I can never quite muster the necessary enthusiasm for giant robots sometimes required for PC gaming, and for that I blame Beast Wars: Transformers – the Canadian CGI spinoff that I watched after school in the ‘90s. In that, the robots became birds and bears, and so Optimus Prime became Optimus Primal, y’see? Very clever stuff.
This is not a tie-in to that – though you can’t rule such things out while Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior exists. Rather, it’s an only marginally less ridiculous unit pack that brings ranged scorpion hurling to Total War: Rome 2; a game described as a good “romp” in Fraser’s Total War: Rome 2 review.
Here are those seven new units in order of appearance, then: scorpion pot ballistas, Cataphract camels, Molossian dogs, beehive onagers, Celtic warhounds, snake pot ballistas and Syrian armoured elephants.
What choices inform what nasty you choose to fill your pots with, I wonder? Is there a tactically advantageous time to pick snakes over scorpions, or is it simply a matter of which killer you have to hand?
Creative Assembly seem to suggest throwing them off the ships at offending armies, in a sort of reverse Noah’s ark: two by two.
“Terrorise your enemies and slow their progress with beehive, scorpion and snake-pot ballistas, or crush them under the weight of heavily-armoured Cataphract Camels and Mercenary Syrian Armoured Elephants,” they recommend. “And when their will is broken and they flee the field, run them down with two new breeds of ferocious war-dogs.”
Beasts of War is £1.99 on Steam – where you can also check the eligibility of each animal with your favoured faction.
Stats aside, though,Beasts of War brings bees to a po-faced historical battle simulator. And is that not what unit packs are for?