Sunday, May 7, 2017

Total War: Warhammer 2 latest news: release date, gameplay, and trailers

Total War: Warhammer 2 is, as the name might suggest, the sequel to 2016's Total War: Warhammer, and will once again feature classic Total War gameplay set in the high fantasy world of Games Workshop's tabletop game Warhammer.

It's worth noting that Total War: Warhammer 2 is set in the original Warhammer fantasy setting, and not the arguably better known sci-fi world of Warhammer 40,000. If you'd like to play a strategy game set in that universe, your best bet is the excellent Dawn of War 3.
When is Total War: Warhammer 2's release date?

Right now, all we know is that we should expect the game some time in 2017, which is a bit broad.

The first game was released on 24 May 2016, and it's clear that the sequel won't make a similar date this year. Instead, especially given it was only announced in March, it seems more likely to expect the game later in the year - we'd imagine some time in October or November.

We'll update this article with more concrete information once we have it.
What platforms will it come out on?

At launch, the game will be a Windows PC exclusive, but it won't stay that way. While it almost certainly won't arrive on any of the consoles, developer Creative Assembly says in an FAQ that "plans for Mac & Linux versions will be announced later in the year."

What are the pre-order options?

Again, as of yet we don't know, but we can make some educated guesses. The first Total War: Warhammer game included three playable factions by default, with a fourth (Chaos Warriors) included as a bonus for players pre-ordered or bought the game in its first week, and later a paid DLC option.

With that in mind, and given that the devs have confirmed the sequel includes four factions once again, we expect the fourth, as-yet-unannounced faction (more on that below) to be a bonus for pre-orders and early adopters, and later release as paid DLC.

As for price, the first game launched at £39.99/$59.99, and we'd expect to see the same again.

Speaking of, if you missed out on the original and want to play it before the sequel arrives, you can still pick it up on Steam at full price, but UK readers are better off heading to Amazon, which has the Old World Edition of the game, including DLC faction Bretonnia and an exclusive short story, for just £31.99 at the time of writing.

What about the gameplay?

Anyone who's played the first game, or any Total War game really, should be familiar with what to expect from this: turn-based overworld strategy with giant battles, and a campaign building towards total world domination.

Still, there are a few changes here. None of the playable factions from the first Total War: Warhammer are returning, and instead there are four new ones. Those are the High Elves, Dark Elves, and Lizardmen, with a fourth yet to be announced - though the launch trailer (at the top of the page) gives us a pretty strong hint.

The four races will be battling for control of the Great Vortex, a "vast magical maelstrom" that lies at the centre of the game's new campaign. You'll have to wage war across four continents with the combined aims of dominating the map and controlling the Vortex, the latter giving you access to new powers and abilities.

Naval units are another new addition to the campaign, as the four continents are separated by seas, though naval battles will be auto-resolved, rather than playable.

You don't need to have played the first game to follow the narrative of the sequel, but owning both will unlock some pretty exciting features. For one, any races you own from the original, including through DLC, will be playable in multiplayer here.

More than that though, owning both games will unlock one giant combined campaign including both game's maps and main factions. That won't be available at launch, but will be added as a free update shortly after release - weeks, not months, apparently.
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This is the second game in a planned trilogy, so expect to see all three games combine even more in the final entry, whenever that arrives in the next couple of years.

You can find out more about what to expect from the campaign - and how the Great Vortex fits into it - in this video released by the developers:

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