Total War: Warhammer is a game that could not go wrong. Combining one of the most popular fantasy universes with the mechanics of the established strategic series is so natural that it has been around for years - a mass of fanciful modifications have been created that have brought Total Wary to the Dark Old World. The creators of Creative Assembly were well aware that by introducing masses of novelty into the latest edition of the series, they decided on a number of safe solutions. So they used a proven engine and familiar mechanisms for managing the empire. This resulted in very solid production but left me with a sense of inadequacy. A theme like Warhammer until he asked for a revolution. This is not one of the best Total War series in history. Not ideal but atmospheric, impressive and serving dozens of hours of pure fun. Word - great.
Warhammer is one of the oldest and most well-known fantasies dark fantasy universes. What gives it a specific, gloomy atmosphere is the world-view of ultimate destruction - the people and their allies are able to prevent a catastrophe from happening in the end, but ultimately the battle will be lost. The forces of Chaos with the mighty Archaon at the top will crumble and crumble once and for all once in the Old World. This is where the game begins - Emperor Karl Franz has just been named Emperor, and Chaos prepares for the decisive invasion. In Total War: Warhammer we take part in events preceding the foretold prophecy in many of the end times.
As a Warhammer fan, I am glad that the creators of Creative Assembly have succeeded in moving this heavy climate into a strategic game. This is mainly due to the high level of difficulty - there is not, in fact, a moment when we would not be in danger of serious danger; At first we are struggling with other factions or rebels, and a few dozen or so later on the Old World, there is a storm of mighty Chaos and its twisted subordinates from Norsca. The atmosphere is enhanced not only by the impressive video introductions in each of the four campaigns, but also by minor details such as strategic mapping, music and projects. Even the elaborate interface and quotes that appear during the loading of battles and records (though sometimes incomprehensible to laymen) are going to familiarize us with the world of Warhammer.
Unfortunately, there are times when the mechanics of Total War dominate the Warhammer climate. The Lord of the Vampires preaching to their ... unlucky creatures or the possibility of releasing captured in battle ... skeletons - I very much regret that the creators have not avoided these minor flaws. The climate is not destructive, you do not have to worry about it, but the fans of the universe can be a little irritated.
Warhammer is a full-fledged version of Total War. The Studio Creative Assembly, which launched its "Total War" adventure sixteen years ago, could not possibly have found a better way to celebrate the tenth round of the cycle than the Warhammer world. It's just a pity that developers have decided to stay with the same engine - Warscape has been driving successive series since 2009 and today ... it's already in the eye. To be honest, after Warhammer, I expected more graphic design. I do not say that she is angry - she is not - but she has weaker moments. On the other hand, it is possible that the game is running smoothly and has no exaggerated hardware requirements and has been properly optimized.
The weakness of the engine is, for example, the appearance of land or grass, which do not present themselves as a beautiful, or classic clash of the clones for Total War. Engine, however, is not just a graphic design. The use of Warscape makes it easy to play anyone who, though briefly encountered previous stages of the cycle. Cavalry (now not only on horses but also on spiders or wolves) continue to infiltrate Infantry. Likewise, artillery or archers work. Creative Assembly decided not to change what is good, which ultimately is hard to read minus - even if you want more.
The use of an old engine does not mean that there are no new innovations in the game and that it fundamentally changes the basic mechanics. Certain simplifications covered economics. On the strategic map, we continue to manage the provinces in a manner known from previous visits (for example, one region consists of several settlements or cities), but we can no longer determine the amount of taxes collected - at most we stop asking them for a province, thus increasing its stability. There is no seasons or dirt in the cities. In the long run, these are good solutions that focus more closely on what is the essence of the game, namely, the war and the battles. The latter also in some aspects simplified. In Warhammer, we can no longer change the density of soldiers' deployments (which was good at the blast). What's even more surprising - the troops do not have any special formations like falang or tortoise. Fortunately, in a way, in turn, the creators enriched the mechanics of battles with powerful units, magic and flying units. In this way, the clashes gained a lot of tactical depth.
