Medieval 2: Total War Announced

By Maarten Goldstein, Jan 20, 2006 8:31am PST

SEGA today announced the development of Medieval 2: Total War, the fourth instalment of the Total War franchise. In the game, developed by SEGA owned The Creative Assembly, you will lead armies across Europe before eventually moving on to America to take on the Aztecs. Medieval 2: Total War will be released next winter.

The game boasts an impressive array of new graphical and gameplay enhancements, including the capability for a massive 10,000 dynamic characters to be taken into battle at any one time. On top of this, The Creative Assembly have implemented a fully redesigned multiplayer mode that offers a dynamic multi-battle campaign bolstered by an unprecedented level of visceral combat choreography that reflects the brutality of medieval warfare.

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  • I really enjoyed all three of the Total War games, but I always gave up in the end because of poor AI and gameplay flaws. There are many great things Total War does right, but also a great many things that weren't polished or balanced. I think it goes with trying to be innovative, but I just wish they'd focus more on AI and fixing gameplay flaws than upping the graphics and ambiance features.

    As an AI programmer I know it's hard, but this is the fourth iteration of the series. There's no more excuse for gaping AI flaws, because they're no longer going into uncharted territory like the first two games.

    This is my wishlist:

    1) In battle, AI needs to take advantage of every viable human strategy, and be able to counter every obvious and viable human strategy. For example: archers, flanking, and ruses.

    2) The strategy map is too bloated with micromanagement middle to late game. A lot of features aren't well balanced or are bloated. They as much admit this every time they release an expansion and fix half of everything, forcing you to upgrade. Next, the AI must make smart decisions and have a good foundation of strategy.

    3) Unit diversity in battle. You can bring in a diverse army, but in a lot of games in the series, all of one or two types of unit was the best. This is proven as much in multiplayer.

    I think they're spending way too much time on visuals and not enough on design and execution of AI and gameplay.