The Warhammer franchise was in force at E3 this year. Not only were there multiple games being shown coming in from Focus Interactive – which we’ll also be previewing – Creative Assembly, the makers of some of the finest and possibly the biggest real-time strategy games also had something to show. That something was Total War: Warhammer, a Total War scaled RTS set in the medieval fantasy portion of the famed Games Workshop brand.
So take into consideration the massive scale of what was previously released in the Total War series, like the epic battles of Shogun 2, with thousands of units on screen battling out, but instead of simply using swords and the occasional dabble with gunpowder, there’s all sorts of crazy magic spells and siege units, among impossible creatures going all out against each other.
That was the setting we were invited to sit down and watch during Creative Assembly’s appointment at E3 2015. The humans were at it again with the orcs, who didn’t bow down to the challenge. On the empire’s side, we had Emperor Karl Franz, who is apparently a big deal in the Warhammer lore, riding a gryphon and showering violence with his very own war hammer. It wouldn’t be a Warhammer product without one of those, right?
On the orcs’ side, all sorts of crazy spell casters were setting up shop. One guy in particular was very keen on summoning weird spirits into battle, and boy did he once things got rough on his end. A giant green ghostly hand popped out of the ground and smashed a few of the humans’ siege machines, but that wasn’t the only weird thing to come out to play. And according to the rep playing the game, that was only a thin slice of the elemental pie mages and shamans will be carving into in the complete game.
Soon after the hand was done being terrifically chaotic, a humongous spider like monster made its entrance. And that’s when things got completely mental. Sure, we could say that Total War: Warhammer is just being a game that likes to be flashy for the sake of being flashy, but it’s commendable how far Creative Assembly is willing to go in order to shatter any remnants of reality in this particular game. The aforementioned creature was sheer death in the battlefield, flicking humans left and right like they were paper dolls and looking absolutely fantastic doing so.
Still, the battle had to end sometime as the presentation was on a tight time constraint, so eventually the attention was drawn elsewhere in the carnage that was going on. Apparently, during the battle, the Emperor managed to get the upper hand against the orcs’ flying ‘warg’ riding leader, which put an end to the conflict we watched and brought the demonstration to an end.
While it’s extremely easy to get really giddy during an E3 presentation, given how they are very much set up to do so anyway, I couldn’t help but come out of it with genuinely impressed with how grand the scale felt under little apparent detriment to gameplay. Sure, keeping track of all the madness going on in battle is already an issue with each new Total War game that comes out, so I’m curious to see how Warhammer will be treated in that regard due to how much the ante has gone up by bringing in that franchise and its world into the mix.
Still, for the little that we had the chance to check out during E3, there’s plenty to be hopeful for in the coming months, as more info on the game is bound to come our way. There’s no firm release date to speak of right now for Total War: Warhammer, only that it’ll obviously come out for PC.