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05/21/2020 02:05:36 •••

Wasted Potential

When I heard that SEGA had acquired the Warhammer Fantasy license, I was overjoyed. I had longed to play Warhammer Fantasy before, but previous adaptations were lackluster and the actual tabletop game was overpriced. It was a relief that Creative Assembly could give the franchise the justice it deserved.

Unfortunately, the final product does little more than the bare minimum for this task. While Total War: Warhammer is a functional, playable, and generally fun game, it wastes the potential both of the license it is based on, and of the franchise as a whole.

Perhaps the biggest problem I have with TW:W is how shallow the campaign is. Features from previous titles, such as seasons, naval battles, family trees, and internal politics are all stripped out completely. This is most notable in the Empire's campaign, which is easily the worst of the playable factions. The Empire's convoluted and advanced political infighting in the lore is not at all simulated in game, with the various electors acting as independent states and having virtually no real decision making involved. Politics basically doesn't exist. Other factions get "unique" mechanics, but each mechanic is just a reskinned one from previous titles. Orc WAAAG Hs are basically just Crusades/Jihads from Medieval II with a little bit of horde mechanics thrown in. The Vampire Count's undead mechanics are literally just the mercenary system from previous titles (literally: if you look in the pack files you will see that they reuse the same tables and mechanics). The Dwarfs get what are basically Senate missions, but you can choose which mission to pursue. The problem is that each of these mechanics used to be accessible to all factions in previous titles, instead of being locked to each faction. From a purely gameplay perspective, this gives me zero incentive to play TW:W's campaign over previous campaigns.

Battles are also a bit of a mess. Magic is poorly balanced, with destruction magic being useless on higher unit sizes. Formation warfare is gone entirely, with most of the combat being decided by unit stats, buffs, and other meta mechanics.

The game is also plagued by ongoing problems in the series that have still not been resolved. The AI is terrible, especially in the campaign. It obnoxiously spams agents and uses the Forced March mechanic to run away from battle. It has no overall strategic sense, resulting in supposedly "major" factions like the Empire getting clobbered early in the campaign.

On more minor notes, the music is utterly forgettable, and the aesthetics are decent but fail to capture the look of either the models or the artwork all that well. Some magic FX look absolutely awful. Sieges have always been terrible experiences in this franchise, but here they are incredibly limited and may as well be auto-resolved. Some important units are missing from the rosters, or have been packaged as DLC.

Overall, TW:W succeeds at being passable, but it isn't quite what I hoped

08/23/2018 00:00:00

A) Besides Lance, there was no formations in Tabletop B) Expecting every single unit in the game at launch is selfish, and completely unreasonable. Be grateful they we're added as DLC at all C) Undead are not mercenaries. The mercenary system equivalent is the Regiment of Renown system, which you don't even know about it, meaning you have know idea about the game you're reviewing. Do research before you spout lies.

05/20/2020 00:00:00

"Bad models"

What a horrible opinion, but keep trying to attack fantasy games. The history TW fanbase remains revolting

05/21/2020 00:00:00

I liked the review, regardless of it holding a different opinion to me.

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