Total War: Attila
Top Critic Average
A barbarous twist on Rome II, with a handful of fixes.
Total War: Attila is an adept refinement of Rome 2, with a great, harrowing campaign that sets it apart.
Total War: Attila is undoubtedly a welcome addition to this 15-year-old franchise and it's a relief to find it stable at launch, but there is clearly room for further optimisation. It's a credit to The Creative Assembly that it is still experimenting and tweaking its systems to achieve the right balance of complexity and challenge, even if a few too many of its concepts fall the wrong side of the frustration/satisfaction divide for a little too long. Still, you need only be mindful of the advertised difficulty level of each of the factions in order to triumph and, through extended play, the excitement suggested by all that early potential does, eventually, come to fruition.
Only a minor evolution of Rome II, and with many of the same bugbears, but the stunning visuals and deep strategy bring a fascinating period of history fully to life.
By combining an improved UI with deeper strategic gameplay, Total War: Attila increments on Creative Assembly's formula to deliver a strategy game (almost) worthy of its namesake.
If you've played a Total War game before, you know what to expect. Despite some new mechanics and ways to play, the core is cultivating your expansive holdings or charging headlong into battle.
Total War: Attila is an arranged marriage between a capable (and aging) battle simulator, and a fussy political one.
Attila is a satisfying simulation of a world in chaos
There's a lot to like in Total War: Attila. It offers a beautiful glimpse into a part of history that doesn't get often explored, at least in strategy games. Pax Romana ends. The classic era fails and the peoples of the world are tumbled into a dark age. A long-sung series like Total War doesn't need to reinvent its formula each time it charges fifty dollars; but, setting even a well-made sequel in the crumbling legacy of the once-mighty may not have been a good choice.
Perhaps it's best to think of it this way: If the occasional AI glitch or incoming onslaught of paid DLC gives you unbearable or unwanted flashbacks to Rome II, then you may want to avoid Attila altogether. But for everyone else, you'd be remiss to deprive yourself of a rich, captivating experience that, though not quite perfect now, will likely achieve true greatness via updates well before its successor arrives.