Theory of modern war.
Total mobilization of economies and populations for war is a unique feature of the modern world and of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, The Dictionary of World Politics (Hemel Hempstead, 1990)
Shogun: Total War
Released in June 2000, Shogun: Total War is the first game in the series. The game is set in feudal Japan. The single-player game includes interactive videos that represented possible decisions by the player, such as converting to Christianity. The original Shogun was not a mainstream product, but attracted a dedicated fan base. An expansion pack, The Mongol Invasion, was released with the original in the Warlord Edition.
Medieval: Total War
Medieval: Total War was released in August 2002. Using the same game engine as Shogun, the game takes players to medieval Europe. The expansion pack is called Viking Invasion, and the combined edition is called the Battle Collection. It was one of the best-selling games in the Total War series.
Rome: Total War
Released in 2004, Rome: Total War is set in the Roman Republic. This was the first game to encompass what would become one of the most fundamental additions to the Total War series, free map movement as opposed to earlier versions where all movement was province-based. The game also featured the first 3D map. The first expansion pack, Barbarian Invasion, was released on 27 September 2005. Rome: Total War Gold Edition, which combined the fully patched versions of the original game and its first expansion into one DVD (instead of the original game’s three CD-ROMs), was released on 14 February 2006. A CD-ROM version (a total of four CDs) was also produced. A Mac version of Rome: Total War Gold Edition, developed by Feral Interactive, was released 12 February 2010. A second expansion pack, Rome: Total War: Alexander, was released on 19 June 2006. A compilation of the original game and the two expansions, Rome: Total War Anthology, was released on 16 March 2007. The series has also spawned several popular mods such as Europa Barbarorum and Rome: Total Realism each of which seeks to create more historically accurate settings. This game was also added to mobile, offering a simplified version of the original game. There is an estimate of about 2 million who own this game. Rome: Total War has won many strategy gaming awards for its realistic campaign and battlefield animation and interface.
Medieval II: Total War
Medieval II: Total War, a sequel to Medieval: Total War, was released on 10 November 2006 in Europe and on 14 November in North America. The game includes much more detailed characters and features the Age of Discovery (and colonisation of the Americas) and the Mongol and Timurid invasions. An expansion pack, Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms, was announced on 30 March 2007. It was released on 28 August 2007. The Gold Edition of the game, containing the original game and the expansion pack, was released on 1 February 2008. The Kingdoms expansion pack contained 4 campaigns: the Britannia Campaign, set in the British Isles in 1258, during the reign of Henry III of England; the Crusades Campaign, set in the Middle East in 1174; the Teutonic Campaign, set in the Baltic region of Eastern Europe in 1250; and the Americas Campaign, set in the New World in 1521, during the decline of the Aztec and Maya civilizations.
Empire: Total War
Empire: Total War was announced on 22 August 2007 by Sega and had been secretly in development since the release of Barbarian Invasion. Players choose an 18th-century faction and set out to achieve domination over the known world through military force, diplomacy, espionage and economics. For the first time in a Total War game, players have the ability to play real-time 3D naval battles. Also a feature that had been developed in the game was the decentralisation of provinces, adding greater realism in that many features, from production to technological advancement, would occur outside of the capital of the province. Empire: Total War was released on 3 March in North America and 4 March in Europe 2009. The expansion pack, Empire: Total War: Warpath, was released in October 2009. Warpath is set in the Americas where it is possible to control one of five different Native American nations. While the game was critically acclaimed due to its innovative game play, the game has been subject to most of the criticism of the Total War series by many critics and fans after its release due to bugs; Sega claims nearly all issues have been resolved. The issues have been explained by Creative Assembly several months after the game’s release. It was the first in the series to use Valve’s Steamworks DRM and achievements system, thereby requiring Steam to be played.
Napoleon: Total War
Napoleon: Total War was released in North America on 23 February 2010, and in Europe on 26 February. The game focuses on the politics and major military campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars in the late 18th century and the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century. Napoleon was released with several editions: the Standard Edition (as well as a limited edition version of the Standard Edition), Imperial Edition, and the Emperor’s Edition (available in Australia and New Zealand only). Players assume the role of Napoleon Bonaparte or one of his major rivals on a turn-based campaign map and engage in the subsequent battles in real-time. As with its predecessor, Empire: Total War, which included a special episodic United States story line, Napoleon features three separate campaigns that follow the general’s early Italian and Egyptian campaigns as well as the European campaign and the Battle of Waterloo.
