Posts Tagged ‘Total War’

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is a smaller game with some very big ideas


It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. That’s a useful motto, a pick-me-up for the smaller among us, but the truth is right now, I am a very small dog with very little fight left in it.

I’m the boss of Mide, a province in the middle of Ireland. The 9th century is drawing to a close and everything is in disarray. The coasts are saturated with Danes, there is no unification among my own people, and at the horizon’s edge, England is burning. Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia has a cumbersome name but it might be the leanest and meanest game in Creative Assembly’s long-running strategy series. It’s a little dog with a whole lot of beautiful fight in it.

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Total War: Warhammer 2 – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC shambles out today


I know I can’t be the first to say this, but this is the first chance I’ve had to moan about it and you can’t stop me. Why oh why is Total War: Warhammer 2 not just called ‘Total Warhammer 2’? As far as I’m concerned, consistent branding can get in the bin when there’s an opportunity that good.

Oh yes, the news: Total Warhammer 2’s first expansion is out today. As Fraser Brown will tell you in his Rise of the Tomb Kings review, those disgusting mummies form a new playable faction that’s into early aggression and raising disposable zombie armies, just like an old flatmate of mine. There’s also a patch for the base game, which includes a revamp for the poor old Bretonnians as well as some new legendary buildings.

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Wot I Think- Total War: Warhammer 2 – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC

why the long, skinless face?

I can sympathise, at least a little, with the ancient Egyptian-themed undead known as the Tomb Kings, and who are Total War: Warhammer 2’s newest faction. A decade ago, I was trapped underneath the Great Pyramid of Giza for a mere 20 minutes while another tourist had a claustrophobia-induced panic attack. Waking up inside a pyramid and discovering that your innards are full of embalming fluid and you have only rags to hide your desiccated shame would, I imagine, be a little bit more unpleasant. No wonder they want to murder all the living.

With a chip on their bony shoulders and an appetite for power and conquest, the Tomb Kings are comfortable fit for Total War, even more so than their multitude of warlike adversaries. They’re an unceasing military machine that has yet to discover a problem that it can’t fling an infinite number of disposable animated corpses at, over and over again. This new faction is, however, something of an acquired taste, with some uneven integration into the campaign – but nonetheless the Tomb Kings are a surprisingly forgiving starting point for newcomers.

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Total War: Three Kingdoms tackles the turbulence of 3rd century China


Total War has been enjoying its time among the greenskins and the undead, but we’ve been waiting to see exactly which period it’d land in when it returns to its historical roots for its next major installment. Now the answer is here. Total War: Three Kingdoms.

The year is 190CE. China is in turmoil. The Han Dynasty crumbles before the child-emperor. He is but a figurehead; a mere puppet for the tyrant warlord Dong Zhuo. It is a brutal and oppressive regime, and as Dong Zhuo’s power grows, the empire slips further into the cauldron of anarchy… Only one thing is certain: the very future of China will be shaped by its champions. Total War: Three Kingdoms is the next major historical strategy game in the award-winning Total War series.

This is both unexpected and precisely the kind of setting I was hoping for. A mostly self-contained conflict with a clear end-goal and set of factions. The trailer follows.

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Tomb Kings will hit Total War: Warhammer 2 but not yet


Creative Assembly is still working on Total War: Warhammer 2 and the Mortal Empires post-launch updates, but things are going slower than anticipated. In a blog post published yesterday, the team explains, candidly, what the issues are and when we can expect new campaign packs, like the Tomb Kings, as well as the addition of Norsca to Mortal Empires.

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Total War: Rome 2’s Empire Divided DLC is out now

When Empire Divided, Total War’s latest expansion, trundled into our garage, Fraser was the mechanic on duty. He walked around the chariot, kicked the wheels, took the pencil from behind his ear and made a few notes. “It’s not in bad nick,” he said, after some deliberation, “but it’s no Warhammer.”

