Sonic the Hedgehog is Coming to the Big Screen – and We Know When UPDATE: Sega CEO Haruki Satomi and CEO of Paramount Pictures, Jim Ginopulos Share Their Thoughts on the Project

Sonic the Hedgehog is Coming to the Big Screen - and We Know When

Fans of Sonic the Hedgehog can rejoice! Everybody’s favourite blue hedgehog is coming to the big screen.

Read moreSonic the Hedgehog is Coming to the Big Screen – and We Know When UPDATE: Sega CEO Haruki Satomi and CEO of Paramount Pictures, Jim Ginopulos Share Their Thoughts on the Project

Bayonetta & Bayonetta 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review – The Witch on Switch

Bayonetta & Bayonetta 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review - The Witch on Switch

Can someone please tell me when Nintendo sneakily stole Bayonetta from every other console? I remember when the first Bayonetta released in 2009, and much like its spiritual predecessor Devil May Cry, was beginning to see life on all consoles, it seemed very much like Bayonetta would follow the same path; as a high concept, high octane brawler with obvious mass appeal.

Read moreBayonetta & Bayonetta 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review – The Witch on Switch

Yakuza 6 Delayed To April 17, Demo Available February 27

Yakuza 6 Delayed To April 17, Demo Available February 27

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer.

Originally set for release on March 20, Yakuza 6 has been delayed until April 27. The news was announced via the Yakuza Game Twitter account. No reason was given for the delay, though the statement says that “This was a tough business decision we didn’t make lightly,” and that the delay “gives us more time to line things up for launch.”

In addition to the delay, Sega announced that a demo for the game would be available for download on February 27. While no details as to what the demo would contain were shared, they did say that it will “allow players to bring their save into the game on release.”

Yakuza 6 originally launched in Japan in December 2016. Sega has taken numerous strides in recent years to expand Yakuza‘s popularity in western markets, including shortening the time that it takes to localize new games in the franchise. The two most recent titles localized, Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami, received a 85% and 80% on Metacritic, respectively.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more by Preston Dosza here and here!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Monster Hunter World Beta: the Insatiable Nergigante, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT,  Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

The British Isles are the Most Detailed Map to Date in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia

The British Isles are the Most Detailed Map to Date in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia

After developing two games in the Warhammer Fantasy Universe, Creative Assembly has returned to its traditional roots of immersing players in critical moments in history with Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia. Set after the defeat of the Great Heathen Army in 878 AD, players build up their kingdom in the British Isles during the uneasy peace between the Anglo-Saxons, Gaelic clans, and the Viking settlers. What a perfect time to rewrite the annals of history and seize the opportunity to unite Britain exclusively under your favourite factions banner. In anticipation for the game’s release date announcement, Sega was gracious enough to fly me and other members of the industry out to their headquarters for some hands-on time with Thrones of Britannia to deliver these first impressions.

The British Isles are the Most Detailed Map to Date in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 5
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia (images courtesy of Creative Assembly and Sega).

During my one-hour play session, I took the role of Flann Sinna, the King of Mide and later one of the High Kings of Ireland. While Flann may be known largely for his unorthodox strategies, in my hands he became a ruthless king who laid siege on anything he could get his hands on. Using his faction’s specialized units of javelins and skirmishers, my armies were built around dominating the mid-range of the battlefield. My swordsmen units acted as their fortified shields while mounted cavalry came in to cut off my opponents escape route and deliver the finishing blow. Everything was great about this strategy until I faced a food shortage from over expanding too early, forcing me to disband four of my units to maintain public order and lower my military strength.

The British Isles are the Most Detailed Map to Date in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia (images courtesy of Creative Assembly and Sega).

