Immortal Empires Review For The PC

Immortal Empires Review For The PC

Ten years ago, Total War developers Creative Assembly announced a licensing deal that would see developers of historical strategy games take on, for the very first time, a fictional setting: the fantastic universe of Warhammer. Through three full games and multiple expansions, and all the work and praise that has gone into them, this deal has slowly built towards a single moment. This moment.

From the earliest days of the deal, Creative Assembly had promised that when the planned trilogy of standalone games was completed, players would be able to take part in a world-encompassing campaign of Total War: Warhammer. All three games, with their already huge cards, came together in one experience. Every faction, every continent, every city, and every special character combined into something called Immortal Empires.

It took a lot of work, as Creative Assembly explained a few months ago:

In order to create the game mode, the development team had to collect and combine content, features, mechanics, systems, and code from three different codebases into a single mega-campaign. Now, taking large chunks of content, data and code from one game and porting them into another is always a challenge – speaking from experience in this regard – and takes a lot of time and adaptation for all pieces play well with each other and function properly. Even after the technical implementations are complete, there are still bugs to find and fix, along with a significant amount of playtesting to ensure (for example) that a race isn’t ridiculously under or overpowered or that each breed is unique. features and mechanics work as expected.

It’s no exaggeration to say that longtime Total War fans have been looking forward to this release almost as much, if not more, than the actual Warhammer games, because the sheer scale and number of options available to players (sorry ) would overshadow that. from previous campaigns. And if there’s one thing Total War fans love, it’s big campaigns.

The fanbase got a little taste for it after the release of Warhammer II, when Creative Assembly dropped the Mortal Empires middle expansion (which combined the campaigns of only the first two games), but it’s the one everyone was waiting.

Across its vast lands, Immortal Empires lets you conquer over 550 settlements and battle over 270 other factions, 86 of which are led by the “Legendary Lords” of the universe. The first time you start a campaign and hit the ‘End Round’ button, only to see the AI ​​start going through 200+ factions, it’s both one of the funniest and most terrifying things. I’ve ever seen in a Total War campaign.

To give you an idea of ​​the kind of scale I’m talking about, here’s a map from the first Total War: Warhammer game. The red dot is where you start if you’re playing as The Empire. Note the surrounding terrain:

Image for article titled Total War: Warhammer III: Immortal Empires is the best Total War campaign in years

And here is the Immortal Empires map. You start in the same region (the red one), but damn it:

Image for article titled Total War: Warhammer III: Immortal Empires is the best Total War campaign in years

Image: Total War

I’ve talked a lot about size so far and little else, but that’s really the whole point here. The game itself is still Total War: Warhammer III, which I’ve reviewed before, so if you want to know how the battles and the savings work and how pretty everything is, you can go there because nothing has changed.

Size is (ahem) important, though. Empire: Total War is still one of my favorites in the series, broken as it is, because it felt truly global, much like Warhammer II with its transcontinental ocean voyages. This scale also has gameplay implications. The more colonies to capture, the more factions to manage, and the more map to explore, all of this gives the player far more options during the campaign, leading to truly cross-continental strategies that can be ‘spread over entire lands and races.

So how does it work, exactly?

Although Immortal Empires is a free download, to play it you will need to own all three Total War: Warhammer games. You will also need to own them on the same store for the game to recognize them. Multiplayer games, however, will only require the host to own all three (although the games other players own will determine which factions they can choose).

The sheer size of this map also presents new challenges for a Total War campaign, while also serving as a throwback. The past decade has seen this series slide into increasingly elaborate scripted conditions for single-player campaigns, all in an effort to try to alleviate a long-standing problem where protracted efforts to simply conquer the entire map were becoming boring. . But that’s basically what matters here. To start small and paint the map, like in the good old days, so if you missed the vintage campaign simplicity of Total War, you’ll dig this, because the endgame limitations of older games have just been touched on here. throwing you more possible regions and enemies.

Map design and aesthetics are also important, perhaps more so than you might think for a strategy game. Total War campaigns are often defined not only by their map size, but also by their design and appearance. A dull one can spoil the experience (Three Kingdoms, Napoleon), while a vibrant and interesting one can be a blast (Shogun II, Warhammer II). Immortal Empires, aided by the fact that it already combines three of the best cards in the series, is definitely a case of the latter. Watch what’s going on here!

Image for article titled Total War: Warhammer III: Immortal Empires is the best Total War campaign in years

Image: Total War

Immortal Empires is best considered a sideboard or seasonal box set. You already know what you’re getting, but now you’re getting more, all at once. You can start it, look at the map and start anywhere, anyone. Do you want to be a human Lord? Sure. A vampire pirate? Why not. An Aztec Lizardman? Knock yourself out. Or you can be a Dwarf, Beastman, or Undead member, and pretty much every time you start as one of the game’s many playable factions, you’ll start in a new area of ​​the map with new enemies. and a new set of challenges.

However, the size of the game does not always benefit the campaign. It can get exhausting. I didn’t complete my first two attempts because the classic Total War AI, which will always try to check your progress just enough, starts crushing you once you start threatening entire continents. If you’re planning on completing Immortal Empire’s larger victory conditions, then you’re in for some hard work.

Luckily, the game knows this and has therefore included a bunch of shorter objectives. Playing as The Empire, you can take over the world if you want, of course, or you can achieve a smaller victory by simply uniting the forces of humanity, which is a much more manageable task. The endgame has also been changed slightly; while it doesn’t have a single big arc like the main games, it does introduce random events that can threaten even the most powerful empires.

But wait, there’s more

Immortal Empires was released alongside the Champions of Chaos DLC, which brings four new playable Legendary Lords to the Immortal Empires and Realm of Chaos campaigns. Even though the big campaign is free, Champions of Chaos is a paid download.

You should be aware that while Immortal Empires has been deemed fit for public release, it’s still technically in beta, so this is more of a piece of impressions than a formal review. Creative Assembly has a lot more details on this. here, but that basically means that while the factions and the map are all working, more stuff will be added in the months and years to come. Surprisingly, considering all the disclaimers provided and the dreaded prospect of playing on such a large map with so many AI factions, I found performance on my semi-decent PC to be just fine. Substantially better than Warhammer III had beeneven, which was a relief.

I’m sorry there isn’t much else to add here other than “the map has expanded”, but I hope I understood that yes the map has expanded, but it also means something for a Total War campaign, and that the end result, something fans have been waiting for years, is everything you’d expect (except for the fact that it works pretty well, which might be the biggest shock).


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