Meet Zheng Jiang. Fierce warrior, rebel, and bandit leader. She’s one of eleven playable warlords in Creative Assembly’s upcoming Total War: Three Kingdoms. According to her character profile, victory with her depends on playing a relentlessly offensive strategy. She needs infamy to succeed, and she gains infamy by capturing territory and winning battles. Infamy slowly trickles away with inactivity, so resting on her laurels is not an option. “Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.”
Maps of fantasy kingdoms look cooler than maps of real kingdoms, because real kingdoms don’t have lava rivers, mountains festooned with Minas Tirith looking cities, or massive blue sky vortices. But that’s not stopping Creative Assembly from trying to wow Total War: Warhammer players with the map of China in their upcoming Total War: Three Kingdoms. The above video has a touch of the usual army spectacle, but it’s mostly a flyover of campaign map graphics that would make any ork green with envy.
Total War: Three Kingdoms is scheduled for a spring 2019 release.
The next big update for Creative Assembly’s Total War: Rome II is a doozy. The Ancestral Update (currently in beta testing) features a host of long-requested additions and tweaks to the almost five year old game. One of the most anticipated changes is the return of family trees. This was a large part of the strategic gameplay in the first Rome, so its absence in the sequel was always puzzling. It’s finally coming! Players will be able to track family fortunes, marry into and out of power and wealth, and piss off sullen teenagers with bad career decisions. War never changes.
Look out, legions! It’s going to be girls night out in Total War: Rome 2’s next DLC. The Desert Kingdoms Culture Pack features the Kush, Saba, Nabatea, and Masaesyli factions, each with new units and cultural traits. Teuta and Cleopatra join the game as new leaders free for everyone’s use. In fact, the free portion of the update enhances women’s roles throughout the game. There are now female generals in some factions, women can wield political influence, and marriage now has wider political ramifications. Shout out gals!
If you’ve had enough of orcs and elves, The Creative Assembly would like to remind you that they don’t just make cracking good games set in the Warhammer universe. They also make games based on history. I know that’s not as fun as lizard-men riding on lizard cavalry, but bashing legions of sweaty Roman warriors against one another can have its charms, too. 2013’s Total War: Rome II still has a dedicated fanbase that relishes the relatively simpler battles of Julia versus Junia with nary a vortex of chaos energy in sight.
Thankfully, parts of The Creative Assembly want to get back to man on man action. Empire Divided is an upcoming campaign pack for Total War: Rome II featuring the third century crisis and the dangers of cults, plagues, and banditry during a time of infighting and disunion. The DLC campaign will have ten playable factions, new victory conditions, and special story events. Empire Divided will launch on November 30th.
Even if you don’t feel like paying for more Rome II, there will be something new for you. A free Power and Politics update is also launching on the 30th that will revamp many of the game’s systems. It aims to make political intrigue more, well, intriguing. Poltical parties will have loyalty status properties that will influence their effectiveness on the campaign map. Parties will control provinces within the empire, and low loyalty can cause all sorts of problems, right down to a party seceding from your rule. The free update will also bring a user interface overhaul, graphical improvements, and balance changes.
Total War: Rome II Empire Divided is available for pre-order now.
Creative Assembly has announced Total War Saga, a spin-off series for more focused games about specific conflicts. Total War Saga games won’t cover new eras. Instead, the games will use assets featured in past titles like Rome or Empire, but they will drill down to an historical campaign. You’ll still have the grand strategic map and the real-time tactical battles. You’ll just be chasing a goal. Director Jack Lusted pointed to the Total War: Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai standalone expansion and its depiction of the Boshin War as an example.
They’re what I like to call table-flip moments in history, where events are in the balance and could go any number of interesting and unique ways. This makes them a perfect fit for Total War games, where we give players the freedom to depart from the actual historical events and explore what might have happened had things gone differently.
While the campaign hasn’t been revealed yet, Creative Assembly revealed that the first Total war Saga game will be a “spiritual follow-up” to Total War: Rome II.
The Kingdom of Bretonnia is coming to Total War: Warhammer. The DLC faction is free to owners of the base game on February 28th, so Creative Assembly has helpfully posted the above video showing how the prickly and chivalrous nation works in the grand campaign. That chivalry isn’t just an attitude, for players that take up the banners of knightly kingdom, it’s a tracked rating that can have important effects for the army.
As you perform certain actions, such as winning heroic victories in battle and completing quest chains, your chivalry rises, bringing with it benefits such as higher control (keeping your peasant population content and pliant), bonus unit experience and a reduction in corruption. Other actions, such as warring with other Bretonnian factions and sacking settlements, can reduce your chivalry. Low chivalry levels bring negative factors to your campaign, such as reduced Control and army Leadership. In extremis, this can contribute to rebellions across your provinces.
It’s like the Paragon/Renegade meter in Mass Effect, except it won’t end with a star-child and a multiple choice question. Total War: Warhammer Bretonnia will be available on Steam.
Total War: Arena, the in-development PC strategy game from Sega and Creative Assembly, will be the first collaborative product of the Wargaming Alliance. The new publishing label, managed by World of Tanks studio Wargaming, promises partners that it leverages Wargaming’s long experience with free-to-play gaming. Sega representatives say that Creative Assembly is still very much in charge of the project, and the partnership allows the studio to concentrate on development while Wargaming handles the nitty-gritty of publishing and marketing Total War: Arena in the free-to-play space.
