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'Total War: Warhammer' Demo Debuts To The Public

At E3, Tom's Hardware was treated to a behind-closed-doors session of the latest in the Total War series, Total War: Warhammer. The development team at Creative Assembly presented a pre-alpha demo of the game, which it finally revealed to the public who couldn't see it at E3.

The demo, called "The Battle of Black Fire Pass" featured a conflict between the Empire, led by the Emperor Karl Franz, and the Greenskins, led by the Orc Warboss Grimgor Ironhide. At launch, players can choose from four different races, such as the humans (the Empire), Orcs (the Greenskins), Dwarves and Vampires.

Unlike most of the other conflicts throughout the game, the Battle of Black Fire Pass is considered to be a Quest Battle, a pivotal story-based battle in the game. For the most part, Total War veterans will be familiar with the basic mechanics of the game. However, Total War: Warhammer is a big departure from its predecessors in that it's based on a fantasy setting instead of the real world.

The fantasy aspect allows developers to work with new environments, such as Black Fire Pass' wide terrain flanked on both sides by tower mountains oozing with lava. There are also new units to work with, such as giant spiders that take the place of traditional horses for cavalry, and ranged weapons that use goblin fanatics (crazy little creatures) as ammunition in lieu of the traditional cannonball.

Magic is also prevalent in the game, so in addition to physically damaging other units, you can have shamans and mages cast spells from a safe distance to either aid allies or destroy waves of foes. Both sides also have access to aerial units, such as Emperor Franz's griffin, which allows you to have aerial combat with other winged units. You can also provide additional support to soldiers from the air.

Total War: Warhammer has been in the works for quite some time, with the developers and Sega, its publisher, making a deal in 2012 with the Games Workshop, the company behind the Warhammer series. The Warhammer series is well-known in the tabletop scene, not only requiring the traditional paper, pencil and dice, but also a vast amount of figurines to play out these huge conflicts. In a way, Creative Assembly's new game is another way for fans to play out those huge battles, only this time, they can actually see it happening on the field instead of just in their imagination.

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  • beardedtexan
    Time for me to go home for the day... Squealed at my desk like a 13 year old girl at a One Direction concert.
    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    It's a shame CA hasn't released a quality title since Rome: TW over 10 years ago. Though I love Warhammer and have enjoyed some TW games I just can't get excited because of the poor quality control of CA.
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    Looks more like Lord of the Rings with a little steampunk thrown in than Warhammer, maybe an updated "King Arthur - The Role Playing Wargame" . Exciting nonetheless
    Reply
  • falchard
    OMG this is so exciting. Its the first time War hammer will translate to a video game well. Not an MMO, not an RTS. A resource gathering TBS and RTS main combat with huge armies.
    Reply
  • LostAlone
    It's a shame CA hasn't released a quality title since Rome: TW over 10 years ago. Though I love Warhammer and have enjoyed some TW games I just can't get excited because of the poor quality control of CA.

    Rome II was bad but Empire and Napoleon and Shogun II were fine. Not perfect games, but they still played well at least in my experience. I'm totally ready to get excited.

    Looks more like Lord of the Rings with a little steampunk thrown in than Warhammer, maybe an updated "King Arthur - The Role Playing Wargame" . Exciting nonetheless

    Well, Warhammer is heavily inspired by LotR and 'large scale fantasy battles' are kinda limited in how different they can be - big blocks of dudes fighting. I'm not saying you're wrong as such, just that looking like the battles from LotR is a compliment to this.
    Reply
  • StewartTurkeylink
    Needs moar Chaos.
    Reply
  • MotherBrain
    this is a step in the right direction.... the minute we come out with LOTR: total war, I'm making the first pre-order of my life. I still prefer the third age MTW2 mod to any of the newer total war games.
    Reply
  • Arbie
    I hope they will fix the perennial weakness of Total War games, that enemy combatants will just stand next to each other and do nothing. That happens quite a few times in this clip although they pan very rapidly to mask such things. As with most game engines, perfecting the fundamentals takes second place to adding eye candy (and this one has plenty of that).
    Reply