Medieval 2: there then back again

[url=http://www.quartertothree.com/inhouse/news/237/]Europe? Shit. I’m still only in Europe?

Yes, it’s sequelitis. Guess feudal japan and ancient rome don’t sell in peoria like “mid-evil” europe. Just accept it and be thankful there are no elves.

Well there is the Total War like Warhammer Mark of Chaos game… that looks pretty awesome. Medieval?!? I want friggin dragons n shit in my TOTAL WAR!!!

etc

They should make a Romance of the Three Kingdom Total War game. Imagine, Koei being beaten in its own game (which wouldn’t be hard, considering that there requires NO strategy in winning battles in ROTK 10.)

Yeah, there are a lot of other settings that I’d love to see get the Total War treatment. But still… there’s something about medieval Europe that I just can’t get enough of, so I’m not going to complain about this particular bout of sequelitis.

I still harbor a dream that someday I’ll be able to play Dominions: Total War, though.

Imperial Glory was pretty much Napleon Total War. I would’ve dug the American Civil War, but eh.

Having just read Donald Kagen’s book on the Second Peloponnesian War, I can’t think of a war that is better suited to the Total War game mechanics, both strategic and tactical. To me, that could be the perfect marriage of engine and history.

But was it any good? I really wanted a Napolean: Total War and would have gotten Imperial Glory, but the reviews seemed to range from “just mediocre” to “pretty bad”.

I liked Rome Total War, as an experience in combat it far surpassed the previous games. But this combat also seemed a little shallow; things like ranged infantry dominating during the classical eras, ect, just felt ahistoric, and there were a few other niggling problems. But i guess what seemed most disspointing was the relative lack of innovation in the combat game; it was, more or less, exactly like Medieval, only much prettier.

The Total War games need to work on their strategic side of the gameplay. Overall Medieval had many more options, and more interesting options, then in Rome; and even then, it was somewhat shallow. Rome’s campaign just felt underdeveloped. You just built every building, more or less, as they became available. Cities would grow out of control and there was nothing you could do about it, ect.

The Medieval era, however, contains many more varieties of combat units, and thus, have a broader range of potential strategies and things to play with. In Rome:TW, Barbarians are just barbarians. You can make one a “chosen” unit and give it silly stats, but it’s still a barbarian unit, with a big attack and light armor. All the Greek states have hoplites, hoplites, and more hoplites under a hundred various pseudonyms. But in the Medieval eras there were a great variety of cavalry, melee and ranged, heavy and light armor, and all kinds and combinations in-between. So as far as combat goes the Medieval era is really the most interesting to exploit in the Total War methodology of gameplay.

Now it’s true that the pre-Napoleonic European wars, (1600-1700) had a great combination of attack, defence, morale, flanking and maneuver, but they were all made up of th e same units using the same tactics. But you’d need to include the New World in there, somewhat, and the combat itself would be rather the same across nationalities. Plus it’s not quite as fun to fight to maintain a “balance of power” or a trading monopoly, rather then leading a Crusade to exterminate the heathens in the holy land.

Imperial Glory was pretty mediocre, so but IMO so are the Total War games. They seem so sweet for like 3 hours but then they show themselves as micromanagement morass with a painfully shallow strategic level.

Ok, I’m going to confess to my ignorance on this topic by saying that I loved Shogun, and I enjoyed Rome, but I never gave Medieval a try. The setting just didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t like the original Total War engine’s handling of siege combat (which I assumed would be a major part of the MTW experience.) However, after seeing the vast improvement made in city assaults in Rome, I’m intrigued by the prospects of a revamped MTW. A vastly improved strategic level interface, allowing the construction of fortifications to control areas of land, combined with more independence in local AI, and we could have an interesting game.

That said, I’m still wondering why they’re not doing Alexander the Great, or the Greco-Persian Wars, or something. It would seem to be a game experience that plays to their strengths more than the Middle Ages.

I agree with a lot of the criticisms about Medieval’s strategic gameplay, so the upside of this announcement is that they’re more likely to get it right this time. I’m looking forward to seeing if they have any new tricks up their sleeves for the plague and how they’re going to do the Crusades this time around. So there’s that.

