Review – Total War: Attila
Total War: Attila is a cruel and unforgiving game, it really is total war.
After playing the buggy mess that was Total War: Rome II, Attila breathes new life into the series. A smooth polished title straight off the bat is always a good start. There was no need for incessant updates like its predecessor, this allowed me to jump straight into the action.
The prologue feature of the series returns. A lengthy and enjoyable prologue allows new and old players alike to learn the game. Attila introduces many changes while thrusting you into the action. It starts with the siege of Olbia, to the coming of the Huns, allowing a peek into the grand campaign.
The game quickly introduces the new horde mechanic. Barbarian and nomadic factions act as hordes, raiding and plundering as they go, this results in far more battles than previous entries. Hordes can camp, becoming a makeshift city or take up residence in anywhere they plunder.
I decided to start out as the Visigoths to try the new horde mode. Despite their starting difficulty as being classed as “easy”, after 14 turns the Western Roman Empire was hunting me through mountains, half of my men slaughtered and the other half starving. You need to plunder and raid as a horde, resulting in always being under threat of the Roman Empires.
I decided to try a more stable game, as a nation rather than a horde. I chose to be the Saxons. I wasn’t sure what to expect but on turn two, the Franks declared war on me. I jumped into a sea battle, hopeful as the numbers were in my favour, I was massacred. This was when I Realised Atilla was not like the previous entries where the AI is rather passive. It is a game where you have to be ready to battle.
My first sea battle.
The battles in the game have taken a significant step up from previous entries, armies react quicker to orders and morale is more important than ever. Men can break ranks and flee easily, be it whether their general has been killed or they see other units routing. The AI however still makes some bizarre choices. Whether it be attacking large armies with their small forces or leaving their general unprotected and alone while their army stood idly by while cavalry charged up and captured him.
Besides huge Roman empires and several barbaric hordes to worry about, the weather system in the game plays a large part. Winter creeps into the map from the north, making it uninhabitable and pushing hordes south. This results in a bloodbath where hordes ravage and pillage your towns and cities.
Technically, the game is beautiful. Sprawling battles look great and character models are detailed well. The frame rate never dropped below 60fps despite all the settings being on high or ultra.
Total War: Attila is everything a Total War game should be, it retains the aspects of previous games while introducing new features. It forces you to attempt keeping your populace happy as well as build an army to deal with the ever-increasing pressure of hordes or Roman empires alike. The Romans will crush you, the hordes will crush you and even the weather will crush you. Total War has returned with a bang.