New gameplay footage for the highly anticipated Warhammer entry in the Total War series was released earlier today. The footage shows pre-alpha, scripted gameplay of a set battle called the Battle of Black Fire Path, a battle between the Empire, one of the human factions, and the Green Skins, otherwise known as the Orks. The battle will be unlocked as part of the Empire’s campaign.
The complete video can be found below.
“The game is very much a work in progress at this stage,” the developer narrating of the video states. “but we hope you enjoy having a look at how it’s all coming together.”
The scripted battle starts with a Braveheart-esque speech from the Empire’s commander, a colorful fellow named Karl Franz riding a high and proud on a griffon, telling his men that they will be facing an “orc horde beyond imagining.”
The battle showcases a number of units from the both the Empire’s and the Green Skins’ repertoire, including the typical infantry, cavalry and ranged units, of course, but each side also had its own specialized units and the video gives us a taste for how different the two factions’ armies will be.
“The Armies of Warhammer Fantasy Battles give us so much diversity to work with. The playable races in the game will both look and play really, really differently in both campaign and battle,” the narrator states.
Overall, the division of units looks like it will feel familiar to Total War veterans…until you start getting into the more specialized, high-level units. The humans have typical infantry and ranged units (in the form of riflemen), but their mounted cavalry consists not only of horse-riding knights but also soldiers mounted on “demigryphs,” wingless griffons.
There will also be faction-specific units like dwarven tanks and magic users (the video showed off magical units on both sides with the humans showcasing their “celestial wizards” and the orks utilizing wolf-mounted shaman).
Meanwhile, much of the Orks’ lines seem to be made up of hunched, lightly-armed and armored infantry, but we are given glimpses of their own specialized units, including giant ogre-like creatures with clubs and even cavalry mounted on spiders. There is even one giant spider mounted with a sort of mobile archery tower.
Both sides have artillery, of course, and while the Empire’s artillery lines were a more mainstream affair, the orks have catapults that fire goblin fanatics with home-made wings. The player can even take first-person control of these screaming, giggling missiles as they hurtle towards the Green Skins’ foes.
The narrator also states that the spectacle of the battles has been one of the team’s priorities and the infantry clashes are all dynamic and exciting with orks leaping wildly into the fray and defenders bracing themselves for impact.
“What we’re aiming for is scenes like this to be much more punchy,” he says after explaining that the team is still working on cavalry impacts, “with more physical hit reactions from the cavalry. In short, we want to make a real sort of spectacle of these engagements.”
This was demonstrated in pretty much the best way when the Empire’s “celestial wizard” summoned down a comet onto the field.
Even at this early stage, the game is shaping up quite nicely. While the game still bears the familiar trappings of the Total War series, there are plenty of Warhammer and fantasy touches to make this feel like a truly divergent entry in the series and one that should feel familiar and exciting to fans of Total War, Warhammer, and even generic fantasy.
Total War: Warhammer is slated for a 2016 release for PC, Mac and Linux systems.