New Total War: Attila Trailer Features Merciless Huns

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It’s easy to be cynical about promotional material for games. Usually that cynicism is justifiable: marketing is what it is and we all know it. Still, my initial reaction to the narration in this Total War: Attila trailer ‘The Black Horse’ was a bit unfair. “To lead,” it begins, “a man must understand that there are forces in this world that he cannot change.”

“That’s a bit pompous for a game,” I thought. Then: “No. Wait. This is a game about one of history’s more violent and terrible periods, replete with war and the disease and hunger and suffering that inevitably follows. That’s the sort of thing that drives one toward philosophical statements.”

I concluded that I can be a bit of a knob. Then I shut down my internal monologue and watched the rest of the trailer.

“There are some things which cannot be changed. I must see to the things that can.”

Now there’s a statement I can get behind.

The Attila engine’s looking pretty slick, isn’t it? It’s a noticeable step forward from Rome II.

If you’re hankering for meatier words than these concerning the next big Total War release, check out Adam’s cautiously optimistic Hand’s On from earlier this month.

23 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    This looks a lot more interesting then any of the Romes ever did.

    • Continuity says:

      Bah, I got sick of total war games a long time ago, how many have they released now? 10? that’s like 5 too many. Not to mention the dire bugs they seem to have in every other release.

      • J-Force says:

        If the bugs come every other release then Atilla should be bug free!

        I bet you a million pounds it isn’t though.

      • Honsou says:

        I have no idea why CA have this 1 step forward 2 steps back approach to making their games. Since Empire, they would add features and fix issues but put them in a standalone expansion rather then adding them to the core game.

  2. Steve Catens says:

    I concluded that I can be a bit of a knob.

    Congratulations. This small, humble declaration of self-awareness has had the desired effect. I will now follow your posts, even though you dismissed a Bill Murray movie earlier in what would normally result in a triskellionesque battle to the death, possibly for a sum of Quatloos.

    If only some of the other members of the current RPS lineup were capable of this simple, effective, gesture.

    You got moxie, kid. There are equations for measuring the cut of one’s jib, and I’m liking the numbers I’m seeing.

    • Shaun Green says:

      *tips hat*

      I was a little surprised that no one argued the toss about Stripes on the post in question (last I looked, anyway). But hey, everyone produces a few stinkers, no matter how good they are. :)

  3. Raoul Duke says:

    How, erm, ‘accessible’ are these games these days? I remember trying one of them years ago and finding it fairly opaque without a lot of guidance to help a new player penetrate its layers.

    Are the more recent variants a little more pick up and play? Or would trying one of them be committing me to tens of hours of frustration and learning about the game’s systems and concepts?

    • Steve Catens says:

      Well, it’s difficult to say based on the way you’ve phrased your inquiry. Understand that those “tens of hours of learning the games systems and concepts ” are what many strategy gamers would consider part of the experience and appeal.

      I haven’t played a TW game since Shogun 2. However, I’d say that on an accessibility spectrum the TW games are slightly above the complexity of your average Civ style 4x game from the real time battlefield mechanics involved, but significantly below a typical Paradox style grand strategy game on a simple–>complex scale.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      Shogun 2: Total War was defenitely more clear in it’s guidance then some of the earlier installments. Aside from the usual advisors and the like, it contains an ingame encyclopedia with information on all the different aspects of it’s gameplay. It also significantly reduced a lot of the economy aspects by severly limiting the amount of buildings you could build, thus forcing you to make simple decisions about what you wanted in a settlement. This is a stark contrast with Medieval 2 and Rome the first (and probably empire and napeleon as well, but I have not played those), where you could build a lot of buildings which provided you with semi-obscure bonuses. I think this qualifies as being more pick up and play.

      I have not played Rome 2 so I am not sure if these aspects carried over to the later installments, and it off-course is not a gaurantee that it will carry over to Atilla.

      • Nice Save says:

        I found Shogun 2 much more accessible because the unit types are much more structured and easier to keep track of. There are six or seven weapon types, and each weapon type has a cheap low-quality ashigaru unit, and a higher quality samurai unit (plus cavalry versions in some cases).

        • J-Force says:

          Agreed – in Shogun 2 every unit had a destinct puropse that would change as you progressed. Line infantry would go from the backbone of an army to cannon fodder as it made way to Imperial/Republican troops. It was my favorite TW game. Napoleon was my least favorite, it felt like a working Empire mod.

          Rome II was disappointing – still is, though I like Wrath of Sparta. I really hope CA has learned thier lessons.

    • Continuity says:

      Total war isn’t that deep, compared to say hardcore grand strategy, but even so if you haven’t learned a total war game then you’ll be on a learning curve for several hours at least. Thats just par for the course with strategy games.

