It’s been a long time since I have enjoyed a total war game. I mean really enjoyed. The past few have been riddled with bugs or just not very fun in general. This has completely changed with the release of Total War: Warhammer! I have spent over 1000 hours if you combine my time in all Total War games, starting with Medieval II. The last game I played was Rome II Total War. This was awful. The campaign was buggy, the multiplayer was unplayable and the general experience just felt unfinished. I was beginning to lose faith in The Creative Assembly and their ability to recapture what made Total War great to begin with.
Total War: Warhammer not only recaptures what made the Total War franchise great, but took it to a whole new level. There are so many great aspects to cover but lets start with the combat.
The combat has improved from the last iteration of the game. The melee units feel great, they charge when you want them to, they stop when you need them to and overall, they respond great to commands. In the past I have had issues with units doing whatever they wanted regardless of commands, but this I can honestly say I have not run into yet. The ranged units are interesting. There is more variety this time around than there ever has been in my opinion. You get flame throwers, archers, crossbows, guns, dynamite, the list goes on. They are pretty good when it comes to choosing targets, and they have not bugged out for me on terrain yet. If they have an issue, they tend to fix it by moving up or down, whatever the case. The artillery is interesting, there are new types of artillery in the game. My personal favorite is the Dwarven flamethrower. It mows down infantry like there is no tomorrow. The units move fluidly and handle terrain well like the others, a welcome experience considering artillery in the past has seemed to feel sluggish and the AI a little off beat.
Cavalry is interesting, not all races have them, the Dwarves have absolutely no cavalry, but the Greenskins have multiple types. From chariots to spider archers, you get great variety in your efforts to run your enemies down. In addition to the units that are expected of a Total War game, there are also a variety of new units. I invite you to check them out at Total War Warhammer Wiki. My personal favorite new units are the gyrocoptors. You can rain death and destruction from the skies with your flying machines. They serve as archer-type units for the most part, but they are very mobile and great for running troops down.
The last thing before we move on that I want to talk about is heroes and generals. In this game, like previous iterations you get skill points and talent trees for both. The more you use them, the more experience they earn and they can unlock new skills. The interesting part however is that now your agents (heroes) can also take part in battles. Think of it as a spy in previous Total War games that you could embed in an army and prevent other spies. Well, when you embed a wizard in your army, they appear in the battlefield and they cast spells to help you and fight for you. This was an interesting twist and in my opinion, improvement on an existing system.
The campaign is your average Total War campaign with a few twists. Some of you might be relieved that they did not change it up too much, while I’m sure others are annoyed that they keep everything the same. Honestly, I never expect much from a campaign in terms of story because that is not what this franchise is about. Im more concerned about the map and how the factions work. I was impressed with the overall layout of the map. It seems small at first, and a tad bit over crowded, but then again, that’s where you come in. Wiping out all the other factions at your whimsy. They added a new mechanic to the game. Chaos, your cities get affected by the chaotic faction and start to become chaotic themselves, this is something that you have to keep an eye out and you get a lot of ways to deal with this. If your chaos corruption becomes too high, you will have to deal with the same things you typically deal with if your public order gets too high. Rebellions and what not, except these are chaos units instead of your typical rebels.
There seems to be great improvements when it comes to campaign diplomacy and interaction between the factions. In many an occasion, i have received trade agreements and military alliances that make sense. You also tend to be offered money more often, especially for things like military access or alliances. Those payments, as well as the quests you get can help you out tremendously when it comes to maintaining your warpath, so make sure you spend the cash wisely. You get a lot of money through quests and missions in this came compared to others and that is a welcome change as well. Overall the campaign feels familiar but it is just different enough to keep things interesting.
Finally, we get to the multiplayer. I’m going to start out by saying, they fixed the campaign desync… sort of… While the dreaded disconnect issue still happens, when it happens, it gives you an option “Fix desync issue” and you click a button, then like magic, you and your partner are back in the game with everything running swimmingly. I think I speak for all multiplayer lovers of Total War games when I say this, but THANK F***ING GOD. And thank you The Creative Assembly for finally fixing one of the few things that has kept me from playing Shogun 2 with my friends for a very long time.
Other than that, your multiplayer is your standard Total War multiplayer, with either battles or campaign multiplayer. If this is what you are into, you will not have any complaints (hopefully).
The last thing I want to touch on briefly is city combat. I was very confused when I first started playing. I would get a city attacked and I would have to fight in a field with no walls or any protection what so ever. This seemed strange but what seems to have changed is that you no longer fight in a city if you have no walls. Until you construct walls in the city, you will fight outside of it without the benefit of buildings as choke points. I wish that would have been a little bit more clear, but after the walls go up in the city, it is a pretty standard siege with some twists to make things different.
Overall I would give this game a solid 10/10. I have 0 issues with this game. Everything has worked tremendously well and it gives me exactly what I want in a Total War game. Thank you for making an amazing game The Creative Assembly.