Compared to my recent experiences with the Total War Warhammer games, Thrones of Britannia was a much more hardcore and thought out battle. I had to slow down and think two turns ahead to come up with an effective strategy to defeat my opponents and maintain my army’s presence. It was only when I started to work off of the new mechanics in Thrones of Britannia that this slower and more tactical approach to warfare started to click. The first mechanic I had to get used to was mustering. When players recruit units in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia they will only come in at a quarter of their total unit size and will build up over turns. To make up for the lack of initial manpower I depleted my food stores and gold to recruit more units before immediately charging into battle with them. By holding back and letting them build up my force would have been considerably more cost-effective and more cohesive as a whole.

The British Isles are the Most Detailed Map to Date in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 3
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia (images courtesy of Creative Assembly and Sega).

The other mechanic I started to employ in tandem was War Favor. During the turns my units were mustering up I was making them grow inpatient and hungry for battle. Represented as a bar near the top of the screen, I allowed my War Favor to fill up to the point where my armies started to receive buffs. This was the moment where the next step in my plan for conquest could begin as I rushed for settlements with a band of healthy and maxed out units. However, War Favor can work in the opposite way. By going off to war constantly the player’s units can feel fatigued and lose interest in the fight, receiving rebuffs and making the force vulnerable to assault. There’s a fine balance players have to consider when making any type of move excessively in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia.

The British Isles are the Most Detailed Map to Date in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 2
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia (images courtesy of Creative Assembly and Sega).

Unfortunately, this was where my time was up with Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia. Within that hour of gameplay I experienced a wealth of depth and immersive strategy that only a historical based Total War game could deliver. Yet there were so many things I had yet to touch, including the impressive technology tree, the ability to create arranged marriages with my allies, or even trigger exclusive events tied to the kingdom of Mide. Thrones of Britannia may be built off of the same engine as the unstable Attila, but Creative Assembly is crafting this game with the utmost care and has seemed to work out the chinks in the armour. Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia releases world wide, April 19th, exclusively for PC.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Cole Watson’s reviews of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Gundam Versus!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Monster Hunter World Beta: the Insatiable Nergigante, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT,  Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement Album Now Available

Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement Album Now Available

Long-lost Sega Saturn RPG classic Panzer Dragoon Saga, known primarily for the exorbitant price it fetches on the secondhand market, returns today in musical form with the release of Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement. 

Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement Album Now Available
Resurrection Album Cover

The all-new arrangement album comes courtesy of Brave Wave Music, a “record label dedicated to exploring the interplay between video games, music and nostalgia.” Featuring twenty tracks arranged by original series composer Saori KobayashiResurrection revisits the unique sound of the Panzer Dragoon series exactly twenty years after Saga’s original Japanese release.

“Joining Kobayashi is Eri Ito, one of the original vocalists for the game. She lends her powerful and dramatic vocals to two songs,” Brave Wave explains. “Five tracks are backed by the Washington D.C.-based video game music band, Triforce Quartet, with three songs featuring the backing of Boston-based flutist Maho Azuma.”

The label has teamed up with popular game merchandise company Fangamer to produce a physical release of the album on CD and vinyl. According to Fangamer, “Each edition features dual covers with the English title on one side and the Japanese on the other, each designed by Cory Schmitz. The booklet contains archival artwork, staff photography, and reflective essays by James Mielke of Tigertron, as well as liner notes by Eri Ito, Panzer Dragoon Saga Director Yukio Futatsugi, Panzer Dragoon Orta Director Akihiro Mukaiyama, and others.”

Brave Wave also announced that Saori Kobayashi will be performing at Universal FanCon in Baltimore, Maryland later this year. The concert will feature music from Panzer Dragoon Saga. 

Readers can look forward to an exclusive interview with Brave Wave and Saori Kobayashi in the March print issue of CGMagazine.

Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement Album Now Available 1
Resurrection Alternative Album Cover

Brave Wave’s previous productions include Three Movements, the debut solo album by Mega Man series composer Manami Matsumae, and JOURNEYa collaboration between Saori Kobayashi and Yumiko Takahashi (Suikoden).

Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement is available now for purchase digitally on Bandcamp and physically through Fangamer.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Derek Heemsbergen’s  reviews, such as  Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth and his second look at Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Monster Hunter World Beta: the Insatiable Nergigante, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT,  Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Total War: Warhammer II – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) Review: Look On My Armies And Despair

Total War: Warhammer II - Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) Review: Look On My Armies And Despair

During the launch of Total War: Warhammer II last year, there was a conspicuous absence of the Tomb Kings from the list of factions that populate the New World. With the Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC, Creative Assembly are rectifying that, bringing the Tomb Kings to the forefront in a way that respects the faction’s lore and makes them stand out from the rest of the Warhammer races.

Total War: Warhammer II - Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) Review: Look On My Armies And Despair 3
Total War: Warhammer II – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) – images for this review provided by Creative Assembly and Sega.

The Tomb Kings are the Warhammer universe’s riff on Ancient Egypt, a long lost empire that has risen from the grave and seeks to reclaim its former glory and territory. But unlike their fellow undead Vampire Counts, who specialize in raising armies rapidly to expand quickly, the Tomb Kings are far more insular and protective of their holdings. They are a defence-oriented faction as a result, but that doesn’t mean these mummies are lacking on the battlefield.

In general, the Tomb Kings focus on fielding legions of weaker infantry and fast moving chariots to overwhelm their enemies, while powerful animated statues like the Ushabti and Necrosphinx use their higher defense and attack to crush them. Your starting units are relatively weak, and will die quickly, but they are meant to hold the line for your more specialized units to dominate the enemy. This is further reflected in their unique healing mechanic, which heals your army and resurrects some of the dead after certain number of your own soldiers are killed. Never before has it been this fun or strategic to watch your men get slaughtered.

Total War: Warhammer II - Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) Review: Look On My Armies And Despair
Total War: Warhammer II – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) – images for this review provided by Creative Assembly and Sega.

Unlike other factions across both Warhammer games, the Tomb Kings do not need to pay gold for units or their upkeep. Instead, each unit has a cap on the total amount that can be built at any time, with the cap only rising as more military infrastructure is built in your cities. This breeds caution, as you must carefully avoid stretching your forces too thin while simultaneously conquering enough to keep your finances in good health.

In a departure from previous Total War: Warhammer faction DLC, Rise of the Tomb Kings also does not come with a mini campaign. Instead, players have the choice of four legendary lords with their own starting positions instead of two. I welcome the change, as each of the new lords feel far more fleshed out, both in the diversity of their abilities and their starting locations, than previous DLC leaders. My personal favourite is Grand Hierophant Khatep, who starts out in the Dark Elves’ home continent of Naggaroth and must contend with them and Norscan raiders in his opening turns.

Ultimately, Rise of the Tomb Kings is a sign that Creative Assembly are more than willing to experiment with the Total War formula to create unique and engaging factions that fit with the established lore. If future DLC is as strong as this, Warhammer and Total War fans everywhere can continue to look forward to conquering the world in increasingly entertaining ways.

Total War: Warhammer II - Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) Review: Look On My Armies And Despair 1
Total War: Warhammer II – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC (PC) – images for this review provided by Creative Assembly and Sega.

Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more by Preston Dosza here and here!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Dissidia Final Fantasy NT,  Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

First Fifteen – Sonic forces + Episode Shadow

First Fifteen - Sonic forces + Episode Shadow

CGM’s Kenneth Shepard takes you on a lightning-speed adventure with the First Fifteen of Sonic Forces and bonus DLC levels from Episode Shadow!

The world is in turmoil after Dr. Eggman and a new, deadly villain, Infinite, have successfully taken it over. Sonic and his team of fan-favourite allies must rise up against Dr. Eggman and Infinite’s cruel tyrany to take back control and restore order to the world. Players will speed through rolling landscapes and catapult past perilous platforms, playing as Classic and Modern Sonic, and as a bonus, Shadow.

Don’t miss a minute of the action!


Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Super Mario Odyssey,  The Evil Within 2, and Cuphead!

Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Kenneth Shepard’s review of Sonic Forces! While you’re at it, check out more of Kenneth Shepard’s reviews, such as Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 2, and find out why Kenneth thinks Danganronpa V3’s ending makes a polarizing case for letting the series go!

 Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight

Despite grievances I’ve had with past Sonic games, I’ve mostly felt like I could at least count on it to deliver a coherent story and to make having a number of playable characters feel like variety rather than a jumbled disjointed mess. At times, Sonic Forces nails the sense of momentum and adrenaline I want in a way the series has only sparingly captured since its jump to 3D, but a lot of the time it’s as if it’s attempting to do too much at once, and fails to do so in a way that makes all its moving parts feel like a cohesive, enjoyable whole.

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight 9
Sonic Forces (PS4) – gameplay image via Sonic Team and Sega

The beginning of Forces’ problems stem from a strange, tonal indecisiveness that runs through not only the game’s questionable presentation but bleeds into its level design as well. Sonic Forces begins with a rather dark setup: Eggman and a new, enigmatic villain named Infinite have succeeded in a plan to take over the world, with Sonic and his group of friends acting as a resistance against Eggman’s totalitarian rule. This means much of Forces plays out like a war story, with all of Sonic’s friends acting as generals in an uprising against Eggman and Infinite’s forces. It’s comically self-serious, but the series has been able to pull off darker stories in the past like Sonic Adventure 2, and had Forces committed to it the game might have been fine. After all, the voice performances are pretty good, with the cast having clearly gained familiarity of the roles after all these years, and it’s cheesy but eclectic soundtrack has a ton of great tracks I’ve been listening to outside of the game. However, Forces’ presentation is undermined by a few key decisions.

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight 8
Sonic Forces (PS4) – gameplay image via Sonic Team and Sega

The majority of the story is told through visual novel style text windows and character portraits, rather than in cutscenes, the few of which there are seem stunted, hindered by stiff animation and reused assets to create crowds of citizens living under Eggman’s regime. Sonic Forces attempts to paint a picture of an oppressed society living under the rule of an evil, uncaring fear mongerer, but instead it comes off like shallow set dressing for all the levels that follow. Sonic stories are better when they’re on a smaller scale—such as Sonic Adventure 2—and Forces’ attempts at portraying a large scale war are shallow and half-baked. Critiquing a Sonic the Hedgehog game for a poorly presented story may seem harsh, but I’ve seen the series do better, and the angle of Sonic’s resistance appeared integral to the game’s marketing.

In the midst of all the uprising, Sonic Forces invokes some under-explained magic to bring Classic Sonic, a version of Sonic from the past who looks and plays akin to early Sonic games, back into the fold. Classic Sonic was a meaningful inclusion in Sonic Generations, which used both a modern and early version of the character to pay tribute to the series’ history, while his inclusion here feels like a gimmick to attract fans of early era Sonic. His levels use assets and mechanics similar to old Sonic games, such as item boxes and goal plates, and he plays just differently enough from modern Sonic to throw me off during his intrusive levels. Classic Sonic seems like a shoehorned addition to a game already struggling to maintain a cohesive identity, and by the time I finished Forces’ story I felt like nothing would have changed had he been scrapped from it entirely, except that I might not have been frustrated by his “just different enough to annoy” levels.

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight 6
Sonic Forces (PS4) – gameplay image via Sonic Team and Sega

This frustration extended, albeit to a much lesser extent, to the level design for Forces’ addition of an Avatar, a custom character that acts as the third major playable character. The Avatar has the most options at their disposal in terms of abilities thanks to serviceable customization options. They can be one of several species, with different passive abilities depending on which you choose, as well as outfitted with different weapons and outfits. At the outset, the customization options seem limited, but I found myself unlocking a plethora of new weapons and accessories fairly quickly. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it felt like a fun feature that helps differentiate Sonic Forces from other Sonic games. However, the Avatar’s levels and abilities suffer the same problem as Classic Sonic’s, in that they are similar but just different enough to make their incorporation feel superfluous. The speed and momentum that makes Sonic games fun is often broken up by the Avatar’s lack of certain speed-related abilities Sonic has, and it made playing as them less enjoyable and memorable than moments where I played as modern Sonic.

