, and I have absolutely no confidence in CA ever making anything decent with the Games Workshop IP.

  9. Czrly says:

    Ooh lookey – a new iteration of that well-known Loading-Screen Simulator is coming out soon. Give me but a moment to fetch my cheque book…

    … or not.

    Life’s too short to wait for modern Total War games to load the real-time battles and the whole thing is pants if you use auto-resolve out of boredom.

  10. Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

    Is it just me or does all the screenshots look pretty much completely identical to normal rome2 except with maybe slightly different models?

    link to cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com

    I mean seriously, its just a barebones reskin at this point. I get it, “in development” but in development based completely on the last total war engine and releasing screenshots with more or less the exact identical UI and graphics is just lazy.

    If it’s going to be a lot different at launch, I dunno why they’d release such misleading screenshots. In any case, que “this kills the -“(game) meme.

    They cant just do slight reskin of rome two and charge 40e for it. It’s just so dumb. Not getting this.

    This should at most be a DLC expansion to the game, not a brand new release.

    • Unruly says:

      This is basically the Napoleon to Rome II’s Empire. Using the same engine and looking nearly identical is to be expected.

  11. toshiro says:

    Once this would have made me excited. Now it barely registers on the radar. Of all the AAA series I once loved, this is the one I’m never going back to.