Sega and Creative Assembly officially announced Total War: Warhammer earlier today, heralding the start of not just one but three titles to encompass the grand scale of Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Before any Total War fans start worrying, Creative Assembly has clarified in a PC Gamer interview that a separate team is working on the Warhammer trilogy, leaving the historical team uninterrupted. Creative Director Mike Simpsons explains that they’ve actually spoken with Warhammer creators Games Workshop ten years ago, but never pursued the project as they didn’t have enough staff then.
Warhammer Fantasy is not to be confused with its sci-fi counterpart Warhammer 40,000, a license that was best handled by Relic Entertainment (which also happens to be a Sega subsidiary) with the Dawn of War series.
The line-and-rank formations as well as the lower reliance on firearms makes Fantasy a better fit for Total War, although how Creative Assembly tackles magic and larger units – undead dragons or greater daemons, for example – remains to be seen. Even politics is a big mystery, considering how certain races are mortal enemies.
Judging by both the fact-sheet and trailer there are four playable races for this release: Karl Franz marshalling the Empire of Man; Grimgor Ironhide whipping the Greenskins (specifically Orcs and Goblins); High King Thorgrim with his Dwarves and their machines; and Mannfred von Carstien leading the Vampire Counts.
The forces of Chaos, represented by that Lord of Change at the end, don’t seem like a playable faction. For now, at least.
Total War: Warhammer will be further expanded by two standalone instalments and additional content packs. No release date was provided.
We’ve already seen this coming ever since Sega acquired the videogame rights after THQ’s dissolution. In any case, I sincerely hope they keep the failure rolls for magic, including its catastrophic consequences.
[Press Release, PC Gamer]