Total War is now 15 years old, so to celebrate, Creative Assembly will let you download and play the entire franchise for free over the weekend! If you like what you play, you can then buy and keep the games at a serious discount.
The latest 24 hour deals at Green Man Gaming are in, and it's good news for Total War fans:
Remember to use the GMG voucher code BK0F62-EI6HXM-B8PXY4 to get an extra 22% off of these prices!
Developers: The Creative Assembly
I've always loved the more ambitious entries in the Total War series a good deal more than the more battle-focused titles to bear the name. Medieval is still my favourite entry in the series -- and that includes this game, I have to say, but only just -- precisely because it managed to combine fantastic grand strategy with political intrigue and a fairly robust diplomatic system, and real-time battles set in a time period that could legitimately yield up veteran Templar Knights to lead your lines.
But we've come a long way since then. One look at Rome II on its maximum settings is almost enough to make your eyes weep with joy. We often lament this industry's obsession with beautiful shiny things to the detriment of good things, but in doing so we sometimes forget that aesthetics really do matter. The devil is in the details for so many games, and Rome II excels at showing off the extreme lengths to which The Creative Assembly has gone to make Ancient Europe feel alive.
Given that you're staring at a glorified map for much of your time, that's pretty good going.
Returning fans will be instantly at home with the machinations of tens of would-be empires unfolding across Europe and North Africa. The main allure of Rome II -- the expansive campaign, where you choose you faction and are then left to get on with conquering the known world -- is a languid, patient affair, as it has always been. You cannot simply hope to build an enormous army straight off of the bat, and march off into the sunset to fill the next few decades with rampant aggression. There are cities to be managed, carefully struck trade arrangements to be protected, rebellions to be crushed, and a delicate social ecosystem to be maintained.Click here to read more...
The Creative Assembly, responsible for the excellent series of Total War strategy games, reckon that the next generation could well see the series make the jump from PC to console.
Strategy games aren't particularly big on consoles, it has to be said, but studio head Mike Simpson suggested that "there's no fundamental reason" why strategy games can't work on those platforms, it's just that no-one's really done it terribly well before.Click here to read more...
It's not just Amazon busting out the daily deals this week, Steam's on the case too. Each day, from 6pm GMT, there'll be 24 hours of slashed prices on selected products. Here are a few highlights to jump on for the next cycle.
There are loads more available right now, so go check it out for yourselves!
It was a surprising decision by Creative Assembly to go right back to where they started. Everyone was focused on the inevitable (still) Rome 2. Nobody expected a return to the curious lands of feudal Japan with Shogun 2, but now we've all seen it, it's looking luscious. David Brown spoke to James Russell, Kevin McDowell and Jamie Ferguson recently and asked them a few question that you might not have seen asked anywhere else. Perhaps you have. If so, boo to you, smarty-pants. Just pretend you didn't and carry on reading the words below:
DB – You've got fog of war in the game that completely obscures landscape you haven't discovered yet. Would this be realistic for the time? Would the Japanese clans really not know about lands outside their own territory?
James Russell – Actually, you know, they would have an idea of where certain clans were, they'd know where Kyoto was or other major cities, and there'd be certain major trunk routes that they might know about, but there's a very famous of one particular tribe trying to make war and not actually being able to find a way out of their own kingdom. They got lost in the hills. I mean, it's a medieval setting, so yeah, sure, people had ideas, they had maps, they knew where things were, but you certainly wouldn't be able to have a bang-accurate knowledge of exactly where all the ports were a thousand miles away on the other end of Japan.
Kevin McDowell – A lot of the maps of the period still exist and man, they're quite sketchy. That's probably the best you could reasonably expect.
Jamie Ferguson – You have a knowledge of there being a number of regions and you can represent them accurately, and if you do fly over the parchment map (the way fog of war is being depicted in Shogun 2 – Ed) they'll be delineated.
JR – Yeah, you'll see the regions and the provincial capitals as well, but you don't necessarily have diplomatic contacts with all these clans. It's not like the geopolitics of the Empire period where, you know, you've got agents in pretty much every country in the world and you can immediately talk to anyone.