You should read the rest of his review if you’re considering buying this new expansion for Rome II. It’s out now, gives the game a brand new grand campaign and loads of other gubbins, and might scratch that historic itch. But it also highlights one of the issues of a post-Warhammer world; namely, that loads of people with various pointy or clubby things don’t quite match up to dragons, dinosaurs and man-eating trolls.

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Beat up some Romans in Total War: Arena’s open beta


I’ve probably written more about Total War than any other series this year, but I confess that I totally forgot about its free-to-play multiplayer spin-off, Total War: Arena. It has my attention again, however, as a public beta kicks off today, announced Creative Assembly and publisher Wargaming (who were brought in to help last year).

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Wot I Think: Total War: Rome 2 – Empire Divided


How can a historical Total War compete with dinosaurs besieging a fortress filled with wraiths and shambling corpses? Ever since the launch of Total War: Warhammer, but even more since the arrival of Warhammer 2, I’ve been wondering if Creative Assembly has backed itself into a corner. Total War’s historical games will undoubtedly continue to appeal to those craving a more grounded strategy romp, but so many of the series’ most significant improvements are inextricably linked to a fantasy premise. So where does that leave Total War: Rome 2 – Empire Divided?

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How Total War: Warhammer’s Mortal Empires engineers a world of unending war

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Total War: Warhammer’s Mortal Empires campaign [official site].

Mortal Empires is the logical conclusion of Total War: Warhammer. It asks this: what happens if all the races, factions, legendary lords and terrain of both Total War: Warhammer and its sequel were folded together into a single giant campaign? The answer was released in October as a free addition to owners of the two games, and it is, as game director Ian Roxborough tells me, “By far the biggest, most content-rich campaign that we’ve ever done in Total War.”

But how do you make games that are designed to be played both in discrete and distinctive smaller chunks, and also in huge and unified ones? How do you balance Warhammer’s strongly asymmetric races against each other while continually adding more? And how do you make a game as big as Mortal Empires comprehensible and playable at all? Read the rest of this entry »

A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia announced

The first Total War Saga, a new spin-off sub-series from the historical strategy games which will focus on very specific times and places, is off to good ol’ Blighty. Sega today announced A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, which travels back to Britain in 878 AD. While the focus is tighter, Creative Assembly say it will offer “the most detailed Total War campaign map ever made.” They’re not showing anything of the game yet but it’s broadly Total War so I’m sure your imagination can fill in the details as you watch this animated announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Total War: Rome II expanding again with Empire Divided


A brand new expansion is coming to Total War: Rome II, developers Creative Assembly announced today, four years since the game came out and three since its last expansion. Empire Divided will travel back to the third century for a new grand-scale campaign as the Roman Empire risks collapsing. It’ll feature ten playable factions, from good ol’ Rome through the goths to Armenia, and bring new problems such as plagues, excess bandits, and cults.

The paid expansion is due later this month and will be accompanied by a free update overhauling expanding Rome II’s political system. Read the rest of this entry »

Historical hints from the Total War teams


Total War might have been away in the land of elves and orcs for a while now, but it hasn’t forgotten its historical roots. In fact, Creative Assembly are working on three historical Total War games: one is an expansion to an older title, one is a spin-off of sorts called a Saga, and the biggest of the lot is set in an entirely new era. New to Total War, that is. Being historical it will definitely be something old. A big blog post today gives some hints as to what we can expect and I’m just going to come right out and say one word: Vikings.

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Total War: Warhammer 2’s Mortal Empires and Blood for the Blood God DLC is out today

warhammer DLC

Total War: Warhammer’s Old World and New World are finally colliding in Mortal Empires today. If you own both Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer 2, you’ll be able to download the DLC for free, smooshing together an edited version of the landmasses from each game. That means you’ll be duking it out on a huge map with 35 leaders, 25 starting positions, 117 factions and 295 settlements. Crikey. These turn times are going to be long.

Also launching today is yer now traditional Total War blood pack, adding lots of gore to the game. It will be free if you already own the blood pack for the first Warhammer, but everyone else will need to purchase the DLC.

