The Creative Assembly are clever to tap into that Awake-At-4am-Watching-Deadliest-Warrior market; their free-to-play 10v10 strategy game Total War: Arena [official site] looks the next best thing to my nights contemplating whether John Cena could win against a ninja.
The first in-game trailer has arrived ahead of a livestreamed event this afternoon where The Creative Assembly will show off the first live gameplay as community members throw down, with a commentator and a few developers as the icing on this Twitch cake.
I'll be honest with you, I kind of forgot this was even a branch in Total War's family tree. A quick flip through the RPS Info Tome says the game was first announced way back in 2013. They pitched it as a sort of cross-history fighting game where teams of 10 control up to 1500 fighting dudes each - in other words, a brilliant kind of madness must fuel it. As Jim said at the time, there are some similarities to World in Conflict's multiplayer. Lead designer James Russell described it as Total War's online multiplayer battle arena. But Creative Assembly has kept it all relatively under wraps, in fact the game is still in alpha two years on.
Perhaps creating a game in which cavalry fight Spartans is like ageing wine. You'll soon find out as starting at 5pm CEST today (that's 4pm UK time, or see it in your zone here) you finally can lock your eyes on the first ever livestreamed match of Total War: Arena. The whole thing can be found on Twitch. It's going to be a fight to the death between the developers and community dudes, livecasted via the dulcet tones of eSports commentator Leigh 'Deman' Smith.
There's no word on when Arena may get its official launch. Closed alpha is currently only available in Europe, with servers planned to come State-side at some point. If you fancy checking it out for yourself, you can sign up here.