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight 7
Sonic Forces (PS4) – gameplay image via Sonic Team and Sega

The only other playable character in Forces—Shadow the Hedgehog—is accessible through a free DLC called Episode Shadow. The prequel only lasts three short levels, but playing through them allows you to play as Shadow in certain modern Sonic levels. Relegating this to a DLC seemed like an odd choice, especially considering the story bits of these levels felt like an integral part of the story despite their shallow execution, but Shadow was the only character other than Sonic that I didn’t feel like I was having to adjust to small, arbitrary changes for.

Other Sonic games have required you to play as multiple characters before, but where Sonic Forces differs from games like Sonic Adventure 2 or Sonic Heroes is that its other characters don’t feel like variety, they feel like padding. Sonic Adventure 2 for example, felt like completely different games depending on who I was playing as, bringing in different mechanics and objectives, where Forces comes off like attempting to fit slightly different characters into a game built for one. It’s a shame, as for a third of the game, Sonic Forces is one of the most polished 3D Sonic experiences in a long time.

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight 5
Sonic Forces (PS4) – gameplay image via Sonic Team and Sega

Modern Sonic’s levels are your standard 3D Sonic fare, and they manage to capture a sense of style, speed, and fluidity I came to Forces in search of. The stiff animations of the cutscenes are absent when Sonic’s finally in motion, and it always seemed like the tools were in place for me to keep my kinetic energy going as I effortlessly plowed through Eggman’s regime. Unfortunately, most of these levels lack the character and context that makes levels from past games like Sonic Adventure 2’s City Escape or Radical Highway memorable. Not unlike the story, much of the stages Sonic and company are running through are more sterile than is typical of past Sonic games, lacking in moments that made any of them stand out next to one another.

In certain areas Modern Sonic and the Avatar’s levels would switch to a sidescrolling perspective akin to Classic Sonic, which immediately felt more methodical and sluggish compared to the speed-oriented areas on a 3D plane. While the change in pace wasn’t exactly refreshing, they at the very least felt more purposeful than Classic Sonic’s sidescrolling.

My issues with Classic Sonic’s levels go back to problems I’ve had with early Sonic games for a long time. I’ve never found the speed-oriented platforming of Sonic entirely fitting for a sidescroller, as being unable to see directly where you’re going lends itself to running into unforeseen obstacles and enemies and being easily punished when the camera doesn’t keep up with the character. Classic Sonic’s levels in Forces fall pretty frequently into these pitfalls, and this, coupled with all my other problems with his inclusion made his segments easily my least favorite part of Sonic Forces.

Sonic Forces (PS4) Review: Running With Dead Weight 3
Sonic Forces (PS4) – gameplay image via Sonic Team and Sega

As I reached Forces’ conclusion, my thoughts went quickly to Sonic Mania, the nostalgia-driven tribute to the series that came out earlier this year. Despite my issues with sidescrolling Sonic games I mentioned earlier, what I appreciate about Mania is that it’s a concise and focused game, with clear goals and philosophies behind its design. Forces feels like the antithesis of that, in that it’s a bloated, self-important mismatch of ideas with some great moments packed in between a lot of nonsense. Forces is fun to play in short bursts, but as an extended experience it feels like it has no idea what it wants to be, or is just incapable of encapsulating it all in one game.

A retail version of the game reviewed was purchased by the reviewer. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Kenneth Shepard’s reviews, such as Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 2, and find out why Kenneth thinks Danganronpa V3’s ending makes a polarizing case for letting the series go!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Super Mario Odyssey,  The Evil Within 2, and Cuphead!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) Review- Miniatures Come to Life

Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) Review- Miniatures Come to Life

As the gates to the Old World temporarily close, players embark on a new campaign of conquest and power in the second entry of Creative Assembly’s planned trilogy, Total War: Warhammer 2. Speaking as a player of the Fantasy Miniatures game it was a treat to see the units on the tabletop come to life in the first entry, but with the addition of four new playable races and an ambitious new campaign, Warhammer 2 reaches a depth of strategy that makes it stand out as one of the best Total War games to date.