DB – Is using a parchment map for the fog of war as much a design decision as anything else, because of your previously stated desire to really bring the art style of feudal Japan to the game?
KD – We didn't think too deeply about this particular design. Mike Simpson, the creative director, came up with this specific idea and using his 'fantastic' skills in Photoshop, merging the original Shogun with some current screenshots, presented this to us. We thought this was a bit odd, but we'll give it a try and the amazing thing was that all the developers who've played it felt that it changed the way they approached the campaign map, because suddenly there's a feeling of exploration and discovery, which previously we suddenly realised was missing, you know, from previous Total War games.
JR – It's also nice to represent a shrouded area not in pitch darkness, so you do have a basic idea of the scope of the world and where things are.
Steam have done it again, giving away a large bundle of games for a really low price. I don't know about you, but I like this new direction for Steam: cheap games, awesome deals...this is what we've been clamouring for. This week, Valve's download engineers have designated this week SEGA week and so each day this week there'll be a saving on another SEGA game. Today for example, it's Aliens vs. Predator (down to £12.49) although Steam are actually giving away a whole bunch of SEGA titles including AVP, Football Manager 2010, Empire: Total War, Napoleon: Total War, SEGA All Stars-Racing and Stormrise.
Buying these games individually on Steam would actually set you back £286.27, but you'll be able to download the lot - check the full list here - for just £49.99, which Steam say will save you £236.28. That's not entirely accurate, Steam is still pretty damn expensive when it comes to individual games generally, but it'll certainly save you money reaching into three figures.
This is a package that will delight Total War fans, with fully expanded versions of Rome, Medieval II, Empire and Napoleon. In fact, there's so much Total War content here that I'd be inclined to say this deal was made for strategists. Sadly for retro SEGA fans, there might not be much here of interest, but that's not to say that there's nothing else of value here. Football Manager 2010 is absolutely fantastic (but will ruin any exam preparation you may have to do this summer) and as for SEGA All-Stars Racing and AVP hit the names of both to check out our reviews for them. To be honest, not all of the games here will be attractive, and this is a deal built for virtual tacticians, but if there are a couple of titles here that interest you it might be worth checking out.
Thanks to fedexpress at HUKD
Lots of people are turning digital these days for their cheap game needs and, whilst I've always personally preferred physical media (probably due to ignorance), it's hard to disagree with downloadable content when your looking at a bunch of deals such as those over at Direct2Drive. This second week in their spring sale has some absolute gems in amongst the ranks, and its worth also noting that they still have an enormous number of titles knocking around for under £10.
There are eleven featured bargains this week, as follows:
Of those listed above, there are a few absolutely barnstorming deals, particularly for GTA IV and, if you missed out on the Steam Weekend Deal, for The Force Unleashed too. the ArmA Gold Collection is an absolute steal at that price, with the second game alone retailing for £11.99 at the moment and Supreme Commander Gold is more than worth the price of a pint if you're unsure about buying the sequel and want to check out what the series is all about in more detail first.
The Total War Collection will just about save you money, although they've also listed Medieval II, which is by far the best title in the series, for under a fiver. Manhunt 2 for £3.50 might still be a little too much, though, considering how dreadfully mindless that game was. Make sure, though, if you haven't played it already, that you at least make use of the KOTOR bargain for under £4. Not only will it restore your faith in the Star Wars universe post-Phantom Menace, but it's a cracking RPG to boot. BioWare are exceptionally good at what they do and this is certainly up there alongside Baldur's Gate II and Chrono Trigger as one of the finest RPGs of all time.
Thanks to Andy1212 at HUKD
If If you see yourself as a bit of a repressed strategic genius and are really into war because, let’s face it, war is just so damned entertaining, then why not download yourself a copy of Medieval 2: Total War from Steam? At present, this will cost you a measly £2.50 which is nearly half the price of the next best offer which comes in at £4.97 from Tesco Entertainment.
Medieval 2: Total War is my personal favourite when it comes to military strategy games. It’s not overly complex like one of those nightmarish Europa Universalis titles in which the sheer number of tables, graphs and figures made the game practically incomprehensible to anyone other than a graduate from MIT. Indeed, simply to get a basic understanding of that mind boggling franchise, you needed to read colossal 200 page booklet which is less like a game’s manual and more like the Magna Carta.