In the grand campaign, “Campaigns of the Coalition”, the player plays as Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, or Russia in a map that spans Europe. There is also a second campaign available as DLC, the “Peninsular campaign”, in which the player vies for control of the Iberian peninsula. The campaign is playable as either France, Spain, or Great Britain. Napoleon: Total War Gold Edition premiered for Macs on 3 June 2013.
Total War: Shogun 2
On 2 June 2010 Creative Assembly released a full preview of Total War: Shogun 2 set in the middle of the 16th century in Medieval Japan during a period of isolation and military conflict called Sengoku Jidai (the warring states period). The new battle engine supports up to 56,000 soldiers in a single battle, making them significantly larger than in Napoleon. Shogun 2 is the first game of the series to feature the franchise’s name appearing as the primary title in an effort to increase brand awareness. The game was released on 15 March 2011.
Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai is a stand-alone expansion to Total War: Shogun 2 released in March 2012. The game explores the conflict between the Imperial throne and the last Shogun around the time of the Boshin War in 19th-century Japan, 300 years after the events of the original game in a clash of traditional Samurai culture with the power of modern weaponry. There are six new playable clans (Satsuma, Tosa, and Choshu, Imperial and Aizu, Nagaoka, and Jozai Shogunate) plus four DLC clans (Tsu, Saga, Obama, and Sendai), supporting either the Imperial throne or the Tokugawa Shogunate. Also portrayed in a limited role are Britain, United States, and France, with each of whom trade deals can be struck (given the proper infrastructure) and from whom marines can be recruited. A new feature is the land and sea unit interactions which includes the ability to call in offshore artillery support barrages, coastal gun emplacements that target enemy ships, and the ability to call in campaign map bombardments – bombarding armies and cities in adjacent coastal areas of the campaign map. Other new features are railway networks, ironclad warships, improved siege battle mechanics (with upgradable tower defenses, each with their own specialty), new agent types, the ability to control two armies on the battle map at the same time, a third-person shooter for torpedo gunboats, coastal batteries, Gatling guns and cannons, and a multiplayer overhaul.
Total War: Rome
On 2 July 2012, Creative Assembly announced Total War: Rome II with a live-action trailer that features different scenes with the theme “How far will you go for Rome?”. Work on the title began during the development of Total War: Shogun 2. Creative Assembly announced that the game would have a bigger map than its predecessor, “go more to the east”, have many new game features, and new camera views in-battle, allowing the player to see the battle from almost every angle. They further claimed that the game was developed using a new programming system, which allows it to achieve better graphical quality, including dynamic facial expressions. The game was released on 3 September 2013. This title hit record high pre-order sales for Creative Assembly, with the Greek States Culture Pack unlocking Sparta, Athens, and Epirus in the campaign as a pre-order bonus. The initial release suffered from significant performance issues as well as having many bugs that severely affected gameplay.
Total War: Attila
On 25 September 2014, Creative Assembly announced Total War: Attila at the Eurogamer Expo. Using the same engine as Total War: Rome II, the game followed the life of Attila the Hun during the Dark Ages of Europe, much like Napoleon: Total War did with Napoleon’s life after Empire: Total War. According to Creative Assembly, Total War: Attila would implement an “apocalyptic” atmosphere, with hostile weather and darker lighting. Total War: Attila was released on 17 February 2015.
Total War: Warhammer
Announced on 22 April 2015, Total War: Warhammer changes the rules of the series as it takes place in a setting of high fantasy. The setting comes from Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy. The real-time battles and turn-based sandbox campaigns, a staple of the series, return. Races include the men of the Empire and Bretonnia, Orcs and Goblins (Greenskins), Dwarves, Vampire Counts, the Warriors of Chaos, Beastmen, Wood Elves, and the Norscan Tribes. Sega revealed this is the first in what will be a trilogy of titles. Total War: Warhammer was released on 24 May 2016.
Total War: Warhammer II
Announced on 31 March 2017 at EGX Rezzed. It was released on 28 September 2017. It focuses on the conflicts in the New World and Ulthuan between High Elves, Dark Elves, Skaven, and Lizardmen as they seek to control the Vortex. The Tomb Kings also seek to reclaim the Nine Books of Nagash, a series of necromantic tomes that hold great power. A grand campaign combining the map from the first game and the second was also released called Mortal Empires.
