Today Creative Assembly announced the release of their next installation in the Total War series; Total War: Attila, and you can watch the announcement trailer here!
Now, I’m quite excited by this. It isn’t really an area of history I know much about, so a lot of it will be new to me. Of course, I know the basics of Mongolian history, Genghis Khan and his wars against China, but still, it is a period of time I know about Western history, over Eastern. I’m looking forward to it, with only a few niggling little doubts (which won’t stop me buying them game when it comes out, of course).
1.) After the rumours abounded of SEGA buying the rights to Dawn of War and the Warhammer 40k Universe franchise, I was part of the crowd which immediately thought ‘Dawn of War is a great franchise, Creative Assembly make fantastic games – yes, yes, oh please God, yes’. I may have built my own little hype train, modes of useless transportation I tend to avoid, and I’m having to deal with the disappointment that it won’t be Total War: Warhammer or Dawn of Total War or some clever combination of the two franchises.
2.) Total War: Attila is going to be a stand-alone game. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, I mean, there are already three other DLC campaigns for Total War: Rome II, but I can’t help but think that Attila will not really need to be its own title. The mechanics aren’t going to change much, I can imagine, after the amount of time CA spent winning the audience around to the Army and Internal Politics systems, though I don’t think that they will transfer as well to a Mongolian Horde as they do to the heavily regimented authority of the Roman Legions; they even felt a little out of place on Gallic Tribes, so to constrain the vast majesty of Mongolian independence in such a way wouldn’t really do history any justice.
3.) Within seconds of the announcement reaching social media, I saw Attila compared to Total War: Rome’s Barbarian Invasion DLC, which managed to introduce the emigration/Horde mechanic amazingly well, to the point that fighting off thousands of Eastern Barbarians as a Roman Legion felt like an achievement, rather than a guaranteed victory. I’m not surprised this comparison has been drawn, and I would be even less surprised to see an updated version of this Horde mechanic within the game, but again, whilst under the constraints of the ‘Army’ system Rome II was so proud of, I can’t see how it would work out.
So, what am I expecting?
In short, the mechanics will remain largely the same, as they have over the course of Total War’s entire franchise history, but the Army system will vanish. They cannot place such a tightly-organised system on Attila’s Huns! It wouldn’t be fair to history and it wouldn’t be making the most out of such a rich area, to limit the ‘Barbarian Hordes’ in such a manner.