The Creative Assembly Announce Total War: Attila

Posted September 27, 2014 by Aidan Coxon in Announcements, Articles, Gaming News, Mac, News, PC


“Against a darkening background of famine, disease and war, a new power is rising in the great steppes of the East. With a million horsemen at his back, the ultimate warrior king approaches, and his sights are set on Rome…”

The Creative Assembly have announced the newest instalment to their epic historical RTS series, Total War: Attila. The game will put you in the shoes of the infamous terror of Rome – Attila the Hun. With the Roman Empire’s expansive territory collapsing into chaos and the Roman armies divided and stretched thin, the great city of Rome’s treasury and resources were dwindling and, with the combined might of barbarian tribes and the Huns, the downfall of one of the most powerful civilisations on Earth had finally come about, and now it’s up to the players to decide how that will happen – or even defy history and save the Western Roman Empire.

Total War: Attila gives players a different experience to the previous title, Total War: Rome II, in which the player was building a vast and powerful empire, celebrating their incredible wealth and strength through war and politics. However, now times have changed. The majestically brilliant marble structures are collapsing, the mighty and unstoppable Roman armies are thinning, and the final ruler of the Western and Eastern Roman Empire has passed. Not only are the numerous enemies of Rome planning attacks, but its own people are turning against their rulers. The game provides players with a new choice and a new challenge – save or destroy Rome.

The Dark Age is dawning and the player will play a vital role in how that comes about. Playing as the Western Roman Empire will challenge even the most diehard veteran’s skill, forcing the player to constantly change their tactics and methods of playing in order to combat the constant threat of numerous civilisations wanting revenge for being suppressed for centuries, as well as rebellions, treachery, and empty treasuries.  Campaign reworks are a focus for The Creative Assembly, as a new gameplay mechanic is being introduced – city razing. Razing your own cities is a tactic that players can now employ, the settlement’s citizens and garrison will burn the buildings to the ground and take nothing with them except – hopefully – a buffer between themselves and any hostile army.

Other reworks are being introduced into Total War: Attila, including a rework of diseases. Disease has been a big killer of most Total War games, but now disease can spread and worsen, failure to keep cities clean will only make matters worse for yourself. Diseases can spread in a few different ways, such as through sieges, your own armies, enemy armies, and even trade routes. A diseased city’s population will begin to decline, along with public order, and it will have an effect on your armies too as another form of attrition. It goes without saying that sick soldiers don’t fight as well. The Creative Assembly have painstakingly modelled the climate change during this period too, from the 3rd Century, Europe began getting colder. As the campaign continues on, the snow from the north will gradually fall south and will have an eventual effect on your territories, impeding food production and your economy.

Other improvements include a bigger campaign map, allowing the player’s territory to stretch out to the Urals in modern day Russia, the campaign map camera can zoom in and out further than before, and the visuals have been improved. New weather, foliage, and shimmering effects make southern Europe appear more arid, whereas the wintry north appears damper and dingier. Region overlays provides players with quick summaries of wealth and religious disposition, Families trees have returned to the game which is a much loved (and much missed) feature of fans from older games (I certainly missed it in Rome II). This gives players the ability to interact more with their characters by marrying them off, appointing them to govern distant provinces (which is a very important one, as it’s the only way to enact provincial edicts), increase their standing, and more.

The battles have also had a rework, no noticeable interface changes have been made but there is a new threat which will plague all sides in the fray – dynamic fire. Just like fire in reality, it can either be your best friend or your worst enemy, you can use archers or artillery to rain down fire on enemy soldiers or buildings to set them alight, and watch with some sort of sick joy as the fire spreads and halts – or burns – other units and buildings. A new sort of unit can also cause mayhem by setting things alight – the raiders. More attention has been paid to the layout of cities, they’ll gradually fall apart as the walls are chipped away by artillery, defending generals can erect wooden barricades in the streets to create a bottleneck. Citizens may even start fleeing from attackers as they pile over – or through – the walls. The familiar feel of classic Roman architecture will be present, though accompanied with a plethora of architecture influenced by the numerous cultures that the Romans conquered in the previous centuries.

The Creative Assembly have shown off something which has both new fans and veteran fans – such as myself – excited. I’m curious to see what other changes – if any – will be made to the series to accompany the dark, grim, and almost apocalyptic feel of the dawn of the Dark Age.

Thanks Eurogamer. You can check out the Total War: Attila site here, the is due for release on PC and Mac in February 2015.

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