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Total War’s free Mortal Empires DLC merges Warhammer 1 and 2


Total War: Warhammer is a big game, and the recently released Total War: Warhammer II [official site] is even bigger. But in the eyes of the Creative Assembly, that still isn’t big enough. To remedy this, they’ve come up with the Mortal Empires DLC, a free download that will essentially merge the two games’ campaigns together in one huge map, letting players assume command of any of the eight races available in the series so far.

To find out why this is happening and how the Creative Assembly are going about it, we spoke to Game Director Ian Roxburgh and Lead Designer Jim Whitson.

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Spawn Point: how to get into real-time strategy


Hello. This is Spawn Point, a new not-quite-regular feature in which we take a genre, series or other facet of gaming culture, and try to convince you to give it a shot. It might be those hero shooters you’ve always wanted to get into, or that terrifying space game played by thousands of jerks. We’ll briefly explain the thing, followed by some ways for you to breach it.

First up, it’s… the real-time strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

Total War Sagas will spin off specific points of history

A new branch of Total War games, going under the badge of ‘A Total War Saga’, will focus the historical strategy action on more specific times and places. Total War devs The Creative Assembly announced the new line today, which will kick off with “another spiritual follow-up” to Total War: Rome II. Total War Sagas will drill down into pivotal moments connected to eras the series has already covered, see, much like 2012’s Total War: Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai did. They’ll play the same but have a tighter focus. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator

Every week we pit Brendan against the thousands of half-formed games of early access in a doomed battle for supremacy. This time, the huge and ridiculous fights of Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator.

There’s not much in UEBS that isn’t possible in any of the Total War series. I mean, if you discount the ability to pit masterly Chickens against a force of Orcs. Apart from that, it’s still about arranging vast (or small) armies on large maps and having them go at each other until one force comes out of the meat grinder without losing all their wee men. In fact, it’s hundreds of times more limited than a real strategy game. But many would say that’s not the point. What you have here is a toy, something that aims for the simplicity of its Deadliest Warrior conceit and – just barely – hits the mark. But what kind of brawls can you create? Well, here’s four epic battles we threw together to find out.
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Time Commanders brings Total War back to TV tonight

Time Commanders, the BBC game show where contestants order around someone playing Total War, returns to British screens tonight. Imagine a blind Let’s Play of Rome: Total War directed by teams who didn’t know what Total War was but did between them share a Desmond in classics, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, experience leading their university rugger society, and four awful haircuts. After eleven years away, Time Commanders is back tonight with Gregg Wallace off Masterchef pitting board gamers against wrestlers in a recreation of 202 BC’s Battle of Zama. Have a butcher’s at this: Read the rest of this entry »

Best Total War: Warhammer Mods

With its deep and engaging turn-based strategy, sprawling armies and epic battles, The Creative Assembly’s Total War series is known for stealing days, weeks and months at a time from its players – such is the breadth and depth offered by these types of games. Add user-made mods to this hearty post-release mix and that stretch can easily extend to years.

The latest entry, Total War: Warhammer [official site], marks a distinguished departure from the norm. Gone are the historically accurate campaigns the series is best known for, and in their place are the fantastical wargrounds and combatants of Games Workshop’s best known dystopian fantasy world. It’s the perfect platform for expanding in wild and inventive ways. As such we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up some of the best Total War: Warhammer mods available right now.

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There Is Only War: Playing Total Warhammer As The Chaos Warriors

Raze, sack, slaughter, burn, maraud. The life of a Total War: Warhammer [official site] Chaos Warrior is simple, with few diplomatic interruptions and little in the way of urban planning. There are buildings to construct, but they’re part of the caravan of carnage that makes up your nomadic horde, and when you lay waste to a settlement, occupation isn’t on the cards. The Old World map becomes a chain of battles and the core of any Chaos strategy is to build and maintain forward momentum as you carve your way through the factions.

Playing as Chaos, the game really is Total War, with no distractions. I’ve spent some time campaigning with Khorne and co to figure out if this barebones approach to the game is effective.

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