Total War : Attila is the latest installment in the Total War series being released in February 2015. The Total War series has been around for over a decade and has cemented quite a strong fan base. The series is known for large-scale military combat.
You are the leader of the army and it is up to your command to turn the tide of a battle. Troops are separated into groups of matching soldiers. There is a wide array of troops and various classes from foot soldiers to horse riders. From melee fighters to ranged attackers. This is really where the series gets its complexity and strategy. The troops all behave move and attack differently. Some troops are better at attacking one another while others can move faster and attack from different places.
This is where the series shines, the armies the tactics and the planning. If you ever wanted to see what it would be like to have a whole infantry at your disposal this is the series to turn to. But is Total War Attila the Game to get?
Being as the series is so well grounded there are bound to be some major differences and changes in the game as well as the main ideas and mechanics. Starting out the game has many different modes that you can play out. You can follow the games story of the Hun invasion and the coming winter on Rome or act out historical battles fought in Europe around this era. The game has many different options of play but if you don’t have a large amount of experience with this series the different modes won’t mean much to you
The reason I say this is that this game has a steep learning curve. To get accustomed to how the game works and what tactics work best it will take some time. The prologue introduces you to the basic concepts of moving troops and fighting but after that most of your knowledge will have to come from intuition and lots of practice. The difference between those who have played hours upon hours of this game and those who just started is a large one and without a good amount of experience you will find you’re going to be needing to play on the lower difficulties as well as having troubles against those who have more experience.
While it is incredible to see all of these hundreds of soldiers actively moving and engaging on the battlefield. Unfortunately the game has one major flaw that the whole thing is very poorly optimized and has a hard time running smoothly on many computers. The developers claim that this is due to the game being optimized for newer hardware but it still causes the game to run at about half of what it should which can really take down the experience.
If you’d like to get even more into the heart of the game campaigns feature even more detail with politics getting involved and leaving you to be the one to organize trades and negotiations with other factions in order to prevent conflict. Moral is also incredibly important both in and out of battle. Keeping your citizens happy outside of the battles will help you and offer great benefits but with less of an immediate impact. The effect of moral in real time can cause your troops to disobey and flee from battle. You, however, can also add to this by flanking and intimidating your opposition in battle to cause troops they own to flee as well.
Now though there is even more to battle as it is probably the most complex part of this game. Once again there are many different types of classes within the game horsemen spearmen foot soldiers archers and even boat battles. My personal favorite type of battle was the battle on the water using boats. This probably, however is one of the least involved forms of battle. But it is much quicker paced and ending than most battles, some of these battles can go on nearing an hour with all the stages and planning that are involved. If you were fighting a battle entirely on foot the amount of time that will take your armies to clash alone will take a bit. Then the warriors will fight it out as you instruct them and move around as assigned. Armies on horseback or boat however move much faster which is what tended to draw me to the boat battles.
But getting back on track. These different troops then have other things impacting how well they can kill and how well they can survive. Things such as natural hazards, hills and ramparts all change how the battle will go. The main point is to have the strongest defenses, be uphill, and flank the opposition.
The game is excellent for playing with your friends and by yourself, either way you will have a struggle with the graphics depending on what your system is like. Some have had very negative multiplayer experiences saying that the low framerates made online play impossible while others have had zero problems with it.
The games combat and complexity in combat are its strongest suit. Even forgetting about the dlc the game itself comes with a large amount of content and can keep someone entertained for a long time. Growing and learning strategies in a living working environment is fun and the ai are interesting. The game does suffer from very poor optimization and the biggest sin is that this game is not a stand alone game.
Total War Attila is not the first of its kind and the job of a sequel should always be to improve with the optimization and overall lack of impact from the political side of things the game does feel like it still needs to work things out there are lots of pros and unfortunately lots of cons too
The game is, however, fun. It reminds me a large amount of civilization if the game were more combat oriented. People who enjoy live combat strategy like what is popular in many massively multiplayer arena games will most likely like this game. The game is not for everyone but there is a lot of fun to have from the game. While I can’t say that this game is worth the full price I can say if you are at all interested in this game or in the total war series it’s worth trying or learning more about.
by Nathaniel Stewart
*This review is taken from the transcript for our video review, please excuse any typos as this was originally for reference purposes