With the massive success of Total War: Warhammer it's no secret that when the second was announced a lot of PC enthusiast were upset. Asking 59.99 for a few new factions seems like a less than stellar idea. However, I’m here to tell you that it’s not the case. Great care and time went into this sequel and it shows in numerous ways.
First is the new campaign, which tasks you with fighting over a Vortex that holds tremendous magical properties. This takes you on a huge adventure with various degrees of challenge. Of course, the campaign isn’t the only thing Total War: Warhammer 2. Creative Assembly introduces four new fantasy factions: High Elves, Dark Elves, Lizardmen, and Skaven. Each race has interesting core mechanics, units, and feels unique in its own way, boasting different tactics, strengths, and weaknesses. The icing on the cake is made up of worldbuilding details such as hearing races talk for the first time.
A different Type of RTS
This was my second journey into the Total War Franchise. I’ve played other RTS games, most notably Blizzard's StarCraft and Warcraft franchises, and to be honest historical periods never really interested me. However, when Total War: Warhammer was released, I was immediately hooked, being a fan of both the tabletop game and Age Of Sigmar.
What’s great about Total War: Warhammer 2 is that it has the best of both worlds. A long, turn-based campaign that requires attention to detail and resource management, and a fantastic real-time combat system in PVP. The great thing about the combat in Total War Warhammer 2 is the speed, which gives you time to enjoy the battle and time to react to what’s happening on screen. The game is all about army composition, knowing what your opponent’s units do, and your positioning. I found the game nowhere near as intimidating as other mainstream RTS games, making the bar of entry much lower.
However, there's plenty to satisfy fans who revel in micromanagement. Each unit has multiple stats and some require constant attention, like the Skaven Doom wheel, which needs to be running the entire length the battle.
Something for everyone
Total War: Warhammer 2 offers so much in terms of value. I split my time against AI opponents and PVP, learning the new factions. Seeing brilliant tabletop models come to life is a great experience and the overall pace of the gameplay allows you to actually enjoy beautiful epic battles without having to manage too much at once.
The Campaign is great albeit overwhelming at times. I found myself quickly losing if I didn’t manage resources, or if spread myself too thin over the map. However, I can appreciate the depth of managing keeps, upgrading them for better units, and planning ahead. But it’s been my experience that unless you like tedious managing of resources and scouting this may not be the mode for you. It’s really deep and I've yet to fully grasp the meta behind it. I’d amass a giant army, do well, only to have the AI sweep me from the board. It’s a snowball effect in the campaign: Once you lose your main force it can be very hard to come back.
I also found myself auto resolving battles nearly 90% of my time in the campaign, which is a nice feature, and doesn’t mean another player wont enjoy the deep campaign mode.
The overall the game offers the best what an RTS can give: deep campaign and largescale battles with some of the best fantasy units I’ve seen. You’ll need a pretty capable PC to run it at 1080p60. My current build has a 980ti and I dipped under 60fps consistently, but the game still looked and played amazing. The voice work is fantastic, nailing what each faction would sound like and really immerses you in the Warhammer universe.
If you’re looking for a Deep RTS without the insane speed of StarCraft II, I highly recommend Total War: Warhammer 2.