Total Warhammer was the perfect mash-up of Total War’s focus on realistic, strategic battles and Warhammer’s lore-heavy and well-followed universe, and having a sequel so soon after the first game might’ve raised a couple of eyebrows. With the first game in now what is looking like a series being so well-received, Creative Assembly now has the chance to rally submerge their arms even more into the lore they introduced with the first game. New races and regions are the poster children of Total Warhammer 2, and they were out in full force at E3.
A 30-minute demo is in no way or shape ample time to try out a game with battles that could easily last triple that, but Total Warhammer 2 still managed to cram a lot of content in for the eager players at the show. The showcase opened with a rather extended look at the regions that pepper the game’s world, along with long looks at the new races joining the fray. The Lizardmen of Lustria stood out the most though, so it was great to immediately be thrust into control of a large force attempting to fight off an invading platoon of the High Elves of Ulthuan.
Total Warhammer has all these races together in a central conflict involving The Vortex. This well of magic is coming apart at the hinges, and so every fighting force across the land is making their own way there to take control of the force for themselves. The campaign will explore all the different journeys each race takes, including the interpersonal politics that exist between them. The demo itself explored this, as my Lizardmen attempted to defend their land as they continued pressing on other fronts.
The demo itself was rather limited, acting as an introduction to the long-standing Total War mechanics in a relatively stress-free environment. Strategy and troop placement was still paramount though, as was understanding who I was sending into battle and who they might end up clashing swords with. Being a brand new race, the limited time didn’t give me a good sense of the particular strengths and weaknesses attributed to the Lizardmen. But it didn’t stop me from grouping archers and infantry to better tackle the rallying Elves and their dragons.
The sense of scale is just as grand as Warhammer has been, with the camera letting me get as far or as close to the slow-paced action as I wanted. Placing characters and giving them directives and then standing back to watch my orders play out was empowering – making me feel like a true general commanding my force to victory. That victory was far too easily attained to truly assess the strategic nature of my play, but it made me feel good nonetheless.
Total Warhammer 2 still has a lot of content that it needs to show off before launch and trying to dig through its complicated strategic gameplay and convoluted lore is difficult to condense into a short trailer. It’s play sessions like this that really showcase what this series is all about. And if you found a lot to love in the first title, there’s likely even more to look forward to here.
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Last Updated: June 23, 2017