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia was released on 3 May 2018. The game is set in 878 AD, after the death of Ragnar Lodbrok and subsequent Viking invasion of the British Isles by the Great Heathen Army. The game focuses on the kingdoms vying for power of the Isles. The playable factions are English, Welsh, Gaelic, part of the Great Viking army, and the Viking sea kings. The game received generally favorable reviews from critics but a mixed response from users. The game holds a Critic Score of 75 and a User Score of 54 on Metacritic.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Released on 23 May 2019, Three Kingdoms brings the Total War series to China during the rule of the Han dynasty in 190 AD where the child Emperor Xian of Han is placed on the throne as a puppet ruler by his regent Dong Zhuo. The game centers on heroes who fight tyranny but whose ambitions may break their fragile alliance and divide China leading up to the rise of the Three Kingdoms period. The game is based on the ancient Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Players can play warlords such as Cao Cao and Liu Bei. The graphics are different. There is a new battle system enabling the player to select Records, a more realistic mode, or Romance, seen by some to be a more fun and creative way to play. In Romance, players can control their warlords who now have special abilities. The campaign has also changed. There are three DLCs available: Eight Princes, set almost a hundred years after the original campaign; Yellow Turban Rebellion, which allows the player to play as the Yellow Turban Faction within the original campaign; Reign of Blood, similar to the other DLCs available in Total War: Rome II and Total War: Attila called Blood and Gore and Blood and Burning respectively. Reign of Blood adds a new variety of combat animations and blood on the battlefield.
Total War Saga: Troy
While in development Total War Saga: Troy used the “Saga” moniker, as did Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia and as has retroactively been applied to The Fall of the Samurai standalone expansion for Total War: Shogun 2. It is to be the first Total War game set in the Bronze Age and was released on August 13, 2020. The game was free to claim for the first 24 hours after its release. On September 24, Amazons was released as a free DLC for Total War Access account holders alongside Epic Games Store Mod Support, while multiplayer and Blood & Glory DLC will be added sometime during October 29, 2020.
Spartan: Total Warrior
Spartan: Total Warrior was developed by Creative Assembly and released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. Spartan: Total Warrior is a hack-and-slash action title that was to bring Total War‘s hallmark large-scale battles to the console market. Rather than adhering to historical accuracies, Creative Assembly took inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology to craft a setting that allows for more fantastical set pieces and foes. The player takes the role of a Spartan warrior guided by Ares, tasked with defeating the invading Roman Empire. The game features both a “campaign mode” and an “arena battle” mode. The campaign mode takes place over 14 levels, while the arena battle mode tasks the players with surviving enemy assaults of increasing difficulty. An indirect follow-up called Viking: Battle for Asgard was released in 2008, dropping the Total Warrior moniker.
Total War: Arena
Total War: Arena was a free-to-play game that was discontinued in February 2019. During his session at the 2013 GDC in San Francisco, lead designer James Russell revealed the title under development at the UK studio. Arena was Creative Assembly’s first title in a free-to-play model, a new spin-off for the Total War series. Offering players the chance to pitch history’s greatest commanders and their armies against each other in massive team-based battles, Arena focused entirely on online multiplayer, mixing elements of real-time strategy and multiplayer online battle arena gameplay. This game was also part of the War game series that included World of Tanks Blitz and World of Warships. It involved a system where playing online battles allowed the player to level up and select new upgraded commanders.
Total War: Elysium
An upcoming free-to-play strategy Digital collectible card game where you control generals from across history in head-to-head battles against other players.
Total War Battles Series
Total War Battles: Kingdom
From the team behind Total War Battles: Shogun, Total War Battles: Kingdom entered open beta on PC on 9 March 2015, following a limited closed beta. Set in Medieval England, the game combines realm building and management with real-time battles and has been released for PC, Android, and iOS.
Total War Battles: Shogun
Total War Battles: Shogun was released on 20 April 2012 for iOS. This game was also released for Android devices and Microsoft Windows. Set in medieval Japan, the game utilizes real-time strategy and, like other Total War games, combines troop organization and management, combat, and building management. Available troops confirmed are samurai, archers, ninja, and cavalry. The battle system uses hexagon tiles for movement and placement, and a new key feature to this game enforces the “Bushido” code of conduct where once units are moved forward they can no longer move backward. 1 vs 1 local multiplayer is available.
Total War Battles: Warhammer
Total War Battles: Warhammer is the upcoming third release of the Total War: Battles Series. Developed by NetEase, Total War Battles: WARHAMMER is officially licensed by Creative Assembly and Games Workshop. It aims to bring deep strategic gameplay in the epic Warhammer Fantasy Battles world to millions of mobile devices worldwide. The game will support Android and iOS Platforms.[