I’m always a little bit sceptical about glowing reviews of a game but for once, I am in total agreement with most people out there about how brilliant TW:W2 is. I really enjoyment the first installment in the series but this is a big step forward.
There are a few reasons in my opinion as to why it is so good:
- Uniqueness of each race
- The campaign map and campaign features
- The Story
Uniqueness of Each Race
In the first game, each race was unique but they were all on a fairly normal stereotype, e.g. dwarfs are good in defence and orcs are mindless attacking killing machines. In contrast, in TW:W2, each race is completely different and I don’t think any of them really follow a stereotype.
I’ve spent most of my time playing as the High Elves and the Lizardmen so far. Despite the quickness of the High Elves, they actually work really well as a defensive army. This is mainly due to their amazing archers and bolt throwers, all arrayed behind a wall of spears, and then some swift cavalry and flying units to go round the flanks / from above. If you are a beginner, or even a fan of dwarfs (blasphemy!) then the High Elves are probably the best faction for you to start as.
The Lizardmen are something completely different. I found myself using them more like an over-powered orc army, supported by some competent skirmishers…and massive dinosaurs! It doesn’t really suit my style of play but I really enjoyed attacking hordes of skaven with my saurus warriors and a pretty furious stegadon. For pure enjoyment levels, the Lizardmen are a good choice.
I played a little bit as the skaven and where they really shine is their crazy war machines and ranged units. They are quite annoying to fight against as they just keep coming back again and again…and again. As for the Dark Elves, I’ve only really fought against them but I think they are probably the army to choose for more advanced players. They seem to have a lot of non-traditional hybrid units, that make for a flexible army but probably quite difficult to balance correctly.
The Campaign Map
The map is brilliant, spanning four continents and a huge ocean. It feels bigger than the Old World but I think in part, that is because each faction is using it more fully. In comparison, the Old World had most of the south-west of it controlled by non-player factions that had no unique units.
My favourite game so far has been as the Lizardmen faction – the Last Defenders. They start on the east side of the Southlands continent and already have fought skaven, orcs and the undead, whilst encountering/allying with high elves, wood elves, dwarfs and humans.
I’ve also enjoyed the rogue armies popping up – playing as Teclis for the High Elves, a human army of pirates came out of nowhere and almost took me out as I was recovering from a huge battle against some Lizardmen. Although quite frustrating at the time, the battle was really enjoyable and the randomness of the event kept me on my toes in-case it happened again.
A small feature, but one greatly appreciated, is the shipwrecks throughout the sea areas. There is a lot of sea to travel across and having these small little shipwreck events really break it up nicely. I was lucky enough at one point to get a 5000 gold bonus from one of them that allowed me to quickly recruit some units to fight off an enemy incursion.
The final element that makes this such a good game is the story. Having it as less of a sandbox and with an end game has given a real focus to this game. The stress of defending your cities whilst performing a rite is worth it for the epic battles that often occur because of it. Now I haven’t completed the game as any of the factions yet, but the end goal makes me actually want to finish the game; not something I would often do in the first game.
The game is epic and worth every penny. I look forward to the Mortal Empires DLC to have the old sandbox experience, but I think I will still come back to this story-driven campaign even after that is released. I hope the developers continue with the excellence that they have produced here, both for future DLC and for Total War: Warhammer 3.