Strategy is one of the most niche generations of video games, but still has many a good title in it. Strategy can be either real time strategy, where both players take decisions simultaneously, or turn based strategy, where players take turns to decide their moves. If you’re one of the guys who like to grind mathematics through complicated algorithms and build orders, then real time strategy is for you, if you’re one to outsmart your opponent in a battle of brains in turns, then you’re more of a turn based player. The question really is, what about a game which has a bit of both? Yes, Total War is a franchise, which involves both. The question is, how does a Warhammer theme sound with Total War? Is a shift from the traditional RTS to the TBS gameplay of Total War really worth it?
Total War: Warhammer 2 is a turn-based strategy, Real-time tactics video game developed by Creative Assembly, and published by SEGA. The game was released on the Windows Platform on 28th September 2017.
Total War: Warhammer 2
Total War : WARHAMMER 2 sees a return to the classic turn based strategy with real time battles being squad based, with multiple strategy elements in every point of the game, one of the trademark features of a good Total War game. The game has both a campaign for telling the story of the various races that inhabit the world in the Warhammer universe. If that doesn’t suit you, you can always opt in for the skirmish mode, either against an AI, or on multiplayer against other people. Either way, you’ll be getting to play the game the way you wish.
Story & Narrative
The campaign tells the story of all the different races, each with their own different perks and advantages, as well as units. The problem is, the game is especially unkind, even in the campaign, to first-timers (not necessarily to strategy, but to Total War itself). The perks to each class are not explained properly, and the game’s pre-stated difficulty levels may not match with your opinion after you start playing with one race, the primary reason being that different people tend to approach a versatile game like Total War in different ways. Also, the game’s tendency to offer advice changes with every race. Each faction has a different story line, and there are two heroes from each faction to choose from, one easy hero, and one hard hero, the difficulty again being pre-determined by game itself.
If campaign is not the appropriate mode for you, you can fight out in custom skirmish battles. Battles can be fought either against the AI, or against other human players online. You get a certain amount of currency to purchase squads at the beginning of the game, each squad having a separate cost in currency (Obviously, better troops cost more, the idea is to create a balanced army with a winning strategy).
When the game starts, a deployment phase comes before the actual battle, where players can deploy their units on the battlefield. Starting from the deployment phase till the end of the battle phase, it’s strategy galore! From the utilization of cover, to the utilization of terrain, height, and several other smaller things, one can easily turn the tide of the battle, so its not only numbers, but the strategies deployed that matter the most in every battle. The end of every battle shows the outcome of battle : victory or defeat, along with its margin (let’s say you are defeated, but you manage to wipe out a majority of the opponent’s units, then you will be greeted with the message “You lost this battle, but there is honor in this defeat”)’
Graphics, Sound & Performance
The game is visually gorgeous, but yet surprisingly behind the times in terms of graphics. (Maybe the DirectX 12 beta mode works better? The lack of capable hardware to support it has left us with the lack of a decision in this place.) The game performs decently on even low-end PCs, is optimized pretty well (I’m still running a NVIDIA Kepler card and I can run the game). However, this might be the game’s increased dependence on the CPU instead of the GPU while processing moves, though the GPU matters in big battles with large number of units (as you see the FPS slider move down……….slowly) System in use for the review used a really old FX 8320, GTX 660 and 6 GB of RAM, and the game ran decently on medium settings, and even on tweaked high settings.
Gameplay & Mechanics
Total War WARHAMMER 2 does it what it does best – forcing the player to think and rethink every move before making it. There are several types of terrains, each affecting the movement of specific types of units. Moreover, terrain indicators, like height are huge factors determining the behavior of units – units at height, especially ranged ones, gain a huge advantage over an enemy at a lower height (increased range as well as increased firepower). There are several decals on the battlefield, like rocks, or buildings, that can act as cover and provide bonus to the units close to it. Units have morale as well as strength – morale decreases when they are losing a battle, and increases when they are winning a battle, and strength decreases slowly upon time, as units get “tired”. Forests can hide a cohort of units, while rivers impede movement of most units trying to cross it. If your soldier’s run out of morale, they disband and try to regroup, while if they are tired, their efficiency in battle decreases. Everything is fine – but the real question is, has anything been added that wasn’t in Total War already? The answer is no, which is quite a damper.
That is only the actual battlefield where battle takes place. Outside, there is a miniature battlefield of its own, with units, settlements, cities and every manner of token on the board. It is on this board that major decisions, like managing a city, as well as training units is done.
If you’re a die hard strategy fan, or if nostalgia grips you, by all means, get this, but on a more personal note, it is not recommended. There are few additional races, as well as the lack of a proper tutorial (the AI teaches you “on the go” which sucks), and many of the mechanics of Total War remains same in the game. Total War WARHAMMER was good, its sequel was………disappointing.