Total War: Arena was first revealed in 2013 and is in closed testing. No release date has been announced yet.
Rome: Total War is coming to iPad. Let that sink in for a minute. According to developer Feral Interactive, this is the “full experience” of the original game, with adjustments for a touch interface. Would-be generals will be able to run through a full campaign with eleven playable factions featuring the series’ turn-based strategic decisions and real-time tactical battles. Just like Scipio Africanus or Mark Antony, you’ll be able to drag your finger across the iPad screen to direct your troops. Veni vidi pinch-drag!
The Call of the Beastmen DLC for Total War: Warhammer launches on Thursday, but even if you don’t buy it, the half-animal servants of chaos will show up in your games as computer-controlled enemies. Creative Assembly has detailed the goodies that everyone will get as a free content update to the game regardless of DLC ownership and it includes Beastmen as an A.I. faction in the campaign, an Amber Wizard hero with mount, four new maps to use in multiplayer and skirmish battles, and a new unlockable lord.
The Amber Wizard is a new unit for the Empire that can use animalistic battlefield magic. He also rides a flying griffin mount. The new lord, Sarthorael the Everwatcher, Lord of Change and Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, can be unlocked by playing the grand campaign and fulfilling his achievement requirements.
The Call of the Beastmen DLC is available on Steam.
War is a bloody business. War in Warhammer is doubly bloody. Knights get eviscerated. Footmen get crushed. Goblins get pasted. It’s odd then that Creative Assembly’s Total War: Warhammer is so relatively bloodless. The Blood for the Blood God DLC changes that by adding blood effects to the mighty clashes of armies on the battlefields. Like previous Total War games, a “blood pack” DLC is what the developers use to add gore to the title after launch. For $2.99, you can have all the blood spurts, dismemberment, gibbing, and spatter you imagined a meeting of Orcs and Vampire Counts should have.
Creative Assembly does caution that using the DLC may raise the age rating of the game in some territories.
Look, you’re not getting the Chaos faction for free in Creative Assembly’s Total War: Warhammer. That’s not happening. The Chaos Warriors race pack is a separate thing that you have to purchase either as a pre-order bonus or as post-launch DLC. It’s an unpopular decision for fans of the Warhammer property, but publisher SEGA knows that you’re going to end up getting it anyway. It’s Chaos! You’re not going to play a Warhammer game without them. Here’s what they will do for you to make you feel a bit better: They’re going to give you some other new race for free. According to the official Future Content Blog, Creative Assembly promises to give you “free-LC” (yuck) for this game like they’ve done for past Warhammer titles.
Last but not least, towards the end of the year we will add a new playable race to the game, including new Legendary Lords, magic items, quest chains, and units.
With only four (five if you count Chaos) playable races announced, there’s a lot of options for another faction in the game. You could have Elves, Dark Elves, Lizardmen, those other humans with slightly different weapons, or any of a dozen other fantasy races. Not the Skaven. They have their own game.
Total War: Warhammer will launch on Steam on May 24th.
Flowers are good. Expensive chocolates are nice. Dinner and a movie will work. If you really want to blow your Valentine’s mind, invite her into a three-way with a Hun, a Russian general, and a space marine. (I guess technically that would be a five-way, but let’s not get all judgy.) Starting on February 14th, the annual Make War Not Love 3 event is beginning. This year, gamers can play Total War: Attila, Company of Hereoes 2, or Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II and contribute to the war effort. The game that garners the most matches played by the 25th will win a prize. Dawn of War players could get the Tau Commander for Dawn of War II: Retribution. Company of Heroes players could snag the British Forces expansion. Total War fans could win the Slavic Nations Culture Pack. Only one game will win, so get playing!
If you’re wondering what the Slavic Nations Culture Pack could be, it’s brand new DLC for Total War: Attila. It features the Anteans, Sclavenians and Venedians for use in single or multiplayer modes. The Slavic factions have poison arrows and build wonders on the strategic map to win the campaign game.
It seems the wizards at Creative Assembly have been busy. Even with development on Total War: Warhammer continuing steadily, they’ve been working on an expansion for Total War: Attila that’s set to release on December 10th. The Age of Charlemagne moves the game forward in time from the end of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Middle Ages. The campaign pack puts the player on an all-new strategic map in the Europe of 768 AD with eight playable factions. New technologies, new buildings, and a new snazzy Middle Ages user interface come with the expansion.
Friends, enemies and opportunity populate a continent tired of conflict, the people eager for peace. Charlemagne finds himself at the head of a new age of education, religion and warfare, and sees all as tools to unite, stabilize… and expand. The Saxons, the Saracens and the Vikings will all have something to say to a man of such ambition. It will take guile, charm, intelligence and ruthlessness to succeed above all others. Charles the Great, King of the Franks, the Father of Europe.
Age of Charlemagne for Total War: Attila is available for pre-order on Steam.
That’s the demigryph, a fantasy mount in Total War: Warhammer. One of the big questions people have about Creative Assembly’s foray into Warhammer Fantasy Battles is how their team will handle the change from realistic arms and armor to things like plague-bearing ratmen and steam-powered siege engines. Going by the renders in that video, the developers seem to be doing just fine.
The first in-engine gameplay footage for Total War: Warhammer will be released this Friday.