Sega Medieval 2: Total War review

20 Dec 2006
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc. VAT


Medieval times offered a fantastic variety of troop types and technology, from peasants with pointy sticks through to rifled mortars.

Little surprise, then, that Creative Assembly has returned to this era for Medieval 2: Total War. This game is more complex, engaging and enthralling than its excellent predecessor.

The formula will be familiar to fans of the series. You take control of a state seeking to dominate Europe in the medieval era. You select from five initial states © England, France, The Holy Roman Empire, Spain and Venice © and unlock 12 more as you defeat them. Each state has a different financial setup, goals, special units and, in some cases, religion, making for a different experience each time you play.

The game operates on two levels. The larger top level offers Civilization-style strategy, where you upgrade cities to produce various units. There are lots of features to tinker with. You can use diplomacy, for example, or try assassination. Armies roam Europe, led by royal family members. When they meet, you can resolve battles automatically or take control.

Battles use the biggest and best 3D battle simulator weve ever seen, with thousands of troops onscreen at once. They fire catapults and cannons, fight on horseback and unleash lethal volleys of arrows. The level of detail is fantastic, allowing you to zoom in and see individuals fighting, or zoom out and take control of the grand strategy. Naval battles and sieges are also represented, while a sweeping soundtrack adds to the sense that an epic drama is unfolding.

This is an excellent game and well worth the investment of time required. However, if youre looking for something more immediate, try Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War © Dark Crusade.

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