After over 500 hours and countless campaigns having played through almost every single race available in the game to date, I can say this epic undertaking has both graphical and mechanical excellence to offer all while staying true to the feel and aesthetic of the warhammer world as best it can be in the total war formula of games.
The campaigns and races are varied enough to illicit a diverse experience and the modding community also provides even greater options for replayability and challenge that would appeal to a wide variety of people.
This is however first and foremost a strategy game that combines turn based world map tactics with real time micro management intensive battles of giant armies, and if that is not your thing do not play this game.
The only negatives I would assign to this game are:
– overpriced DLC catalog that is in need of a dire need of a rework and reprice
– the original game is basically the second games mortal empires campaign and that is it, the original should not be the price it is for someone to just have access to mortal empires in 2, and all the total war 1 content including DLC should be properly integrated into the second game for a very reasonable price
– There could be some smarter options for diplomacy and the lack of trading settlements or diplomatic intrigue is rather dissapointing at times
– Siege battles are a real hit or miss experience and could really use more uniqueness
– Needs more variety in combat music
– buggy unit movement and grouping when trying to do certain advanced tactics, and the borders of the fighting area of the maps themselves should be exceptionally visible at all times until toggled otherwise or the UI is hidden for screenshots
One thing I will add about most of these problems outside of the pricing, the developers have been doing a damn fine job fixing these things with every DLC patch that also adds tons of free interesting content and reworks when they release. Every DLC release has seen some major update that fixes something or improves a race or does something quite reasonable so it’s nice to come back to this title every hand full of weeks and see what has been updated and improved since last, same goes for new mods and mod updates that help keep things even fresher!
It may lose a bit of the historical and mechanical complexity that makes the total war series so engaging and educational but it does make up for it in entertainment value as you watch high fantasy monstrosities and heros wail on each other on gorgeous battlefields. If strategy and fantasy are your thing in a darker and more war filled setting, do give it a try