Checking In With Creative Assembly’s Total War Series
About the Publisher
The flagship strategy game series from the British publisher Creative Assembly has evolved considerably since a smashing opening move in 2000 with the release of Shogun: Total War. It was the studio’s first major independent release, and put them on the map in a big way. They had been doing a lot of contract work for big companies like EA, and when they decided to invest in a completely new approach to strategy gaming it seriously paid off. In 2017, Creative Assembly will celebrate a 30 year founding anniversary.
Total War Evolution
They’ve since been acquired by Sega, but the hits in the Total War series haven’t stopped coming. Every title since the original Shogun has added features and complexity to the game play, and the latest entries in the series are very different games than their predecessors. A good example of this, and one that has certainly divided the community of fans, is the introduction of the detailed, geographically injected 3D-styled campaign map that allows for flexible army movement. Some gamers who got on board early with the series’ first releases didn’t take well to the change, and preferred the simple, Risk-like provincial 2D campaign map that allowed much more focus on city management and the tactical battle simulations instead of army micro-management and movement. For others this was a welcome addition, introducing a Civilization-like element and really putting the “strategy” into this strategy game. It made unit movement around the map more akin to playing chess than Risk. Either way you see it, the fans keep on buying in.
Still King of Large Scale Real-time Tactical Battle Simulation
Warhammer is the latest PC release in the series, and is the fastest selling Total War game so far. Creative Assembly hasn’t lost a step. This is their first time dabbling in the fantasy realm, and apparently fans of both historical strategy and high fantasy themes were impressed with the result. Total War also came to a mobile device near you through the Total War Battles: Kingdom game launched in early 2016.
So… What IS Next?
Well, there’s a lot of speculation on the inter-webs about details, but nothing concrete. We do know that CA is working on another epic Total War with a historical setting. Some are advocating for a 20th century World War era setting, with others believing the age of exploration (with the conquest of the Americas being a playable theatre) to be much more plausible. There is also ongoing work on expansions to Warhammer and the mobile Kingdom game. The publisher has said that they have five different Total War projects ongoing as of fall 2016, which is remarkable! Whatever they have in the works, we know it will be something to look forward to.