Total War Warhammer review, PC: ‘A complex game that’s not for everyone’
As a popular and sporty teenager at school I was into two things above all others; video games and Warhammer, so whenever these two pillars of my youth combine I am always a little bit excited. There have been a few great Games Workshop video games over the years but there has also been a lot of… less than great ones.
Total War: Warhammer puts the player in charge of a race taken from the Warhammer lore and you are trying to expand your empire to encompass the world by fighting battles and creating cities in typical 4X style. Each of the four factions (Human, Orc, Dwarf and Vampire) has a different objective and different penalties for failure. As an example, the Orcs will start fighting among themselves if they don’t have frequent battles and the Dwarves have a book of grudges that they add and subtract from over the course of the game depending on battles and diplomacy.
Battles are fought in real-time (although you can auto-resolve smaller battles) with you taking an overall RTS style role ordering various units into battle and timing charges etc. Aerial units are now available, unlike previous games, and this adds an additional layer to battles. As the game progresses the battles become tense and strategic but unfortunately some of the tension comes from units not responding accurately to your commands. On one occasion I ordered some reinforcements into the fray and returned my focus to the main battle, at the end of what felt like a close fight I realised the reinforcements had stopped behind a hill and had not entered the fight.
Other than the AI issues mentioned above the lack of in-depth tutorial for the game might put off newcomers, there is a help menu available but if this is your first Total War game then you may be using it quite a lot. The other slight disappointment I felt when playing this game is there are only four factions available (Chaos available as DLC from release).
Warhammer has a rich universe and it seems a shame that only a few made it into the game (No Skaven?). Thankfully this game is based on the Warhammer universe pre the recent overhaul and so has all the names I remember from my youth.
Total War Warhammer is a tough game to get into but once you do there is a lot of depth to keep you going for a long time, especially as each faction has a different campaign. A complex game that’s not for everyone but certainly worth a look if 4X/RTS or Warhammer are your thing.