Total War's free-to-play fighty spin-off Total War: Arena has returned to open beta testing, inviting all and sundry to 10v10 historical throwdowns. After this, the game will roll into a full launch without any wipes. Arena is a curious one, turning Total War into a faster multiplayer game with a different focus. Each of the twenty players only control three 'units' but, this being Total War, each individual unit actually contains loads of little men. Players are still trying to control pull clever manoeuvres in that Total War way, only there are twenty of you and you only have a few things to focus on. Curious!
Total War: Arena is a simplified and multiplayericated version of Total War. Each of the three playable factions has a range of leaders which grant different abilities as well as units in five classes: melee infantry, ranged infantry, cavalry, artillery, and wardogs. So you pick your leader, pick which three units you want, and off you go to scrap with nineteen other warheads.
This being a free-to-play game, you betcha there's stuff to unlock and all sorts of paid boosters and bundles and bits.
Arena has been a long, long time coming. Our Adam played it back in 2014 and oh my god how is that four years ago already?
You can download the Total War: Arena open beta over here. That includes the Wargaming.net Game Center client, which it runs through. Creative Assembly have teamed up with Wargaming, who make World of Tanks/Warships/Warplanes, for this one because they know a lot more about free-to-play historyfights.