#724 Medieval II: Total War

Posted: 25th October 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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820th played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2006
Developer: Creative Assembly
Publisher: Sega

It’s been about 400 games – and so four years – since I last played a Total War game, in Rome: Total War, and about seven years since I played Medieval: Total War, the first game in this sub series. After this, there’s one more to come, which means the last one will be in less than two years time – faster than any other gap between the games.

In the mean time, I’ve had my moments of obsession with Total War: Warhammer and its sequel, which of course feels like a highly evolved version of this, but this will be a lovely game to explore anyway.

Our Thoughts

My interest in the Total War series – unlike many others, it seems – has always been in the grand strategy side. I’d happily play it like Civilization or Crusader Kings, abstracting away the battles in favour of large strategies. It’s in part because the level of micromanagement feels off – some things are too granular while you can’t keep the overview of the full battle, but a lot of it has a lot of downtime as well which feels like it could be filled otherwise. Despite of how it should be, I feel I do worse than just letting the AI resolve the battles. Thankfully, I’ve not come across a battle I have to play, so it’s not that big of a deal, but I always feel like I’m missing out.

The other side is fairly compelling – a struggle for possession of areas, where you need to spend some time on growing the economy, but a lot of that goes back into growing your military. The other focus is on that of leaders – something that comes back in the series, but the combinations of alliances and marriages feels deeper than it is in other places. It’s a theme for the era, I guess – Crusader Kings focuses on it too, and the world was small enough for individuals to matter. It mostly felt like a management challenge, as you’d want these both leading your armies and growing your cities, and the whole thing was an interesting limit on what you can do.

Final Thoughts

Medieval II: Total War looks fine, plays fine, and advances on the gameplay from earlier titles. It’s not the most amazing of changes, but everything we liked before is still there and I guess it just gives you more of that.

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