TO WAR!!!! TOTAL WAR
At time or writing dear readers. The Total War franchise of computer games is the most played games in my Steam library. By about 600 hours. “Holy monkeys!” you might say. That is a lot of hours. Yes, yes it is. And that is part of what makes the game so good. In all I have played this game enough that it could have been a full time job for about 22 weeks. Which sounds like a huge time commitment only a mad man would invest in a stupid game. But in truth, I don’t really play terribly often. It’s just that I have been playing these games for four years. That equates to less than half an hour a day over that time. I will admit that most of that time was also accrued while my wife was at school, and I needed something to do with my life. Total War, for those who are unfamiliar with the game series, is a real time and turn based strategy game. Wait what? Yes, I will explain it in a minute. The franchise began with historical based games, the most popular being Total War Rome. But has since branched into the fantasy world. Which is where I am about to delve. Because readers I would like to share with you my two favorite Total War games in this review.
Total War Warhammer I and II
Ah yes. 13 year old me is shaking with excitement. In my youth I will admit to playing the table top game Warhammer. It was essentially a build your army of miniatures game, with way to many rules, and the type of marketing department Scrooge McDuck would employ. Basically you sold you house, car, first born child, to be able to afford different groups of miniature soldiers, that you would then take out a mortgage to pay for the paining supplies and terrain to finish out your soldiers. It actually looks really cool if you happen to be Jeff Bezos level of rich.
But as a 13 year old. I am not that rich. So I ditched the game. BUT THEN, Total War decided to develop the table top using their game play system. And holy monkeys, were my socks knocked off. The first Total War Warhammer was released in 2016, to critical acclaim. And with a trailer like this how can you blame them.
And this is in game. Like there are set piece battles you complete during the course of a campaign that have speeches at the beginning of them and everything. Already you can see the real time strategy part of the game. It is extremely dynamic, having you deal with infantry, archers, gunners, artillery, mages, and monsters. And to top that each race has their own play style. Like an approach where you just send massed of cannon fodder to overrun your opponent? There is a civilization for that. Also it is nice to see we have some Russian viewership. For you Englishmen out there, no worries, Wood Elves are going to be your cup of tea. Lots of long bows, lots of arrows to rain down on your enemies. Want to play the diplomacy game, get off my blog you High Elf traitors. The individual battles are nearly always different. There are multiple maps, and each opponent army has a unique make up. They will attack you in a variety of ways, making the game play constantly different. This is the real time strategy of the game. So whether you are battling it in the fields of Bretonnia, a river battle in the forests of the Empire, or laying siege to a castle in Slyvania that is infested with the undead, you will spend endless hours wiping the map with your enemies.
So we covered the amazingly beautiful real time strategy part. What about the turn based part? Some of you might be familiar with the Civilization games. And how each turn you choose what soldiers to recruit and which buildings to construct? Well Total War games work the same way. Each turn you get the chance to move your armies, train new soldiers, and construct new buildings. Then if you decided in your turn to fight another army. Your turn pauses and you enter the battle field for the real time strategy portion of the game. Then as soon as you are done leading your men and women to victory or defeat, you reenter the turn based world. Based on your results you can choose how to treat the vanquished, whether that be enslaving them, ransoming them, or burning that one city to the ground as a punishment for defying your rule. If that last one be the case, please put your name in the comments, I at least want to know the name of the next Genghis Khan. Want to start earning the brownie points now. In any case, however you want to play the game is up to you. Depending on if you get Warhammer I, II, or both, decides the different campaigns you can select. Certain races have cool story campaigns, others have conquer or ally with the whole world campaigns. And if you get bored with that, there are a number of free and paid for DLC. Unlock new races, new campaigns and different faction leaders. There is plenty to explore, obviously. The game is available for direct download from Steam, as is all of the DLC. You can also get any of the games from Total War’s actual website. If you aren’t a fantasy person and want something a little more realistic. Feel free to pick up one of the historical games instead. Drop me a line on your favorite Warhammer or historical faction in the comments. And in the mean time, enjoy the Jurassic park and Mummy esk trailers from some of the DLC.
Stop back here tomorrow for Theatre Thursday.