Total War (video game series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Total War
Total War logo.png
Genre(s)Turn-based strategy, real-time tactics
Developer(s)Creative Assembly
Feral Interactive
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts (2000–2001)
Activision (2002–2004)
Sega (2005–present)
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux
First releaseShogun: Total War
13 June 2000
Latest releaseTotal War: Three Kingdoms
23 May 2019

Total War is a series of strategy games developed by The Creative Assembly for personal computers. They combine turn-based strategy and resource management with real-time tactical control of battles. The first of the series, Shogun: Total War was released in June 2000. The most recent major game released was Total War: Three Kingdoms on 23 May 2019. The series has sold over 20 million copies.[1]

Main games[edit]

Total War series
Title Release date Engine Operating system(s) Expansion(s) Game collection(s) Total War Eras Total War Anthology Total War Collection Total War
Grand Master Collection[2]
Game Of The Year Edition
Shogun: Total War 2000, 2001 TW Engine 1 Microsoft Windows The Mongol Invasion Warlord Edition,
Gold Edition
Yes Yes No No No
Medieval: Total War 2002, 2003 Microsoft Windows Viking Invasion Gold Edition,
Battle Collection
Yes Yes No No No
Rome: Total War 2004, 2005, 2006
2010 (OS X), 2016 (iOS), 2019 (play store)
TW Engine 2 Microsoft Windows, OS X (Gold Edition), iOS Barbarian Invasion, Alexander Gold Edition Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Medieval II: Total War 2006, 2007, 2015 (OS X) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux Kingdoms Gold Edition,
Collector's Edition,
Definitive Edition
No Yes Yes Yes No
Empire: Total War 2009, 2012 (OS X) TW Engine 3 (Warscape Engine) 32-bit Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux The Warpath Campaign Gold Edition,
Special Forces Edition,
Collector's Edition,
Definitive Edition
No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Napoleon: Total War 2010, 2013 (OS X) Microsoft Windows, OS X The Peninsular Campaign Gold Edition,
Limited Edition,
Imperial Edition,
Emperor's Edition,
Definitive Edition
No No Yes Yes Yes
Total War: Shogun 2 2011, 2012, 2014 (OS X) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux Rise of the Samurai,
Fall of the Samurai
Gold Edition,
Collector's Edition
No No Yes Yes No
Total War: Rome II 2013[3] Microsoft Windows, OS X Caesar in Gaul,
Hannibal at the Gates,
Imperator Augustus,
Wrath of Sparta,
Empire Divided,
Rise of the Republic
Emperor Edition,
Spartan Edition,
Collector's Edition,
Caesar Edition,
Enemy at the Gates Edition
No No Yes No No
Total War: Attila 2015[4] Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux The Last Roman,
Age of Charlemagne
Special Edition,
Tyrants and Kings Edition
No No No No No
Total War: Warhammer 2016[5] TW Engine 3 (Warscape Engine) 64-bit Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux Chaos Warriors,
Call of the Beastmen,
Realm of the Wood Elves,
Limited Edition,
Old World Edition,
High King Edition,
Dark Gods Edition
No No No No No
Total War: Warhammer II 2017 Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux Mortal Empires,
Rise of the Tomb Kings,
Curse of the Vampire Coast
Limited Edition,
Serpent God Edition
No No No No No
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 2018 TW Engine 3 (Warscape Engine) 32-bit Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux Limited Edition No No No No No
Total War: Three Kingdoms 2019 TW Engine 3 (Warscape Engine) 64-bit (romance) 32-bit (records) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux Yellow Turban Rebellion,
Eight Princes,
Mandate of Heaven
Limited Edition,
Collector's Edition
No No No No No
Total War Saga: Troy 2020 TW Engine 3 (Warscape Engine) 32-bit + 64-bit Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux No No No No No
Total War: Warhammer III ? ? Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux No No No No No

Shogun: Total War[edit]

Released in June 2000, Shogun: Total War is the first game in the series. The game is set in feudal Japan. The single-player game includes interactive videos that represented possible decisions by the player, such as converting to Christianity. The original Shogun was not a mainstream product, but attracted a dedicated fan base.[citation needed] The expansion pack, called The Mongol Invasion, was released with the original in the Warlord Edition.

