Colossal armies, epic wars and the mocking laughter of dark gods. It can only be one thing, Warhammer: Total War.
From Creative Assembly and Sega comes the latest in their turn based strategy and war simulator series, Total War.
This time tough, rather than taking the player back in time to Rome or the Napoleonic era, we’re traversing the weird and wonderful Warp to Warhammer‘s Old World.
Based on the table top strategy game of the same name, Warhammer is a pre-industrial fantasy world where brutal Orks, stubborn Dwarves, villainous Vampires and hopeless humans find themselves locked in near constant war against each other, and the insidious forces of Chaos.
Warhammer: Total War is a glorious game blending together the best of this incredible series and Games Workshop’s – sadly neglected – fantasy franchise, making it the perfect tonic for those bored by traditional historical strategy games.
The work gone into the individual factions is astounding, and each army has it’s own unique units and play-style which makes each play through a different experience.
The bloodthirsty Orks for example need to be in a state of near constant war otherwise their troops begin to turn on each other, while the legions of the Undead can recruit armies quicker than others (there’s a lot of dead people in a world racked by never ending war, after all) but they are a lot weaker than usual soldiers.
The only problem is that, unless you’re willing to fork out for the DLC, there’re only four playable races, which feels like a waste considering the number of factions which are available in the table top game.
I’m sure that other factions are coming in future DLC, but it would have been great to see the Skaven, Tomb Kings or one of the Elf factions in the base game. Seeing the effort that went into the current race roster, however, I’m excited to see what Creative Assembly have in store for us.
One of the most wonderful things about this game is that despite being in charge of literally thousands of troops, dozens of armies and having a political landscape that makes Westeros seem tame, there’s a surprisingly gentle learning curve.
That’s not to say the game’s easy, running a kingdom while beset on all sides by enemies can be challenging, and you’ll be run ragged at times, shoring up your borders, dealing with raiders and negotiating with the other factions – despite this, it never stops being fun.
The battles themselves are intense experiences as you’d expect from a Total War game, but the new aerial battles add an extra dimension to war. The fickle winds of magic, too, allow literally one man to alter the outcome of a fight, this serves to add a whole other level of strategy to each battle you fight.
Unfortunately, the game does have a number of issues. The main one being that there are so many bugs, you’ll be tempted to call an exterminator just to get it it to run.
Part of the problem, is that Creative Assembly weren’t prepared for the success of the game, so the servers can’t deal with the number of people playing. Meanwhile, there are a number of performance issues – including screen tearing and unexpected crashes.
The good news is that they’re a number of work arounds for the problems which allow you to play issue free, it’s just a shame that such a fun game is let down by technical problems.
Bugs aside, Warhammer: Total War is a great game with which fans of strategy games and fantasy will adore.