  4. Spinoza says:

    Dear CA : Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Or to paraphrase courtesy a well known war criminal : “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      Ah, the towering intellect of the worlds’ most famous unpunished war criminal.

      Tell me more, O great seer!

  5. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    I read the title as “Merciless Puns” and thought KG had come back to write a post.

    • Haplo says:

      I don’t know how to Hunnycoat this for you- KG is never coming back.

    • libdab says:

      Hang on … wait a minute … good pun coming …

      Well why don’t you just … no that doesn’t work … just let me think …

      Dammit! This punning lark’s a lot harder than it looks … I can usually come up with hunnards of them.

  6. Glubber says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait to not play this when it comes out!

  7. Wowbagger says:

    Think i’ll wait and see if total Warhammer turns out any good rather than try this one.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      There is already a superb Warhammer total conversion for TW Medieval 2 – Kingdoms, called ‘Call of Warhammer’.

      My fears for the new Warhammer game by CA are:
      1) It will be complete shit at launch much like Rome 2 and even after a year of patches will still be shit
      2) It will only give you say Empire, Orcs, and Dwarves as starting races and the other 20 odd will all be DLC that CA rapes you for for years to come, or shitty ‘blood dlc’ – WTF CA just die.
      3) It will be inferior to the current ‘Call of Warhammer’
      4) It’s made by CA… who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag with scissors in their hands
      5) It will not allow modding of any sort because they want to rape consumers for DLC that should be in the base game from day 1
      6) The Warhammer Old World map will be incomplete and they DLC you more map sections…
      7) CA will clusterfuck city building like they have for Rome 2 – the only way to redeem city building is to take it back to Medieval 2 Kingdoms

      The end.

      • Boosterh says:

        Well, I going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you would actually like your concerns addressed, rather than simply spewing vitriol, so here is my best try:

        1. CA has shown that titles which reuse an engine, like Napoleon or Fall of the Samurai, tend to be more stable (subject to reconfirmation by Attila), so we probably have a 50/50 chance here.
        2. Attila is slated to release with ten factions (not counting pre-order bonus), Rome 2 came with 8 (+1 free day one DLC), and Shogun had at 8 (I think?) before DLC. Assuming the numbers stay roughly the same, I think we’ll be getting most, if not all, Army Book-ed races on release, with the DLCs handing out the variant army lists from the back of the codex (Southlands Lizardmen, Empire provincial lists) or minor stand-alones (Kislev, Norsca). I do figure that they’ll use Skaven or Wood Elves as their pre-order bonus, though. (They are high profile fan favourites, but not setting critical, similar to the Greek City States and the Viking Forefathers)
        3. Honestly, never played the mod. I do know that I’d rather have two good games than one, but we’ll have to see.
        4. I…I don’t know how to answer this. Are you expecting all war-game designers to also be peerless warriors? I don’t understand the criticism.
        5. For all CA’s manifold sins (poor QA, a focus on spectacle over function, accelerating release schedule, etc.) I haven’t seen any indication that they are going to try to shut down modders. I mean, they host many mods on their own forums, they added a mod manager to the Rome 2 launcher; they generally seem to know that these modders are some of their best and most reliable customers, who provide a lot of (completely free) value added to their product. I think your fears here are a little baseless.
        6. I can’t recall any Total War game so far that has hidden part of its map behind a pay-wall. For programming simplicity alone I imagine the game map will remain pretty static across DLCs. What I think is probable is that we get the Old World in the base game, and then we get “The War in Lustria” or “The Sands of Khemri” as expandalones/campaign packs for $15-$30, which come with their own campaign maps similar to Kingdoms, Fall of the Samurai, or Caesar in Gaul.
        7. Honestly, I don’t mind the new city/province building mechanics. I find them a bit restrictive at times, but they force me to actually make choices about what I want my settlements to do. I do wish they would let me form my own provinces though, rather than being stuck with the map defaults. Whether it is Shogun 2 style or Medieval 2 style, I just hope they stay away from the system they had in Empire.

        Anyhow, I hope that my reply can help take the edge off some of your fears, as you realise that while CA are perhaps not shining paragons of Quality and Good Decisions, they will probably do better for the IP then the folks running Games Workshop nowadays.

  8. mariandavid says:

    Excellent: Rome II is now the best (and taking Steam figures as fact) the most popular game of its genre. Critiques of it were valid on launch but are now about six months out of date. Attila is seems is also adding some of the features of Shogun II that were, inexplicably, left out of Rome II – the family tree being the most obvious. It seems to match Barbarian Invasion – an expansion of Rome I – which was in strategic terms the most interesting of all the Total War games.