The Total War series, since the games firs hit PC’s has looked to capture the epic battles of history and give you the power to control the outcomes. From Shogun: Total War to the most recent Total War: Three Kingdoms, Creative Assembly worked tirelessly to make the battles and struggles of history, and legend exciting, and engaging. Now with Total War Saga: Troy, Creative Assembly Sofia is taking on the challenge, and looking to bring the age of myth and legends to this iconic series.
Set during the time of the Trojan War, Total War Saga: Troy is a smaller title then the mainstays in the series. Crafted as a Saga game, meaning it is focused on a specific point in history, which this case, places it around 1260 BC – 1180 BC. Unlike past entries in the series though, Total War Saga: Troy is looking to explore “the truth behind the myth”, embracing the legends we all know, and giving a logical reason, and making even the most fantastical concept seem possible.
Being the first major title from the studio, they are going all in to make this instalment something special. As Milcho Vasilev, Senior Game Designer explained “Working on Total War, in general, has been a fantastic experience for me personally as I’ve long been a fan of the series. Moving from working on Rome II DLC to a full game in TROY has been excellent as a fan and from a personal perspective as I’ve learnt so much during my time as a senior game designer. The support we have received from Creative Assembly has also been great; it’s great to know that they have so much faith in us as a team.”
Looking at the “truth” behind the myths gives the studio a wealth of history and characters to draw from. With Achilles, and Trojan prince Hector as some examples, they are bringing in some of the music storied fighters in all history and giving you access to them as part of your army. Each character has their own strengths, but it is this balance that is the heart and soul of Total War. It works as a constant balancing act, making the hard choices on what to use, and how to use them, and while it sometimes pays off, it is about that challenge that makes the series so exciting.
Each battle can be tackled from either side, giving you countless ways to take on challenges. And with this game being the culmination of years of advancement in the series, Total War Saga: Troy looks stunning, a pure marvel to see the battles reach a crescendo with each choice you made early on, finally reaching its climax. It can be stressful, but it is that stress that makes the series so engaging, and so rewarding to replay.
Even the mythical beasts we all know and love have managed to be grounded within Total War Saga: Troy. From the half-man, half-bull Minotaur, to the half-men, half-horse Centaurs, Creative Assembly Sofia have worked to find a reason beyond the unbelievable. The Minotaur is no longer a beast and just a massive man that wears bones as a way of striking fear, and the Centaurs simply being skilled horse soldiers. It is a logical way to take the fantastic, and one that feels firmly planted in the series we all know and love.
With so much of combat in this period being focused on infantry, terrain plays a massive role in how the battle can unfold in either sides favour. From tall grass to mud, each type of landscape can hinder or help depending on how you, as a commander, utilize it. It is a boot on the ground feel of combat, and while it carries a legacy of titles behind the core combat, it also has a great feel that makes it fun, difficult and strategic that few instalments manage to this extent.
As this is a Total War installment, you will find your series of unit types all with strengths and weaknesses. All infantry units will fall into three categories: light, medium, and heavy. With the army being often carried by their own feet, these classes determine not only their power on the battlefield but also will play a factor in how fast they move throughout the battlefield and across the different terrain types. Knowing these aspects and how to maximize each unit will mean the difference between victory and defeat, and as with past Total War games, Battlefield awareness is paramount to getting the edge on your opponent.
While the launch is fast approaching, what was on show during preview should make any fan of myth, history and the battles of the period very happy. The Creative Assembly aims to have eight different hero units ready for launch, with many skirmishes, ripped from the pages of history, ready to dive into when it hits digital storefronts. From what I have seen, Creative Assembly Sofia has built something exciting, and the unique blending of history and fable will be exciting to uncover.
With Trojans, Spartans, Mythical beasts and classical heroes all at players’ fingertips, Total War Saga: Troy is shaping up to be an exciting instalment in a long-running series of fantastic games. To make things more interesting, Sega is offering the game free via the Epic Games Store for 24/hours on launch day, meaning there is no reason not to dive in, and experience what happens when myth meets reality on the battlefield.