Review: Total War: Warhammer brings the franchise back on track
Death to the heretics!
Platforms: PC (reviewed), Linux, Mac
Total War: Warhammer, a classic Total War game combined with Warhammer, turned out to be pretty much the perfect mix between real time and turn based strategy. It’s one of the best Total War games in a long time.
The game let’s you take control over four factions, the Empire, the Dwarves, the Greenskins, and the Vampire Counts, with a bunch of smaller factions all around, creating the closest thing to a real life Warhammer battle we will ever get.
I’ve played a lot of Total War games, but ever since Empire and Napoleon I’ve been disappointed at them; they have felt clunky, slow, unfinished, unpolished, and all around bad. Total War: Warhammer is the reignition the series needed, it’s the best since Rome I and Medieval II. Total War is back on track and better than ever.
Though Creative Assembly missed out on a really big thing when they decided to go with the title Total War: Warhammer and not Total War: Hammer, but since it is the best Total War game in a long time I think we can forgive them.
It’s new and improved
Total War: Warhammer is a breath of fresh air for the franchise in many ways, both because it is set in a fantasy setting and not based on history and also that Total War: Warhammer is more polished, refined, developed, and better in many ways.
Total War: Warhammer doesn’t change much from the already existing formula, it simply improves on already existing features making the series better than ever. It’s mostly the small things which improves the game greatly.
Back in Empire or Napoleon a small skirmish could take up to 30 minutes, but now it can be done in 5-10 minutes, now a small fight won't take up the majority of your limited gaming time. In addition to that, your troops move at a more satisfying speed, they aren't like snails anymore. Your arrows hit your enemies, your swords strike your foes -- there is so many small improvements that make the game even better.
There is also random events that pop up, ruining your plans or forcing you to move faster than you wanted to.
A lot of new stuff
A new feature in this Total War game is 'Corruption,' which can cause a lot of trouble. It's something the Vampire Counts and Chaos Warriors depend on. If they stay in your territory or you pick certain choices during random events the corruption increases causing vampires to rise or Chaos to corrupt your lands.
Each faction also has its own story, making the game much more replayable than previous titles since each new game can offer both a new faction to master and a new story. The story missions also replace the old “Scenario” mode where the old games let you play the battles of old. Instead of the historical battles the quest missions can now be played from the main menu, allowing players to get the full faction experience without playing them.
I both like that and dislike that, now I miss out on a fresh experience in the campaign if I play the “story quest's” but I can also play them all without sinking a whole lot of hours into one campaign just to get the story from it, it's a double edge sword.
The graphics can leave you wanting, they are by no means the best, but that often means that Total War games can be played on older machines making it available for a broader public. I really wanted a bit more detail in Total War: Warhammer, but with like many strategy games, two hours into a five hour sitting you don’t really notice the graphic anymore, just like in Stellaris. However, the campaign map looks really sweet, so that’s something.
Unfamiliar players interested in jumping into the series might do well with the base game, the learning curve is pretty well balanced, but the Chaos Warriors DLC (reviewed on the following page) might not be for them. You need to be pretty familiar with the game's mechanics to be able to successfully play as them.
From time to time instructions were unclear, but if you're familiar with strategy games you will get the hang of it pretty quickly. Newer players will be a bit confused, but in a few days the Internet will have all the answers players might seek.
Total War: Warhammer is the best Total War game in a long time. It harkens back to the Rome I and Medieval II type of Total War game, which have been considered some of be the best.
Even though it has its kinks with things like not the best graphics, lack of intuitive or clear explanations of what you should do, and a few more smaller things, it is still an amazing strategy game which manages to capture the Warhammer spirit.
Total War: Warhammer is everything I always wanted in the recent Total War games, but never got. In many ways it is the perfect Total War game, if you like the Warhammer setting that is.
If you loved the older Total War games where your troops moved at a decent pace, their arrows and weapons hurt the enemies, and all that, then this is the Total War game for you.
It is fresh, new, and most importantly, a really great strategy game which I will keep an playing for a long time to come. Total War is back on track and better than ever.