Bright and early at 8 o’clock this morning, The Creative Assembly released A Total War Saga: Thrones Of Britannia. Perhaps you started ordering soldiers around while dipping soldiers in your eggie. Swelled your coffers while sipping coffee. Had your forces spread like butter on your crumpet. Ordered a full retreat while gulping tea. Burnt your toast like Alfred and them cakes, then razed Winchester for good measure. Breakfast jokes. No matter what you’re eating, the first game in Total War’s new line of focused ‘Sagas’ is now out, travelling back to Britain in the year 878 to see who gets their face on the money.
Thrones Of Britannia sees ten factions from five cultures–the Anglo-Saxons, Welsh Kingdoms, Gaels, Great Viking Army, and Viking Sea Kings–scrapping over the lands that would one day become Poundland. The point of Sagas is to focus intently on particular regions and times, a bit like Shogun 2’s Fall Of The Samurai expansion, so it’s a dense and detailed little land.
Nic Rueben wrote our A Total War Saga: Thrones Of Britannia review and was particularly taken with the siege combat:
“Major settlements are distinct and memorable, displaying the same density and detail as the rest of the map. Moats, islands, bridges, and wide city streets means plotting and executing multi-tiered master plans is endlessly satisfying. War drums echo like thunder, pipes make pipe noises, and siege engines tear up soil in a stunning iteration of the venerable series’ trademark spectacle.
“Coming down from these moments, however, the cracks can sometimes show themselves. Abstracted systems are a necessary albatross in strategy of this scale, but after the dynamism of the tactical battles, things like automatic trade routes and simple tech trees can feel like poor representations of the political and social machinations they aim to simulate. After a few stretches hitting the ‘end turn’ button after not doing very much of anything, it becomes apparent that Thrones of Britannia’s streamlining may have come at the cost of some of the series’ intrigue.”
A Total War Saga: Thrones Of Britannia is out now for Windows, with Mac and Linux versions due to follow “shortly after”. It costs £30/€40/$40 on Steam.