Total War Viking Invasion
Developed by The Creative Assembly
Platform: PC CD-ROM
Released: Out Now
quality of expansion packs varies enormously from game to game.
More often than not with an expansion for a strategy game you get
a few extra races/civilisations, a few extra units, an extra campaign
and a few maps to add to the multiplayer gamer. Seldom are expansion
packs the quality of Viking Invasion. The content within this expansion
warrants a whole new game and indeed had it been released as a standalone
game it would have still scored favourable marks. Let's take a look
at what it contains.
Invasion is an expansion pack for the hugely successful Medieval:
Total War. As you probably all know, the Total War games have redefined
what a war game should be like. Using an original mix of real time
and turn based strategy the Total War series has been immensely
popular with strategy fans the world over ever since the release
of the first title, Shogun: Total War. In case you haven't played
a Total War title before it's basically a turn based strategy game
but with one crucial difference, the battles are played out in real
time and involve thousands of units.
what does Viking Invasion contain then? Well the big inclusion is
that of a totally new Viking Campaign which is based much earlier
(around 790 AD) than the campaigns in the original game. Medieval:
Total War was played out on a map of Europe and Northern Africa
but the Viking Campaign is played out on a more detailed map of
the British Isles. The campaign focuses on the Viking invasion of
Britain (hence the title). There are eight new factions for the
Viking campaign. These are the Irish, Mercians, Northumbrians, Picts,
Saxons, Scots, Welsh and of course the Vikings. The Vikings have
special abilities that allow them to raid and dominate the oceans
to reflect their historical abilities. The Viking campaign is very
reminiscent of the original campaign in Shogun. With all of the
action being concentrated on the British Isles, and without the
option to win by glorious achievements (like in Medieval: Total
War) the action is more intense. In my opinion this makes for a
welcome contrast to the more drawn out possibilities of Medieval:
expansion pack also adds three more factions and a host of improvements
to the original Medieval: Total War factions. Hungary, Aragonese
and the Sicilians are the new factions that add to the 12 that were
originally available to make a total of 15 factions that are playable
in the original three campaigns. New units have been added to the
original twelve factions and some have even been added to the rebel
factions that you can't control. Taverns and Brothels can now be
upgraded and will produce Assassins and Spies with increased valour.
There are also some new artillery units such as the flaming catapult
missiles, boiling oil and the Organ gun that should serve to spice
up the siege warfare battles. One of the big improvements is the
pre-battle system that gives you the chance to make adjustments
to your army and reinforcements before you go into battle. This
helps you to organise your attacks far more effectively. There are
also four new historical battles, one of which is the infamous Battle
of Hastings in 1066.
things considered this is one hell of an expansion pack and positively
great value at the price of £19.99. We would have liked to
have seen a multiplayer campaign added, as this has to be the most
requested feature from fans of the Total War series, maybe Rome:
Total War will have this feature? Another gripe is that the tech
tree for the Viking campaign factions is in Adobe Acrobat form only.
Tech trees belong on a pull out poster. Wargamers like to study
these things whilst away from the PC and unless you have a damn
good printer to print it out in high quality, this just isn't possible.
These complaints are minor though and this is sure to be the best
expansion pack of 2003.
Game Rating: 9.2/10
not often that we see an expansion pack of such extraordinarily
high quality. The Viking campaign would have made an excellent game
on its own.
Just as great for deaf gamers as Medieval:Total War, which you can