Total War: Warhammer review | PCGamesN

Total War: Warhammer Review

How gory is Total War: Warhammer?

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(after 2 days 18 hours play time)

612 days ago

There's a dark and gritty aesthetic, but without the "Blood for the Blood God" DLC, there's no actual gore at all.

As with certain previous Total War games, you can buy this DLC for £1.99, and it will add detailed blood and gibbing effects (soldiers explode when their lines are raked by cannon balls, that sort of thing). It's hard to see some of those details unless you zoom the camera in, however.

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Silentius (after 21 hours play time)

442 days ago

I purchased the 'Blood for the Blood God' DLC, which is the only way to enjoy your fill of claret in TWW. In hindsight, however, I'd say don't bother. It may sound silly but, if anything, the gore is a little too freely applied. Armies start out as units of colorful, easily-distinguishable soldiers, but as the sides come together, they swiftly devolve into non-descript, crimson-soaked rucks. I know this is probably a fair reflection on the realities of medieval warfare but, in my opinion, it looks ugly as sin and spoils the game's otherwise handsome visuals.

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Does magic in Total War: Warhammer feel powerful?

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(after 2 days 18 hours play time)

612 days ago

Depends. Certain spells definitely *can* have a huge impact on the battle, but these are mostly balanced by their mana cost and erratic impact. Other spells are less effective in theory but are undercosted for what they do, and thus become a little overpowered. This is already being addressed with balance patches, however. And then there are dud spells which are too expensive or not powerful enough and should never be taken - again, some balancing is needed.

As for *feel* in an aesthetic sense, I'm not blown away by the visuals; most magic takes the shape of random lighting effects. The vortex spells, which are meant to be the most powerful, are multicoloured orbs that quiver across the battlefield like a drunken zorbing party. Personally, I was hoping for a little more "heft" to big spells like Comet of Casandora, which lands on the field like a spray of blue rain rather than the screen-shaking mushroom cloud I was expecting.

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Silentius (after 21 hours play time)

442 days ago

Thus far I've been fairly underwhelmed by the impact of magic in TWW, but that's mostly because I haven't yet learned how to best use it. In my first campaign, as the Dwarfs, I hardly payed any attention to spells and was able to get by pretty well without them. If I remember my lore correctly, however, Dwarfs aren't the most adept magic users, and other factions place a far greater emphasis on sorcery.

That said, from what little experience I do have of the mystic arts in TWW, I can imagine magic being a game changer. As with other special abilities, timing is everything. Picking the right moment to give your embattled troops a buff or to unleash a devastating ball of flame on your opponent has the potential to be decisive. On my next play through I'm gonna go proper Siegfried and Roy on the denizens of the Old World.

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Does Total War: Warhammer reward strategic planning?

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(after 2 days 18 hours play time)

612 days ago

Yes, to varying degrees depending on the faction you're playing. Each has a different position on the campaign map, which is your main consideration, but each also has different strategic mechanics for the first time in the series, which adds a huge second wrinkle.

As the Dwarfs, it's pretty easy to keep peace with your northern neighbours while concentrating on taking out the Greenskins in the south, and since this is obviously the most effective strategy, there's not much to plan. This is easy mode.

As the Empire or the Vampire Counts, however, you're surrounded by potential enemies, many of whom have allies who will back them up against you. It does take a fair bit of foresight to figure out who your next best target is based on who is most vulnerable, or can be made so by unpicking their alliances.

As Chaos or the Beastmen - the two "horde" armies, who can't capture cities - you're an unsubtle steamroller of a faction, but this doesn't mean the campaign is easy. If you drive too deep into enemy territory you can be easily surrounded by several armies working in concert, so you have to take bites out of the edges before lunging at the centre.

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Would you buy at full price or wait for a Total War: Warhammer sale?

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(after 2 days 18 hours play time)

612 days ago

I bought at full price and consider that what we got at launch was good value for money, though obviously this is a bit of a subjective judgement.

Post-launch support has been good, with three patches and two reasonably substantial injections of free DLC, adding further to the game's longevity even for those who don't want to fork out any more. CA are clearly dedicated to this game and if you like Total War, Warhammer, or grand strategy in general, you should get good value whatever you pay.

That said, it's definitely true that this game is getting a *ton* of post-launch DLC which will one day be sold in bundles at much more attractive prices. Christmas is the earliest we're likely to see such deals, I would guess.

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How good are the sounds in Total War: Warhammer?

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(after 2 days 18 hours play time)

612 days ago

Splendid; the sound design is a big part of the appeal. Infantry and cavalry rumble pleasingly as they march en masse, gunpowder weapons boom, steam boilers putter and fizz, and so on. Music is also suitably dramatic, making one feel as though every battle could've been cut from Lord of the Rings.

Voice acting and flavour text in the diplomacy screen really captures the feel of each race's leaders - my only complaint is that I think the vampires could've used a Transylvanian twang rather than the generic, ominous gurgle they've gone for. But honestly, that's more or less the only issue.

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Why do gamers keep coming back to Total War: Warhammer

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(after 2 days 18 hours play time)

612 days ago

Simply, there has never been this much variety before. Each faction's campaign is hugely different on every level, from unit roster, to campaign mechanics, to look and feel.

There's a genuine reason to play each campaign, and since each campaign can be dozens of hours, there's huge longevity in single-player. You can potentially add dozens more depending on how much you love the multiplayer battles, and on whether or not you buy the DLC.

Also I've been a Warhammer player since 1998 and the fidelity of this adaptation is amazing