You have already had many opportunities to read my laudatory tests of Total War: Warhammer, Total War: Warhammer II or their DLCs. I titraized the first “perfect alchemy” and the second “how do we say that perfect?” Yet the first thing that jumps in the eyes by launching Total War: Warhammer III, it’s all the small additions that have been done over time, such as the management of maritime treasures or inhospitable areas. This new opus is built on these achievements and enriches it again, especially at the level of diplomacy. From now on, it is possible to know exactly whether an agreement is close or not, to ask our interlocutor to balance it to make it acceptable or to see in one click with whom it would be the easier to establish such or such agreement. Better, it is also possible to build “advanced positions” in provincial capitals of the Allies, to recruit the available units, which makes it possible to diversify its armies.

By ways of sides, this total War: Warhammer III could be called “Total War: Warhammer – Definitive Edition”. It integrates nearly six years of content: even if they are not (still) playable, humans, dwarves and skavens take with them all the units added via the different DLCs that these breeds have received over the years.. Units that can be recruited as mercenaries, so even without having the DLC concerned.

4 That’s good, 8 it’s better

Yet it would be wrong to believe that this opus does not bring anything, on the contrary. While Total War: Warhammer contained only five factions playable at the start, and his suite only four, this new opus integrates directly eight: Kislev, Cathay, the ogres kingdoms and five factions related to chaos (four factions related to a specific God., Khorne, Tzeentch, Slaanesh and Nurgle, as well as a last, the demons of chaos, dedicated to universal chaos). If you want a detailed description of Cathay and Demons du Chaos, I recommend this seiEI overview.

It is very satisfying to have as many choices and really nice as Creative Assembly has dared out of the beaten track by creating the factions of Cathay and Kislev. However, I must also admit that the latter seemed less unique than the breeds of the first two opus and that if the different gods of the chaos are playing differently, when one is facing them, it comes back from the same to the same, or almost. In addition, the five factions of Chaos do not include only one sub-faction. It was already in Total War: Warhammer, but his suite would incorporate two sub-factions by breed, which was practical in multiplayer. Never happy, in short? Perhaps well, but the efforts of Creative Assembly are in any case appreciable, and we can not wait for these factions to enrich itself over the years.

Other notable addition, Total War: Warhammer III has a prologue. In terms of the gameplay, this one is quite unpleasant for the regulars of the license, as it takes time to explain what we already know. On the other hand, in a narrative level, this prologue is really pleasant, especially thanks to magnificent cinematics: we feel all the progress made by Creative Assembly in this field in recent years. In addition, if you want to initiate your little cousin at the Total War license, this prologue is the ideal opportunity; Especially since the game is available on the Xbox Game Pass.

Finally, let’s focus on the main campaign, with the unusual structure. Indeed, on the strictly theoretical level, it would be possible to win it by controlling a single territory. Thus, to win, just go with his lord in the fields of the four gods of chaos, to kill their favorites and to use their souls to go to the place of a last fight. Easy, right?

I obviously force the trait and this campaign is long breath (the first one I did took me nearly 40h, against 17 for my first campaign on Total War: Warhammer), but its structure is very different from the total War classics since it is not necessary to conquer this or that territory. On a regular basis, flaws appear and we must serve with his faction chief, accompanied by an army allowing him to resist in these hostile lands. Problem: These faults appear everywhere and have Ausi_ as a capacity to teleport armies from one place to another. This gives this new opus a very unstructured look: it is possible to be attacked more or less anywhere, forcing to build walls in each colony to guard against an attack.

These elements contribute to creating a very dynamic campaign, which also benefits from these narrative passages.

The Holy See

Summarize. We take a game “better than perfect”, it is still improved and the gave of attractive novelties: the result can only be exceptional, right? Unfortunately, “different” does not necessarily mean “better” and one of the changes of this new opus illustrates it perfectly. Indeed, the game incorporates a system of resources reminiscent of the traditional RTS I presented last year. In short, killing enemy units or controlling some areas, the player gets resources allowing him to create buildings (towers or dams) or, in some battles, to recruit units.

I am not a fan of the system, for the reasons mentioned in the article, but Creative Assembly had the good idea to make them (almost) optional. Indeed, these battles only occur during clashes against the disciples of chaos, four battles that can be resolved automatically and during the final confrontation, which must be done in manual. Let’s say it clearly: this ultimate battle has been one of my worst experiences on a total War, which took me a total of more than three hours between the two tests that it asked me to win (accurate). In my wish list for the Total War, I had never registered “battles of 2h that we can only win by learning the script by heart”, but if it should only happen once, why not.