Medieval: Total War[edit]

Medieval: Total War was released in August 2002. Using the same game engine as Shogun, the game takes players to medieval Europe. The expansion pack is called Viking Invasion, and the combined edition is called the Battle Collection. It was one of the best-selling games in the Total War series.

Rome: Total War[edit]

Released in 2004, Rome: Total War is set in the Roman Republic. This was the first game to encompass what would become one of the most fundamental additions to the Total War series, the inclusion of free map movement as opposed to earlier versions where all movement was province based. The game also featured the first 3D map. The first expansion pack, Barbarian Invasion, was released on 27 September 2005. Rome: Total War Gold Edition, which combined the fully patched versions of the original game and its first expansion into one DVD (instead of the original game's three CD-ROMs) was released on 14 February 2006. A CD-ROM version (a total of four CDs) was also produced. A Mac version of Rome: Total War Gold Edition, developed by Feral Interactive, was released 12 February 2010. A second expansion pack, Rome: Total War: Alexander, was released on 19 June 2006 as a download and, later at retail. A compilation of the original game and the two expansions, Rome: Total War Anthology was released on 16 March 2007. The series has also spawned several popular mods such as Europa Barbarorum and Rome: Total Realism both of which seek to create more historically accurate settings. This game was also recently added to mobile, offering a simplified version of the real game. There is an estimate of about 2 million who own this game. Rome: Total War has won many strategy gaming awards for its realistic campaign and battlefield animation and interface.

Medieval II: Total War[edit]

Medieval II: Total War, a sequel to Medieval: Total War, was released on 10 November 2006 in Europe and on 14 November in North America. This game includes much more detailed characters and features the Age of Discovery (and colonisation of the Americas) and the Mongol and Timurid invasions. An expansion pack, Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms was announced on 30 March 2007. It was released on 28 August 2007. The Gold Edition of the game, containing the original game and the expansion pack, was released on 1 February 2008. The Kingdoms expansion pack contained 4 campaigns: the Britannia Campaign, set in the British Isles in 1258, during the reign of Henry III of England; the Crusades Campaign, set in the Middle East in 1174; the Teutonic Campaign, set in the Baltic region of Eastern Europe in 1250; and the Americas Campaign, set in the New World in 1521, during the decline of the Aztec and Maya civilizations.

Empire: Total War[edit]

Empire: Total War was announced on 22 August 2007 by Sega[6] and had been secretly in development since the release of Barbarian Invasion.[7][8] It is set in the 18th century and includes features such as the Industrial Revolution, America's struggle for independence and the colonization of India. For the first time in a Total War game, players have the ability to play real-time 3D naval battles. Also a feature that had been developed in the game was the decentralisation of provinces, adding greater realism in that many features, from production to technological advancement, would now occur outside of the capital of the province. Empire: Total War was released on 3 March in North America and 4 March in Europe 2009.[9] The expansion pack, Empire: Total War: Warpath, was released in October 2009. Warpath is set in the Americas where it is possible to control one of five different Native American nations. While the game was critically acclaimed due to its innovative game play, the game has been subject to most of the criticism of the Total War series by many critics and fans after its release due to bugs; Sega claims nearly all issues have been presently resolved. The issues have been publicly explained by Creative Assembly several months after the game's release. It was the first in the series to use Valve's Steamworks DRM and achievements system, thereby requiring Steam to be played.[10]

Napoleon: Total War[edit]

Napoleon: Total War was released in North America on 23 February 2010, and in Europe on 26 February. The game focuses on the politics and major military campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars in the late 18th century and the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century. Napoleon was released with several editions: the Standard Edition (as well as a limited edition version of the Standard Edition), Imperial Edition, and the Emperor's Edition (available in Australia and New Zealand only). Players assume the role of Napoleon Bonaparte, or one of his major rivals, on a turn-based campaign map and engage in the subsequent battles in real-time. As with its predecessor, Empire: Total War, which included a special episodic United States story line, Napoleon features three separate campaigns which follow the general's early Italian and Egyptian campaigns as well as the European campaign and the Battle of Waterloo.