Medieval 2: Total War however lets you get straight to the good stuff. Beginning just after battle of Hastings, the game allows you to assume the role of almost any Christian or Muslim European power and conquer territory from Bagdad to the New World. The campaign mode is, in some respects, similar to a game of chess where each turn (represented by a period of six months) allows the player to move armies, diplomats and traders a limited distance across the game map.
Battles on the other hand are fought in real time with opposing armies facing each other across a 3D battlefield. Unlike the first medieval edition army units do not appear as these great fuzzy, unresolved masses but - like Rome – are intricately defined, meaning and in terms of visuals, Medieval 2: Total War is stunning. The only drawback with this deal from Steam is the fact that they don’t appear to have provided customers with access to Medieval 2: Total War’s major upgrade which means, for the moment at least, you may be stuck with a slighter older version.
Thanks to Cuddy from Hotukdeals.
A great deal here for any Total War enthusiasts. For just £6.95 you can get hold of both Medieval 2 Total War and the Kingdoms Expansion from Amazon which is currently the lowest price this combined package has ever been. The next best deal comes in at £9.70 from Play.com whilst over at Game this deal will set you back no less than £14.99.
If, like me, you were a bit disappointed with Empire Total War – don’t get me wrong the sea battles looked cool, but the whole musket thing does get quite repetitive after a while – then you’ll have to agree that MWTW 2 and Kingdoms remain the best editions to the franchise so far.
Medieval 2 plunges you back into the turbulent 11th century just after the battle of Hastings – when war was at its best – with the whole of Europe is up for grabs. You can either wage war as one of the Western European Christian states, which can be a bit annoying as you always need the Pope’s permission to do anything, or else purge the Holy land of the infidels by playing as one of the Muslim states.
The Kingdoms expansion focuses on more localised and specific campaigns. You can fight over the British Isles during the time of William Wallace, the Vikings and Edward the Long shanks. You can conquer Eastern Europe as the Danes or the Teutonic Empire. Fight cannibalistic barbarians with Cortes and his small band of Spanish conquistadors or else take on Saladin as Richard the LionHeart in the crusader campaign. All in all, if you like strategy games, these are the best money can buy (just so long as your PC is up to it).
Thanks to HeggyHoggy from Hotukdeals.
If you own Medieval 2: Total War and are considering getting yourself a copy of Empire (cheapest is currently going for £14.99 on Steam) don’t bother. The Medieval Kingdoms Expansion is by far the best edition to the whole Total War franchise. So rather than spending £15 on a sequel which really is not all that great, save yourself some money and download Kingdoms for just £4.99 on Steam. This gives you a great saving compared with the next best price which comes in at £8.73 from The Hut.
The Kingdoms Expansion consists of four new campaigns. You can guide Hernan Cortes and his small band of Spanish conquistadors through the New World as they land on the previously undiscovered shores of Mexico in 1519. You can fight on the side of the crusaders or the Arab states during the 3rd crusade as they slaughter each other in the name of religion. You can terrorize the British Isles as the Vikings, beat the hell out of the English as William Wallace or try to unite your fractured kingdom as Edward the Longshanks in the Britannia campaign. Lastly, you can try and dominate Eastern Europe as an array of different factions which include Poland, the Teutonic Order, the Danes, and the Mongols in the Teutonic campaign.
One of the best things about Kingdoms is that it’s such a great looking game, especially when it comes to sieges. Cities like Jerusalem, Danzig and Mexico City are all phenomenally well detailed and really provide that sense of scale which cities in Empire: TW completely lacked. From the dramatic landscape and volatile climate of New World to the searing deserts of the Middle East, the game manages to capture the characteristics of these various regions extremely well.
Admittedly, Kingdoms doesn’t involve real time naval battles (although they quickly got boring in E:TW), but the fact you can mobolize massive crusader cavalry charges and swarming armies of Indians like something out of Bernal Diaz more than compensates for this. With everyone politely taking it in turns to shoot each other, 18th century warfare can get a bit tedious - but Kingdoms depicts war at its very best!