Total War: Warhammer II
I feel like a broken record saying this is the best Total War game so far, since I've felt that way about each major release since Attila. But it really is true: Creative Assembly's designers are honing their campaign and faction design consistently from game to game, and that progression is clearly on display in Total War Warhammer 2.
A maximalist sequel that improves on almost every aspect of the first game.
No matter how good a Total War game is, the follow-up campaign is always better. Warhammer 2's is no exception.
An excellent follow-up that expands and improves on the original in unexpected and innovative ways. Plus, it has magic-wielding dinosaurs.
The pairing of Warhammer and Total War continues to be a refreshing and on-point marriage of both franchises
Pairing the tactical brilliance of the Total War series with the rich lore of the Warhammer universe is a natural fit, and Total War: Warhammer 2 fulfills the promise of that combination. It is a deep and challenging experience with an epic story to tell. It is also one of the most overwrought games of the year, a game where complexity seems to be piled on for complexity's sake.
Total War: Warhammer II is a hybrid turn-based strategy and real-time tactics game that stands among the best of both. Its emphasis on campaign pacing, fantastical battles, and complex battlefield tactics easily positions itself as an all-time great.
Warhammer 2 might have a lot in common with the first game, but everything it has done to set itself apart is big and fresh and daring, making this a game that's worthy of its own place in the spotlight.
Total War: Warhammer 2's inability to solve some longstanding franchise-wide issues don't really dampen the sense that this is the biggest, and one of the best, executions on the same formula. Adding that this is only the second game in a planned trilogy ends up only making me more excited to see what's in store for Total War: Warhammer 3.
For fans of the original game, Total War: Warhammer II is a great follow-up. Creative Assembly has created something both new and familiar, keeping that central core intact while transporting players to a part of this universe ignored in previous video game adaptations. That change of setting and the narrative drive of the Great Vortex will be enough for most, alongside a suite of smaller, more subtle changes. There's also the exciting prospect of new armies, campaigns, and other features that are no doubt just around the corner.