In the grand campaign, which is named "Campaigns of the Coalition", the player can play as Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, or Russia in a map that spans Europe. There is also a second campaign available as DLC, the "Peninsular campaign", in which the player vies for control of the Iberian peninsula. The campaign is playable as either France, Spain, or Great Britain. On 3 June 2013 premiered Napoleon: Total War Gold Edition for Macs, available for download.

Total War: Shogun 2[edit]

On 2 June 2010 Creative Assembly released a full preview of Total War: Shogun 2 set in the middle of the 16th century in Medieval Japan during a period of isolation and military conflict called Sengoku Jidai(The warring states period). The new battle engine supports up to 56,000 soldiers in a single battle, making them significantly larger than in Napoleon, the previous game in the series. Shogun 2 is the first game of the series to feature the franchise's name appearing as the primary title in an effort to increase brand awareness.[11] The game was released on 15 March 2011.[12]

Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai is a stand-alone expansion to Total War: Shogun 2 released in March 2012. The game explores the conflict between the Imperial throne and the last Shogun around the time of the Boshin War in 19th century Japan, 300 years after the events of the original game in a clash of traditional Samurai culture with the power of modern weaponry. There are six new playable clans (Satsuma, Tosa, and Choshu, Imperial and Aizu, Nagaoka, and Jozai Shogunate) plus four DLC clans (Tsu, Saga, Obama, and Sendai), supporting either the Imperial throne or the Tokugawa Shogunate. Also portrayed in a limited role are Britain, United States and France, with all of whom trade deals can be struck (given the proper infrastructure), and from whom Marines can be recruited. A new feature is the land and sea unit interactions which includes the ability to call in offshore artillery support barrages, coastal gun emplacements that target enemy ships and the ability to call in campaign map bombardments – bombarding armies and cities in adjacent coastal areas of the campaign map. Other new features are railway networks, ironclad warships, improved siege battle mechanics (with upgradable tower defences, each with their own speciality ), new agent types, the ability to control two armies on the battle map at the same time, a third person shooter for torpedo gunboats, coastal batteries, Gatling guns and cannons, and a multiplayer overhaul.

Total War: Rome II[edit]

On 2 July 2012, The Creative Assembly announced Total War: Rome II with a live action trailer that features different scenes with the theme, "How far will you go for Rome?".[13] Work on the title began during the development of Total War: Shogun 2.[14] The Creative Assembly announced that the game would have a bigger map than its predecessor, Rome: Total War, it will "go more to the east", have many new game features and that it will have new camera views in-battle, allowing the player to see the battle from almost every angle. They further claimed that the game was developed using a new programming system, which allows it to achieve graphical quality never seen before in the Total War series, including dynamic facial expressions.[15] The game was released on 3 September 2013.[16] This title hit record high pre-order sales for The Creative Assembly, with the Greek States Culture Pack unlocking Sparta, Athens and Epirus in the campaign as a pre-order bonus. The initial release suffered from significant performance issues as well as having many bugs which severely affected gameplay.[17]

Total War: Attila[edit]

On 25 September 2014, The Creative Assembly announced Total War: Attila at the Eurogamer Expo.[18] Using the same engine as Total War: Rome II, the game followed the life of Attila the Hun during the Dark Ages of Europe, much like Napoleon: Total War did with Napoleon's life after Empire: Total War. According to the Creative Assembly, Total War: Attila would implement an "apocalyptic" atmosphere, with hostile weather and darker lighting. Total War: Attila was released on 17 February 2015.[19]