Set in the New World, the campaign in Total War: Warhammer 2 is centred on The Great Vortex, a powerful maelstrom of energy that has been thrown out of balance by unforeseen forces. Now in a vulnerable state, each of the four new races enter into a war to take control of the Vortex’s mystic powers in order to accomplish their own ambitions. The Vortex isn’t just for show though, it’s a critical gameplay component players need to pay attention to during their campaign because it is the primary win condition. This adds new depth to the gameplay of traditional Total War games by thrusting players into a race for power instead of just focusing on territorial conquest.

Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) Review- Miniatures Come to Life 4
Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) – image credit: Creative Assembly and Sega

Without further ado let’s introduce the games key factions, starting with my personal favourite, the Lizardmen. After gushing about them during my E3 preview it was clear this was my go-to race for my first campaign playthrough. The eclectic mix of savage warriors and feral dinosaurs are insanely fun to field when they go on rampages, but I also enjoyed their political game quite a bit. The Lizardmen’s key strategies involve claiming territory to build a network of magical energy known as the geomantic web, which grants buffs and benefits to their armies.

Next up are the Ancient High Elves, who are the easiest race to approach thanks to their mix of offensive and defensive units. It also doesn’t hurt to have access to three different kinds of dragon and two huge birds. Their political game is one of the more interesting aspects to them. As the High Elves build their armies they gain a unique resource known as influence, which they can use to apply pressure to other factions to ally with their goals and bend to their will.

Just as ancient as the High Elves are their counterpart, The Dark Elves, which are a perfect choice for offensive focused players because of their rush-down gameplay. After summoning one of their exclusive Black Ark units, Dark Elf players can spread their waves of destruction far easier and obtain more slaves to build up their empire. The Dark Elves’ best mechanic is “murderous prowess”, a meter which fills up for every death that occurs on the battlefield. Once the meter is full the army is granted a massive buff that can tear through enemy forces like butter. While at first the Dark Elves might seem like a clone of the High Elves because they share a similar name, their unique unit composition and exclusive gameplay mechanics make them feel like a race that stands on its own.

Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) Review- Miniatures Come to Life 5
Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) – image credit: Creative Assembly and Sega

Lastly we come to the filthy hordes of Skaven, who fester in the burrows of ruins and feast on their enemies. This race is my second favourite to play as because of all the micromanagement players have to keep their eyes on. From corruption levels to food reserves to sowing seeds of plagues, this is the most advanced race Total War: Warhammer has yet to offer. They may be the weakest race offensively, but they have amazing advantages when it comes to controlling the map and affecting surrounding enemy territories. Within a dozen turns I had access to assassins, priests, and engineers that feature a host of unique abilities with which to destroy my enemies without needing to commit my forces to a massive battle. This race excels at stealth and hard-countering opposing armies, so it’s wise to have a strong focus on reconnaissance.

I could go further into the strategies, the units, the lords, and the massive tech trees of these races, but I’ll leave that for players to discover on their own because that is the heart of the Total War experience. Unlike the base races of the first game, the roster in Total War: Warhammer 2  feels more fleshed out and exciting to play. Each unique mechanic and specialization creates more strategies and tactics for players to explore, which in turn creates an intense campaign filled with epic moments that people will want to share.

Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) Review- Miniatures Come to Life 3
Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) – image credit: Creative Assembly and Sega

It’s even more fun when you share those epic moments side-by-side with a friend. Multiplayer is another huge piece of the Total War Experience and Warhammer 2 delivers on all fronts, offering cooperative campaigns and competitive skirmishes that are a blast to play. I especially grew fond of the new free-for-all mode, which is a great place to settle who is the best Lizardmen player out of your group of friends.

