It’s EGX! Which means it’s the best chance to meet and play the latest and greatest coming out of British development studios. Of course, among the biggest and best of these is Creative Assembly, the London based Sega studio that has been pushing out the Total War games for what seems like decades.
Not ones to disappoint, they had playable builds of Warhammer Total War 2 up and I got my sticky little hands on one pretty much as soon as I was in the gates.
I played two missions, but I’m going to talk about one in particular. That one was a showdown between the Dark Elves, led by their dark prince (look up) and the High Elves under a pair of pretty lordlings. The differences between armies is where the first game really shined, and it was on display in this matchup once again. The High Elves have ranks of shining spearmen and pretty archers looking like they’ve freshly stepped out from the opening scenes of Fellowship while the Dark Elf units are a mix of monsters and twisted elves who all have traits like ‘Murderous’ and basically constantly bay for blood.
Even the mission set up served to highlight the differences between the two races as you enter the battle controlling the Dark Elf army while your commander orders an AI controlled army of spearmen to advance and get attacked, literally calling them ‘expendable’. Well, the High Elves took the bait and soon enough I had my dinosaur riding dark elves (did I mention there are dinosaur riding Dark Elves? Cause it’s kind of awesome) and an enormous hydra all smashing into their exposed flanks and into their rear. Even the inevitable High Elf reinforcements couldn’t stop the rout and victory was mine.
It was lot of fun but, and this has to be said, other then the new armies it felt very much like the same fun i’ve had for over a year with the original (which is fully compatible with this game, the maps will expand if you own both) with no graphics improvements noticeable and the actual gears of gameplay still following the traditional formula.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I said the armies are what gave the first one so much life, but Creative Assembly may find themselves in danger of fan uproar if the final game can be classed as just another DLC.
For anyone curious, the other mission I played pitted the Skaven (rat men for those not familiar with UK-based board game lore) and Lizardmen fighting it out but in that case it felt more like throwing two hordes together so there’s less I can tell you that’s useful. For what it’s worth, both sides looked amazing as we’ve come to expect.
Still, for now I enjoyed it immensely and I am really pumped for seeing more!
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