With Total War: Warhammer II now in the rearview mirror, Creative Assembly is beginning to turn its attention back to its core group of historical fans that made it the superstar it is today. It’s coming up to three years since a history-based Total War game launch (Total War: Attila in February 2015), but a major new announcement is coming “soon”.
Interestingly though, this won’t be the all-new game some were perhaps hoping for. Instead, it’s going to be a campaign expansion for an older game, one which CA claims plenty of fans are still playing.
“Well we’re working on a campaign expansion for one of our older games, probably the biggest historical one CA’s done we think,” says CA Sofia’s game director Maya Georgieva. “We’ve been working on our project for the best part of a year, and with not long to go we’re well into testing now with nearly all the content in. And yes, it’s going to be the next Total War announcement, which is exciting for us!”
Creative Assembly’s never really been known to go back to the well and revisit a game after a successor has been released, so this is a new one for them. “Yes,” says Maya, “and the first time we’ve gone back to a game so long after release. That in itself is very new territory and something we’re keen to explore as a studio, because it opens up lots of exciting future projects if it’s successful.”
The expansion will be joined by a big free update for the main game, which we’re hopeful includes a graphical makeover for whichever title it is. A quick glance at the Steam figures reveals Total War: Rome II is comfortably the most popular historical title at the present time, although it’s already been lavished with heaps of DLC and the Attila pseudo-sequel.
Meanwhile, for those after an all-new historical era, separate CA team is working on this, headed up by Janos Gaspar. This will be the first new era since 2013, and CA is promising a completely different look and feel for the new game. “We’ve ramped up to the final team size in the past few months, so things are moving along steadily with daily visible progress,” explains Janos. “For example, it’s nice to see, after having researched historical city-layouts for months, it all coming together in the game. There are still placeholder grey boxes here and there, but the atmosphere is already outstanding and gameplay feels strong.”
Last, but not least (depending on how you feel) there’s the first Total War: Saga title to come. This is a standalone mini-project for an existing title, much like Fall of the Samurai was to Shogun 2. CA has been teasing this project for a while now, and it doesn’t sound as if it’s too far off.
Which of these Total War projects are you looking forward to most? Disappointed that the next historical title is an expansion to an older game, or are you eager to see what CA is changing?