If I were to choose a single game that impressed me the most during my time at E3 2017, it would have to go to Creative Assembly’s second entry into their growing trilogy, Total War: Warhammer 2. The moment the appointment was booked I knew I was in for a treat, and it didn’t disappoint.
The Total War: Warhammer 2 demo started off by showcasing the new map and all four of its distinctive continents, which will be inhabited by all of the new races at launch. At the core of this map lies The Vortex, which is an ancient powerful force that keeps the forces of Chaos at bay. If you were one of the lucky readers to make it all the way through the PC Gaming Show, congratulations on a job well done, then you should already know that this force is destabilizing. This leaves the races of this New World map with quite a conflict. Races like the High Elves want to stabilize The Vortex by performing a ritual to maintain its strength and prolong its effects, while the scaly forces of the Lizardmen want to harness it for their own uses and manipulate the powers of chaos that dwell within.
In this demo of Total War: Warhammer 2 players took control of Kroq-gar, a Lizardmen chieftain mounted atop a T-rex like creature known as a Carnosaur. While the map overview displayed other Lizardmen heroes with their own sets of traits and lore, Kroq-gar appealed to me the most with his Jurassic design, tyrant esque aura, and his brutish abilities. Fielded alongside this mighty chieftain were a mix of his loyal saurus and skink followers armed with an assortment of swords and axes. To each side of the ground force was a monstrous beast, one of them being an ancient Stegadon and the other a heavily armored Bastiladon. These monstrous beasts are exactly why the Lizardmen are my favourite race in Warhammer Fantasy. The eclectic mix of massive dinosaurs and flying wyverns makes such an intimidating, but stunning force to behold and control.
The scenario is simple, the High Elves are in control of a Vortex related settlement and are fighting to protect its power. Kroq-gar couldn’t care less for the solemn ideals of these elves and aims to claim the settlement for his clan’s purpose. The odds are immediately stacked in the High Elves favour, with their plentiful forces of blonde pretty boys planted steady on the high ground and their bows aimed directly at my despicably cute lizards.
My first battle of Total War: Warhammer 2 begins with the ground troops rushing to make contact with the Elves warriors, taking the brunt end of the arrow volleys. Next to rush up were the monstrous creatures and Kroq-gar himself. I aimed them towards the archers because their ranks would immediately break off the moment their large armored bodies charged in. While my Lizardmen were tearing through hundreds of Elves I knew that I was taking too many casualties, thankfully reinforcements conveniently arrive in the form of more ground troops and two units of flying Terradons to turn the tide of the battle. Unfortunately, the High Elves also have a monstrous creature of their own to deal with, a Sun Dragon.
This Dragon, let me tell you, it wrecked so many of my troops with its scorching fire breath and long spiky tail. Only with the help of Kroq-gar’s Carnosaur and a charging Stegadon were the Lizardmen finally triumphant in putting this dragon down for good. With morale at an all-time low for the High Elves, the pretty boys quickly scatter off into the jungle while the Lizardmen enjoy the spoils of war with a close victory.
I loved every moment of my short demo with Total War: Warhammer 2, the graphics have taken a step up, the units have more battle animations to breath more life into each battle and my favourite race makes its grand appearance as one of the key four races to play as. Thankfully I won’t have to wait too long to conquer this new world with legions of monstrous lizards because Total War: Warhammer 2 releases September 28 for PC. Here’s to hoping that the Skaven are the last race to be revealed.