James Russell News | PCGamesN

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Creative Assembly developers make the case for Total War: Arena

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Creative Assembly developers make the case for Total War: Arena

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.

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Total War: Something to be announced at GDC tomorrow

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Total War: Something to be announced at GDC tomorrow

Vague and insubstantial news posts aren’t my forte so bear with me. Tomorrow will see a new Total War game announced during Creative Assembly's lead game designer James Russell’s talk at GDC. The type of game it will be we do not know, the title of the game is something else we do not know, the era it is set in is just one more thing on the list of things we do not know.

For how we know these are things we don’t know read on.

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Total War: Rome 2 gameplay footage shows Carthage brought to its knees

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Total War: Rome 2 gameplay footage shows Carthage brought to its knees

Total War: Rome 2 is out now; here's our Total War: Rome 2 review.

Just a hint of elephants; Creative Assembly sure know how to tease us. Even with 10 minutes of gameplay footage, showing off the invasion of Carthage by a large Roman force, formed of both land and sea units, we don't see the ancient world's tank-equivalent. We know they must be there, somewhere, chewing grass, waiting for their moment to strike, like a two tonne cruise missile with a payload of ivory death.

See if you can spot any.

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Total War: Rome 2 combines land and sea assaults; see them in action

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Total War: Rome 2 combines land and sea assaults; see them in action

Total War: Rome 2 is out now; here's our Total War: Rome 2 review.

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.

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Total War: Rome 2 has a budget 40 percent bigger than any previous Total War

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Total War: Rome 2 has a budget 40 percent bigger than any previous Total WarTotal War: Rome 2 has had a budgetary pant-expansion, say Creative Assembly.

“It’s about having a lot of content," lead designer James Russell told Edge on the subject. “And of course we’ve got to do that for all of these different cultures as well. So we’ve got the barbarians and all the barbarian tribes, and these eastern factions."

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Total War: Rome 2 preview: every question answered

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Total War: Rome 2 preview: every question answered

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.

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