Throughout my 20+ hours of play Total War: Warhammer 2 ran perfectly on my mid-range AMD gaming PC. I never suffered a massive drop in framerate or encountered any game breaking bug that would destroy my save files or impede my progress and this was even before the game was updated into its retail build. Creative Assembly has upgraded their engine’s stability and the hard work shows.

The largest complaint Creative Assembly has learned from is the community response to their DLC practices. The DLC in Total War: Warhammer 1  suffered from multiple issues: pre-order DLC, lack of impact, a barebones mini-campaign, and an expensive price tag for what essentially boiled down into just a new race pack for skirmishes. Going forward the developer has a good grasp on what their players want out of post-launch support and is planning out an equal mix of quality free and paid content. Even before launch, Creative Assembly has been teasing its fan base about the recently announced “Mortal Enemies” mega campaign, which is free for owners of both Warhammer games and set to release in the following weeks.

What excites me even more than developer support is community support. Within months of launch the Steam workshop for Total War Warhammer 1 was filled with incredibly detailed maps, new weaponry for units, and mods to improve the overall quality of the experience. I can only dream of what modders have planned for Total War: Warhammer 2 once they get their hands on the game.

Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) Review- Miniatures Come to Life 6
Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) – image credit: Creative Assembly and Sega

Creative Assembly has forged Total War: Warhammer 2 into a fantastic love letter to both Warhammer fans and strategy game players alike. Even new players to the franchise are sure to have fun learning all of the in-depth mechanics and strategies thanks to the informative tutorials and different scales of difficulty. Every time I booted up my PC to play Total War: Warhammer 2 I was excited to sit down for hours and lose myself in the politics and battles. When I left the miniatures game I was sad to lose one of my favourite childhood hobbies, but Creative Assembly has brought Warhammer back into my life in a new, meaningful way.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out some of Cole’s prereviews, such as Total War Arena and Detroit: Become Human!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15 – Dishonored: Death of the Outsider and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

SEGA, Capcom and ATLUS Team Up For Latest Humble Bundle

SEGA, Capcom and ATLUS Team Up For Latest Humble Bundle

Earlier today, SEGA announced a collaboration between Capcom and ATLUS in the efforts to bring great Japanese video games to the latest iteration of the Humble Bundle.

In addition to supporting the Humble Bundle, all three legendary game publishers are also proudly supporting several charities exclusively for this Humble Bundle. Those interested in the specific charities can view them below:

World Wildlife Fund – World’s leading independent conservation organization charity.

Games Aid – Video games industry-based charity that distributes funds to a diverse range of charities.

Access Sport – Charity whose mission is to give more children access to a wide range of quality inclusive sport.

Special Effect – Charity that creates custom built technology to help people with physical disabilities play video games.

The trio of renowned Japanese games publishers have come together and brought with them an assortment of 12 hit games in the Humble Tri-Publisher Bundle.

Those who donate $1 or more will receive:

  • Rollers of the Realm
  • Zeno Clash 2
  • Sonic Adventure 2
  • Bionic Commando
  • Citizens of Earth

Those who pay more than the average will receive:

  • Renegade Ops Collection
  • Sonic Generations Collection
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Dead Rising
  • Telsa Effect: A Murphy Adventure
  • 50% off Dawn of War III
  • 50% off Street Fighter V
  • 50% previously released Steam title from SEGA, Capcom or Atlus
  • 66% off The Deadly Towers of Monsters

Those who pay more than $12 will receive:

 Motorsport Manager

  • Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition

Overall, the games on offer seem to be a great collection of genres that include action, adventure, horror, role playing and more.  Some standout titles include the likes of Resident Evil 4, Sonic Generations, Devil May Cry 4 and Citizens of Earth. Players itching to expand their Steam library of games should consider checking out the Humble Tri-Publisher Bundle which is available until the end of September.

Those unfamiliar with the Humble Bundle, the service offers players with an eclectic assortment of games every month from various publishers and developers. The best part of the Humble Bundle is that the revenue generated from sales is then given to various charitable organizations around the world at the discretion of the consumer.