Total War: Warhammer[edit]

Announced on 22 April 2015, Total War: Warhammer changes the rules of the series as it takes place in a setting of high fantasy for the first time in the series' history. The setting comes from Games Workshop's miniature wargame and Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The real-time battles and turn-based sandbox campaigns, a staple of the series, return. Races include the men of the Empire and Bretonnia, Orcs and Goblins (Greenskins), Dwarves, Vampire Counts, the Warriors of Chaos, Beastmen, Wood Elves and the Norscan Tribes. Sega has revealed this is the first in what will be a trilogy of titles, with two additional standalone instalments planned. Total War: Warhammer was released on 24 May 2016.[20]

Total War: Warhammer II[edit]

Announced on 31 March 2017 at EGX Rezzed. It was released on 28 September 2017. It focuses on the conflicts in the New World and Ulthuan between High Elves, Dark Elves, Skaven and Lizardmen as they seek to control the Vortex. The Tomb Kings also seek to reclaim the Nine Books of Nagash, a series of necromantic tomes that hold great power. A grand campaign combining the map from the first game and the second was also released called Mortal Empires.

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia[edit]

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia was released on 3 May 2018. The game is set in 878 AD, after the death of Ragnar Lodbrok and subsequent Viking invasion of the British Isles by the Great Heathen Army. The game focuses on the kingdoms vying for power of the Isles. The playable factions can be English, Welsh, Gaelic, or they can be part of the Great Viking army, or the Viking sea kings. The game uses the same engine as Attila, and the battles and campaign offer little in the way of new content. The game has received generally favorable reviews from critics but a mixed response from users.This game is said to have the best siege battles. The game currently holds a Critic Score of 75, and a User Score of 54 on Metacritic.[21]

Total War: Three Kingdoms[edit]

Promotion at PAX West 2018

Released on 23 May 2019, Three Kingdoms brings the Total War series to new lands in China during the rule of the Han dynasty in 190 AD where the child Emperor Xian of Han is placed on the throne as a puppet ruler by his regent Dong Zhuo who holds the real power. The game centers on heroes who will fight tyranny but whose ambitions may break their fragile alliance and divide China leading up to the rise of the Three Kingdoms period. This is the latest in the series, but has so far proven to be very popular. The game is based on the Ancient Chinese novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Players can choose to play as many warlords such as Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and others. The graphics are different compared to recent games like Total War: Rome II. There is a new battle system enabling the player to select Records, a more realistic, or Romance, seen by some to be a more fun and creative way to play. In Romance, players can control their warlords, who now have special abilities. The campaign has also changed. There are currently three DLCs, Downloadable Content, available off the Steam Store: Eight Princes, set almost a hundred years after the original campaign; Yellow Turban Rebellion, which allows you to play as the Yellow Turban Faction within the original campaign; Reign of Blood, similar to the other DLCs available in Total War: Rome II and Total War: Attila called Blood and Gore and Blood and Burning respectively. Reign of Blood adds a new variety of combat animations and blood on the battlefield.

Total War Saga: Troy[edit]

The most recent Total War game is Total War Saga: Troy. It uses the "Saga" moniker, as did Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, and as has retroactively been applied to The Fall of the Samurai standalone expansion for Total War: Shogun 2. It will be released in 2020.

Spin-off games[edit]

Spartan: Total Warrior[edit]

Spartan: Total Warrior was developed by The Creative Assembly and released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. Spartan: Total Warrior is a hack and slash action title that was to bring Total War's hallmark large-scale battles to the console market. Rather than adhering to historical accuracies, The Creative Assembly took inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology to craft a setting that allows for more fantastical set pieces and foes. The player takes the role of a Spartan warrior guided by Ares, tasked with defeating the invading Roman Empire. The game features both a "campaign mode" and an "arena battle" mode. The campaign mode takes place over 14 levels, while the arena battle mode tasks the players with surviving enemy assaults of increasing difficulty. An indirect follow-up called Viking: Battle for Asgard was released in 2008, dropping the Total Warrior moniker.