The war in the Total War series has so far been a clash of masses. Of course, the experienced and brave team counted on the battlefield much more than a few even the greybeards straight from the barracks, but the heroes of the real events in these games were not. Warhammer strongly changes it - in each battle the Lord of the army is involved, and we can recruit the heroes, including great warriors and deadly mages. Each such unit is worth at least a few basic units, and over time and levels become even more powerful. This leads to a situation when the smaller army twice with the leader at the head can easily deal with a larger enemy without such a leader - as a result, fortresses without lords or even heroes are much harder to defend. This is an important change and it is worth taking into account when you start your adventure with Warhammer.
Along with the mentioned lords, Warhammer introduces a number of RPGs to the Total War series. Every hero gains experience levels. Thanks to them we can choose special skills or spells that make the character grow stronger. With the progress of the game, the lords also change the way they walk through the battlefield - the vampiric leader Mannfred von Carstein initially walks in time with a dead horse, and finally the animated dragon. Our heroes also gain items that reinforce themselves or their subordinates - all of this, along with the role-playing mysteries of a particular lord, resembles some Heroes of Might & Magic. Superficial similarity, but ... how noble. In practice this means that our leader (and other heroes) need to be cared for - he will not die of old age but may die during battle or as a result of assassination and then lose (at best for a few turns) all his powers and experience.
Heroes and lords are not the only powerful units on the battlefield. Each faction has at its disposal various types of exceptionally strong formation: in orc hordes are, for example, great spiders or giants, and in chaos and armies of vampire lords - monsters. Some of them count several in the ward, but the strongest ones are single. However, neglecting them for this reason is a serious mistake - leaving them free to battle on the battlefield without having to cut off several other troops. During the clash, I usually focused on these powerful enemy units and this approach seems to me quite profitable. An opponent without a lord or a giant troll was much easier to defeat.
Difficult to overestimate the role in the battle is played by magic - the strongest spells can affect the course of the clash. It can be risky to rely entirely on them - the amount of mana depends on the power of the winds of magic, and these have different intensities on the strategic map. It is worth adding that spells on the battlefield look just fine - they are spectacular and they turn the climate. Equally great are the flying units. For the first time in a series' history, a squad is free to jump above the heads of even the most defenceless defenders and fall to nothing but archers. It is very good in this role, eg, mentioned Mannfred von Carstein, who on the battlefield sits on a big dragon.
Most importantly, all these novelties did not disturb the balance of the game. Each faction has its strengths, but also very specific weaknesses. The series added such a refreshing formula, a scale of changes compared to the release of Empire: Total War.
The difficulty level is the eternal All War series. In Warhammer, he has some pluses and minuses, but as a whole, I shade him positively. In battles, the computer is not a special challenge, but it does not quite lead to the nose. Efficiently use, for example, the advantage of a horse or flying craft. However, there are also situations when the SI definitely misses - for example, allowing a long time to fire their units before the right clash.
It is different on the strategic map - the degree of difficulty is greatly increased there. Even a bit too much, but one must admit that the state of eternal danger is in great harmony with the bleak climate of Warhammer. Enemies appear in a place where we have no defence, and effectively attack the weak points of our state, plundering the city. Chaos armies that fall on the Old World around 70 turns are powerful and numerous - during my first approach to the Empire campaign, Archon's ruthless forces crushed me without mercy. One solution is to choose a low level of difficulty, where the fun becomes much easier. Our lives are more profitable, and the less often we rebel - these two elements are enough to make Old World a much more friendly place. On this difficulty level, we finish the game faster - the dwarfs managed to win the campaign in about 130 turns.
In Total War: Warhammer there are four factions. Fifth is chaos - its forces will be able to direct only those who choose to buy a pre-sale game or within a week of the launch date (the latter option forced a sharp reaction of the community). The sixth party, offered in the first free DLC, will most likely be modelled on Brittany's medieval France - her units are now available in multiplayer and multiplayer mode. The next fractions are to be paid, as there are probably many other game builders. Such a policy, which looks like a cut from the finished product of fragments that are later sold separately, has never aroused sympathy and must be assessed negatively. So far, the title proposes four campaigns, each focused on another faction and another race.