But, yeah, something Hellenic would have been really sweet. Of course, I can’t imagine anyone would have bought it. Frankly, that’s what I was most curious about: what is Creative Assembly going to do that won’t alienate their newfound mass market-ish success? I had my money on the Civil War.

-Tom

Much as I like Rome, I still think that Medieval was the better game especially from a campaign point of view. Not needing a ship in every square and some of the other niceties they added for Rome was all well and good, but I just preferred the simpler element of not having your empire permanently on the edge of collapse because you need to perpetually send your armies round slaughtering your own citizens just to keep the population down.

CA are based in England and Australia, so I don’t think they’ll do the American Civil War unless a majority of their sales are already made in America. Nobody much cares about the ACW over here.

CA are based in England and Australia, so I don’t think they’ll do the American Civil War unless a majority of their sales are already made in America. Nobody much cares about the ACW over here.

Umm, I’d be surprised if the majority of their sales aren’t in America. And if their criteria is stuff people in Europe care about, why would they have ever made Shogun? :)

-Tom

Yoo, perhaps it eluded you…

but Medieval 2 is until 1530… that means you can fight the aztecs!!! I wonder a little bit about medieval and 1530??? but whos me to care… Im sure i will have a blast of a time playing that…

So one more title this year that´s a must buy

While I perfectly understand Tom’s (geekish) dissapointment, I’m totally follwing CAs decission and think it’s the right thing to do.
Just like Lucas had to go back and fix the original Star Wars… er, wait - bad example.

No, like others have said Rome suffered from too much of the same (I don’t remember the difference between the three fractions) and medieval Europe is really the perfect period and place to give players a large choice of empirebuilding nations and the greatest variety of units. While the original game was great I really couldn’t go back to it after having tried Rome, but I got bored with the units in Rome and the liberties taken to ensure variation (too many elephants, dogs and flaming pigs) - redoing Medieval with the stuff they’ve learned from their other games makes perfect sense, and this is one game I’ll happily buy the remake/special edition of.

The American Civil War is great and all, but even though I’m sure CA have the largest sales in the US, they still have a large number of customers in the rest of the Western World, and most really don’t care that much for the Civil War - important as it may be. And while I’m sure they could do a great game about it… wouldn’t it just be two very similar armies dressed differently?
I know there was different units and a lot of difference in strategies, but to non-grognards wouldn’t it just be riflemen, canons and cavalry going at it?

What I wish for, is CA giving the same level of details to sea units. Wooden Ships and Iron Men - give me the chance to whip Nelson at Trafalgar as a ‘fuck you!’ for burning my home.

I would say the Hellenistic era had as many, if not more varieties of troop types than the Medieval era - in addition to significantly more intricate tactical systems. Unfortunately, CA wasn’t interested in any of that.

So as far as combat goes the Medieval era is really the most interesting to exploit in the Total War methodology of gameplay.

At least as that methodology is Rock - Paper - Scissors, that’s true enough.

Medieval 2 with the RTW engine seems absolutely the logical choice, even though it doesn’t exactly excite me. But then again, I’m one of those strange people who think RTW was actually a step backwards, in terms of gameplay.

I’m betting they fill MTW2 with cartoon units this tim, too. There was no shortage of troop varieties in the classical world, at least compared with the Middle Ages. Even MTW’s much vaunted number of troop types usually boiled down to a different type of cavalry or a special sort of archer. The rock/paper/scissors mechanic didn’t care too much if they were cataphracts or Templar Knights - all that mattered was that they were big horsies. (The Pharaonic armies of Ptolemaic Egypt in RTW bugged me the most, but I accepted it and moved on.)

I much preferred the Rome campaign to the Medieval one. The AI didn’t seem to be psychic, there was a greater incentive to storm cities, the map had a greater variety of terrains and hence battle settings. Building every structure in a city as soon as you could was the wrong way to play, in fact. This was what would lead to spiralling population and dissatisfaction, though the squalor effect was exaggerated.

Re a Civil War Total War, there is always Mad Minute’s civil war game which look a little like the Total War games, but play out more slowly. There’s a new one on the way, too.

I would have liked to have seen a pre-classical game - Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Hittites, etc. Great time period with not a lot of gaming going for it.

Troy

but I got bored with the units in Rome and the liberties taken to ensure variation

Are you saying “screeching women” were NOT a major factor in classical military history?!