Minotaurs may primarily be known as huge, savage, mythical creatures, but Creative Assembly hopes A Total War Saga: TROY helps shed some light on the truths that may have inspired many of our most famous legends.
SEGA Europe Ltd. announced today that the new entry in the beloved strategy series will be set in the late Bronze Age and is inspired by Homer’s Iliad. Events occur during the twenty-year Trojan War between the kingdoms of Troy and Mycenaean Greece. It’s a setting with boundless opportunity for storytelling and gameplay, and Creative Assembly will draw on historical authenticity and myths, creating a truly epic scope.
“Total War Saga titles channel the grand strategy and real-time battles of a core Total War game into an intense flashpoint in time, letting you determine the outcome of pivotal moments in history. This change in scope and perspective makes Total War Saga the perfect home for innovation, often leading to new ideas that go on to influence future tentpole titles.” Creative Assembly described via a press release.
Creative Assembly gave an overview of their upcoming game during a behind-closed-doors session at PAX West and focused a lot on the fun they had coming up with ways to explain how some of our greatest myths came to be known. These men were huge, wearing menacing bull skulls and their brutality was feared across the land. These Minotaur units will be strong front-line attackers that opponents should fear. There are many other units like this that Creative Assembly will be detailing in the coming months.
Combat could be more frenetic than in past titles, as players will have to manage the legitimately worrisome threat of the Minotaurs and other mythical units, as well as still managing classic Total War gameplay elements. Players can also control legendary heroes who have been designed with their personality traits in mind – both the good and the bad. Achilles, for example, is an unstoppable warrior, but if he can’t control his rage, it can have a negative effect on his army. Hector, on the other hand, is not so easily swayed, and inspires his army to stand strong and are tough to rout.
There are also new terrain types that will affect gameplay, including mud and tall grass. Players will need to consider the option of taking the shortcut through mud and risking their heavier units getting stuck and pinned down. Units can also hide in long grass, creating an opportunity for more stealth-like play.
Discussing some design challenges for a game set in this time period, the team talked about the relative lack of horses, with most of them being reserved for generals and chariots. This meant they had to find a way to ensure battles that are primarily infantry based are still fun. Players will see differences in mobility and speed and can even change units’ roles mid-battle.
They also spent a lot of time discussing how they built the Mediterranean game world, and the results are stunningly beautiful. Bright colors, large maps, and glorious up-close combat animations make this game a joy to watch. If you played Ubisfot’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, you have an idea of what to expect here. Islands make up most of the map, with a variety of grassland, sandy beaches, and mountainous terrains (even Mount Olympus). You can traverse from island to island using a fleet of ships, but the ships will not be used in combat.
At its early state, it’s difficult to know how well the game will run across a broad spectrum of systems, but Creative Assembly has typically done a good job of ensuring their titles run well for most players. I did, however, ask if they would be implementing ray tracing, and was met with a chuckle and a, “No.” Maybe next year?
And while we were not given hands-on time, it looks to be tried and true Total War gameplay. Large, massive battles with an extensive number of units to choose from, new animations, along with many iterations on features from previous games (like improved multiplayer and the focus on legendary units), give TROY a lot of exciting potential.
A Total War Saga: TROY launches on Steam in 2020. Stay tuned to MMORPG.com for more info and previews in the coming months.