The drama of this game is that Creative Assembly, probably fan of its system, said it would be stupid to limit it to this frame: this resource system is also present in the seat battles or when the enemy is in camp mode. This is how these battles, which should be rare, become extremely common.

Explain in detail the problems posed. Since the dawn, the defensive seat battles in the total War are to find a bottleneck, to form several rows of units and to hold, hold, hold, as if we realized a remake of 300. These battles gave rise to epic victories, at the end of which was carried away with four units of Archers Ashigaru against an entire army. All this is now finished. Indeed, it is now necessary to protect three or four refueling points, forcing to disperse. However, it’s not so bad. In reality, the problem is elsewhere: never the hall design_ seats had been so mediocre. To see it, let’s take this map as an example:

During this battle, I have 18 units under my orders, which is not bad. However, there are a total of six different paths allowing access to the center, and I am only talking about the last meters: it is not possible to defend elsewhere as the center, because each position can be easily bypassed by the ‘enemy if he wishes. It’s probably pleasant in attack, but defending in a siege battle holds a nightmare, both the possible routes are numerous for the attackers. Curiosity, I was then seeing the different cards for seat battles: all have their wide openness and many possible passages. In this respect, the comparison between the cards present in Total War: Warhammer III and those of the same name of Total War: Warhammer II is striking. Let’s look at Altdorf, the imperial capital, for example:

In 20 years, after the release of the last graphics cards of NVIDIA , such cards will probably be the frame of incredible battles involving hundreds of units on each side. Today, however, even with 40 units, they are virtually indefensible: a supernumerary opponent will always find the opportunity to work around.

Total War: Warhammer III GPU Performance Benchmark

In addition, it is unfortunately not the only fault of these battles. If it is not possible to bring new units (logical), however, it is possible to invest points in defenses, whether it’s barricades or towers. For the coup, it’s a great idea: there are many possibilities (which probably explain the great opening of cards) and it is appreciable to be able to plan its defenses with precision, as was the case in some old Total War. There is only one – very light – worry: a developer has obviously forgotten a zero somewhere. Indeed, the player has a basic fury that he can spend for constructions, each with a certain price. Better, towers and barricades each have four levels, more and more expensive: a tower can cost up to 2000 points. However, the defender generally begins with… 1000 points, either painfully enough to build three small barricades on the dozen available.

These points arrive as and when, defending certain points. However, if you want to build a turn after the start of the game, you will have to wait 90 seconds between the moment you spend the points and the term of its construction, eternity in such a battle. Pis, do not expect to build a little expensive building, before improving it. To illustrate it, let’s take a concrete example. A defensive tower costs 500, 900, 1500 or 2000 points, according to its level. Imagine that with your 1000 miserable starting points, you decided to buy two levels 1 towers, in order to improve them next. Only, to pass them at level 2, it will not spend 400 points, but 650. To pass them from level 2 to 3, it will not be 600 points, but 950. Finally, the last change will ask for 1300 instead. 500 (small bonus for the ultimate change, because why not). In total, proceed asking to spend 3400 points to create a maximum level, against 2000 if you do it directly, without an intermediate stage. And since this tariff was not prohibitive enough, should also indicate that each change takes 30 seconds to make effect.

In short, it is not used to build intermediate level buildings unless you plan to stop there. It is better to save maximum, then invest everything, wait 90 seconds and… Ah, the battle is already over. Never mind.

Only one being you miss and everything is depopulated

It is difficult to conclude on this total WAR: Warhammer III. The positive points are numerous and undeniable: the improvements of ergonomics, the many factions, the strong narrative dimension… likewise, on the strict plan of the feeling, this new opus has been able to embark like only a few games per year know do it. After a total WAR: Three Kingoms and a total War Saga: Troy ** both half-hinged, come back to the Warhammer franchise does a lot of good. However, I also feel an important disappointment by finding the mutilation of one of the games of the game that I preferred, namely seat battles.

Some concepts are interesting, such as the management of defensive equipment, and it is probably sufficient for a few adjustments to make this appreciable: increase the money available initially, allow the creation and immediate improvement of buildings, do not put extra cost in case improvement, etc. However, it will undoubtedly be delicate to remedy the problems of Level Design… unless reintegrating the battle cards from previous opus.

In short, this total War: Warhammer III is really The start of the end: It is a great pleasure to return to this license, but it is to be hoped that its release is only the beginning of a long cycle of Free paid day, mods and DLCs to perfect the experience.

_Test directed by Alandring from a version provided by the publisher.