Total War Battles: Shogun[edit]

Total War Battles: Shogun was released on 20 April 2012 for iOS.[22] This game was also later released for Android devices and Microsoft Windows. Set in medieval Japan, the game utilizes real time strategy and, like other Total War games, combines troop organization and management, combat and building management. Available troops confirmed are: samurai, archers, ninja and cavalry. The battle system uses Hexagon tiles for movement and placement and a new key feature to this game enforces the "Bushido" code of conduct where once units are moved forward they can no longer move backwards. 1 vs 1 local multiplayer is available.

Total War: Arena[edit]

Total War: Arena was a free-to-play game that was discontinued in February 2019.[23] During his session at the 2013 GDC in San Francisco, lead designer James Russell revealed the title under development at the UK studio. Arena was The Creative Assembly's first title in a free-to-play model, a new spin-off for the Total War series. Offering players the chance to pitch history's greatest commanders and their armies against each other in massive team-based battles, Arena focused entirely on online multiplayer, mixing elements of real-time strategy and multiplayer online battle arena gameplay. This game was also part of the War game series that included World of Tanks Blitz, World of Warships and many more. It involved a system where playing online battles could allow you to level up and select new upgraded commanders.

Total War Battles: Kingdom[edit]

From the team behind Total War Battles: Shogun, Total War Battles: Kingdom entered open Beta on PC on 9 March 2015,[24] following a limited closed Beta. Set in Medieval England, the game combines realm building and management with real-time battles and has been released for PC, Android and iOS.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (4 August 2016). "Sega has quietly become one of the world's best PC strategy game companies". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Total War Grand Master Collection". SteamPowered. Valve. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  3. ^ Purchese, Robert (9 May 2013). "Total War: Rome 2 release date is Tuesday, 3rd September worldwide". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  4. ^ Crossley, Rob (25 September 2014). "Total War: Attila Coming to PC in February 2015". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  5. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (30 July 2015). "A Total War: Warhammer battle – up close and personal". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Total War Sets Sail!". 22 August 2007. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2008.
  7. ^ Kollar, Philip (22 August 2007). "Empire: Total announcement secretly developed for a year". p. 1. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  8. ^ Sheffield, Brandon (29 July 2008). "Interview: Creative Assembly's Sutherns Talks Total War Franchise". GamaSutra. UBM plc. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  9. ^ "Empire: Total War Official Site – Release Date". Sega. The Creative Assembly Limited. 12 December 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  10. ^ Rave (28 January 2009). "Empire: Total War to use Steam as DRM". SteamFriends. TechConnect B.V. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  11. ^ Bickham, Al (3 December 2010). "Hands on: Shogun 2's siege battles". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Press release, from 11 November, 2010". Total War. SEGA. The Creative Assembly Limited. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  13. ^ MacDonald, Keza (2 July 2012). "Sega Announces Total War: Rome II". Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  14. ^ Purchese, Robert (17 May 2011). "Creative Assembly making new Total War". Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  15. ^ "Total War Rome 2 preview: every detail about the new engine, naval combat, multiplayer and mods". pcgamer. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Total War: Rome II". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Total War: Rome 2 creative director: launch issues are 'totally unacceptable'". pcgamer. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  18. ^ McDonald, Tim (25 September 2014). "New Total War revealed as Total War: Attila". IncGamers. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  19. ^ Joy (24 November 2014). "Total War: ATTILA Release Date Announced". RealGamerReviews. York Media Company. Archived from the original on 24 November 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Total War: Warhammer". Total War. Games Workshop Limited. 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  22. ^ Briden, Paul (20 April 2012). "Total War Battles: Shogun out now on iPhone and iPad". Know Your Mobile. Dennis Publishing Limited. Felix Dennis. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Tipp, Seth (3 December 2014). "Total War Battles: Kingdom Announced for Mobile and PC". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved 3 December 2014.

External links[edit]