Rome 2 may be halfway out the door and on its way to market, but that hasn’t stopped the Creative Assembly from chasing after it with their art-brushes and code-saws. Once it’s released, I imagine lead designer James Russell will be hiding out in your Steam Library like that Japanese lady in the cupboard, sneaking out at night for more playtesting. Anyway - the result of this mania is a whole new faction, bringing the total to nine for the game’s launch.
I met Creative Assembly’s James Russell and Gabor Beressy on the last day of GDC at a convention center cafe underneath Moscone North. Both men had the worn look I’d seen on most media and developers that day, the toll of five days of meetings, sessions, and interviews. After a weary greeting, the three of us slumped at a table for our last interview of GDC, while all around us workers were tearing down exhibits and overeager security guards started shooing loiterers toward the exits.
Russell is the lead designer for the Total War series, while Beressy is the series’ lead multiplayer designer and the point man on Total War: Arena. Worried we were about to be thrown out by security, I got right to the point: “So the problem I’m having is: I don’t really get how Total War: Arena is going to work."
They nodded. That’s the problem they’re facing. It’s not easy to explain how the Total War formula can be adapted to a MOBA, and anxious Total War fans are reading their own worries into the news about Arena. Russell and Beressy wanted to set things straight.
Representatives from the Total War community were invited to join Creative Assembly at a San Francisco event this week and ask them searching questions. They readily obliged, and emerged hours later clutching some big numbers and an idea of what sort of PC you’ll need to run Rome 2 (clue: yours will probably do).
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The Suebi are a Rhine-bordering faction brought in to replace the original Rome’s generic Germanic peoples, whom our Joe tells me I probably didn’t quite manage to bump into while trampling all over Gaul. For the sequel, the Creative Assembly have coaxed out their most distinctive features - their ambush tactics, their Berserkers and their haircuts.
According to the description posted on the Total War wiki, Macedon is a pretty organised place, "an administration, with the king holding power and governing in the name of the people." The Macedonians make their money through trade and agriculture and field strong armies of horses and cavalry. They don't get along so great with other Greek states, though, because their neighbours view their "hegemonic tendencies" with suspicion.
Creative Assembly have been very aggressive with DLC for the Total War series, and never more so than in the case of Total War: Shogun 2. Between unit packs, clan packs, new scenarios, and even a “blood pack", there’s mountains of extra Shogun 2 content to choose from.
So, let's take a look at Shogun 2: Total War and look at all of its DLC, to help you find what’s worth your time, and what’s worth avoiding.
Bloody hell. Creative Assembly and SEGA have struck a deal with Games Workshop for multiple games set in Warhammer’s fantasy universe. A new development team has been set up at the West Sussex Total War studio and has already begun work on the first. We’re dubbing it Gnome: Total War.
Update: We have confirmed that Dawn of War forgers Relic still have their 40K license, as suspected. Phew.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Total War: Rome 2 is all about the siege of Carthage, because right now that’s all Creative Assembly will show us. Actually though, Rome 2 is about everywhere and everything, all at once.
Case in point: combined battles stretching seamlessly across both brine and beach, as demonstrated in this new video. Just ignore, if you can, the fact that we’re returning to bloody Carthage for the privilege.
Creative Assembly have launched a full suite of modding tools for Total War: Shogun 2, allowing historical tinkerers a far greater degree of control over their custom battles. The announcement of the Shogun 2 Assembly Kit on Steam also updates the existing Battle Map Editor to enable Steam Workship integration, as well as the ability to create scripted single-player historical battles. Of course, just rotating a battle-ready Shimotsuma Nakayuki twelve degrees would have such a profound effect on 16th century gene pool as to vanish your present self into a sad little paradoxical wisp. So watch out for that.
The Total War Steam sale ends tomorrow, but the time to buy is now: Shogun 2 and its extraordinary standalone expansion, Fall of the Samurai, are on sale for $7.50 apiece. They will make excellent purchases to go with the news that Creative Assembly have just announced Steam Workshop support for the game. All DLC is on sale at a hefty discount, too.
Shogun 2 will receive a new elite unit pack next week, tweets Creative Assembly. The Saints and Heroes Elite Unit Pack will contain nine new legendary warrior units, "the masters of their combat disciplines, standing head-and-shoulders above their rank-and-file brothers". Good, it's about time those rank-and-file chumps were taken down a peg or two.
Rome II is ambitious. But to capture that civilization in a game..? To take that marvellous complexity at every level, to simulate that..? That’s yet more ambitious. We spoke to the team at Creative Assembly, specifically the Lead Designer James Russell, and got an extended demo of the siege of Carthage, the final act of the Third Punic War.
Know this: Total War: Rome II is huge, spectacular and beautiful. Total War N has gathered together every piece of information, every fact going in one place. So enjoy: this is Rome 2.
Football Manager and Total War publishers Sega are looking to expand their reach into digital and mobile phone games and concentrate on PC games, according to Gamasutra. The announcement follows poor financial results for 2011, which saw Sega’s overall software sales slump by 1.5 million year-over-year.
The Creative Assembly have stealthily released a battlefield editor for their excellent, but until now uneditable, wargame Shogun 2. The editor enables Creative's creative fans to build and share maps for both Total War - Shogun 2 and its expansion pack Fall of the Samurai, from inside the game.