Dwarfs with the capital of Karaz-a-Karak are distinguished by an army consisting mainly of free infantry armor - although it performs well in combat, after defeating the enemies of the defending enemies is a challenge ... until the construction of the guns. In addition, the dwarfs, in addition to typical tasks, receive further entries in the "Book of Injury" - not raising them increases anxiety in our state. During the campaign, the bearded target is to take control (directly or through the alliance system) over all dwarven fortresses, and also destroy the faction of their lethal enemies - the Greenhorn. Orcs and goblins stand out in the so-called. waleczkowatość. This is a feature that describes the military commitment of an army - when it runs out, its savage soldiers are beginning to fight among themselves. When it reaches its maximum level, our troops receive support from additional SI-controlled units - which coincides nicely with the history of the universe and also compensates for the chance as the orcs and goblins do not have as strong units as their enemies: dwarves.
Vampires, the main enemies of the Empire, have no typical tax system. Instead, the undead lords gather the dark magic points. In their army, there are missing archers, but in return, they have powerful flying units and can resurrect their soldiers during the battle. Otherwise, they maintain their order in their dark state - through vampiric distress, spreading to other provinces like the plague in medieval Europe. Rather, the classic faction is the Empire with the newly condemned Emperor Karl Franz, one of the most recognizable characters of the Warhammer universe. The first task of the new leader is to defeat the secessionists and to discipline the vicious vassals. The Empire has the universal army of all available factions, as well as a system of officials, referring to the solutions from the previous series.
It remains to be stated that the races in Warhammer are in fact very individualized, even in terms of the way the provinces are governed, the composition of the army, or the heroes' capabilities. Some of the differences are superficial (for example, the vampiric points of dark magic are simply currency), but the basic mechanics are different. In my opinion, this compensates for the potential weakness that could be the small number of playable factions offers at Total War.
The least enjoyable part of any review is when you have to go to the flaws. In the case of Warhammer, they are mostly reduced to various kinds of shortcomings. Anything that would disqualify the game - Warhammer's flaws are like little splinters: they do not kill, but they irritate. The above-mentioned climaxing of the mechanics of the atmosphere makes it seem like for a second that we are dealing with a modification, not a full game. For example, our dwarves - whoever they are not fighting - often shout the same thing: "Death Orcs!" - Strangely, it sounds like we are once again clashing with the Empire. Bearders also sometimes irritate the system of trauma. For example, in the book appears an entry ordering us to defeat a specific enemy general. The problem is that he does not want to fight with us and for a few heads in the lead of Benny Hill - we chase him on the map. There are also strange tasks that can not be accomplished (for example, the battle of a given enemy within a few turns in the fact that several neutral states separate us).
The illogical decisions of artificial intelligence on the strategic map are also noticeable. On a regular basis, a faction told me of war, while some of us were stretched out among others, and it was known that no fight would come. There were times when the enemies later proposed peace, offering a lucrative paycheck ... You will also admit that it is hard to call a "decisive defeat" the situation when we were the only ones, and it was not small, the damage in battle.
It is worth adding that there are also role-playing tasks, related to the leaders of the faction and strongly promoted before the premiere. They basically come down to battles, and in return, we get special items. The problem is that the various weapons and banners in the course of the game we gain so much that even more - even unique - do not make a lot of fun. These examples show that Total War: Warhammer is not an ideal production - apart from the typical syndrome of cutting and selling separately, the title content is also affected by minor illnesses.
After spending with Total War: Warhammer for over 70 hours I can honestly say that it is one of the better strategy games this year, and it is a strong year. It seems that the combination of dark fantasy with the mechanics of the series just could not go wrong. Studio Creative Assembly has used years of practice and applied proven solutions - even if it was similar to previous releases, the mechanics of managing and expanding the province, referring to the leadership development system and the introduction of empire offices. However, there was a whole lot of novelty, mainly on the differences between the factions, and also in the battlefield, which was after all the most important part of Total War titles. It's just a pity that the creators stopped in half a step without offering a new engine and as a result of a real revolution. As they say, better is the enemy of the good, so it's hard to have the authors pretend that they did "just" great game.
Total War: Warhammer is a production that will get better over time. Over the next year, he will receive a mass of extensions, extra faction and various details, maliciously by fans called "DLCs with blood". With all these add-ons, as well as fan-made modifications Warhammer will gain a lot. If by this time the developers will be able to correct the described shortcomings, it will calmly be able to score one point for the final evaluation. Warhammer will then be almost perfect.