Product Type: Activision PC games
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Medieval - Total War (PC)
Member Name: JEStevens
Medieval - Total War (PC)
Date: 24/08/04, updated on 20/05/06 (376 review reads)
Advantages: In depth game
Disadvantages: depth of the game can produce problems
Well due it it?s obvious title, medieval is not set during the 1930?s, The game starts in the year 1087 and ends in the year 1453 each year is a game turn so you have 466 turns in which to conquer the world and of course, win the game. The game presents you with the opportunity to control one of a number of nations, be it the English, France, Egyptians, Spanish, Russians etc. this, set during a time of the crusades, the 100 years war, the inquisition, heresy and the rise & fall on Constantinople.
During this time you?ll be expected to manage you?re economy, keep your commanders loyal by awarding peerages etc, otherwise you may find you have a bloody civil war upon your hands which doesn?t enable you to launch that devastating attack on you?re enemy. You?ll have to think in medieval terms of warfare & manipulate you?re armed forces around that ? no point charging you nice new expensive cavalry onto some pikemen now is there?
- - - The Game - - -
Right well, if you?ve ever played Shogun total war then you may as well ignore this bit, although the functions for the left & right mouse buttons have now been reversed ? it took some getting used to.
For all those who haven?t the game is split into two separate sections, the main game map and the battlefield. The main game map is played on a turn-based system while the battlefield is played in real time. Navigation is done by pointing a mouse and clicking, right clicking will bring up detailed info on what you have clicked.
Once you?ve started the game & selected you faction & time period you basically have a map of Europe, a bit of Russia & the Mediterranean. All of these are then split into sub-sections or counties i.e. Flanders & Normandy. When the county is in you?re colour then you control it. The benefits from this are that you get money (florin), the amount of florin you get from each individual province differ d
epending on how rich in farmland it is, how advanced that farmland is etc. On top of this you can build mines such as copper. Units are represented by flags which you are able to move about, they can be commanded by you, your heirs or your generals that gain experience (and pass some of this experience on to the troops they command) On this map as well as your armies you also control your agents, such as emissaries and assassins. You can use your Assassins to kill a particularly deadly enemy general of enemy heirs, emissaries are used to carry offers of alliances and ceasefires.
The most interesting part of the game, and the part that I think makes the game, is the battle interface. This is where you command you?re troops & win or lose battles.
Trade is a very important aspect of the medieval times, it?s a rare known fact that during this time England got most of her wealth by her trading of the unglamorous wool market. Building trade posts creates trade.
When you start you have several different choices to make:
New campaign: Where you start to try and conquer the world with your chosen country at one of 3 different time periods
Historical Battles: Battles which replicate historical battles
Historical campaigns: a series of historical battles (linked), such as the 7 year wars
Tutorials: this is where you are shown how to manage the map interface and how to handle your troops, fairly basic
Multiplayer: Connect to the Net or go on a LAN connection to play other dudes and dudetts
Custom battles: make your own battles
The all-important factor in this game. You are obviously in control of a certain faction. The ruling factor in this is your royal family, your kings, princes & to a lesser extent princesses (this can be married of to your generals to increase their loyalty t you ? you can even get incestuous marriages - or you could marry them off to cement a Alliance. Once a princess get to a certain
age she is no longer marriageable & therefore useless (sorry ladies) and goes off to while away her days away from the scene). Aside from this you can have bishops which help to ?turn? the population of the province they are in to which religion they belong. You also have ambassadors who can offer alliances & cease-fires.
As there are over 100 units to choose from I am not going to look into all of them, instead I?ll put them into categories.
Spearmen: These guys will form the mainstay of any army, they fight relatively ok against any infantry apart from heavy infantry & will give cavalry a real shock.
Missile: Archers ? these can range from the famous English longbow to desert archers, all with varying ranges of effectiveness at different ranges.
Gunpowder- During the medieval period, the first guns appeared, now to be honest I don?t think these are as effective as made out in the manual. They don?t have the range & ROF of a bow and are far more useless as skirmishers.
Infantry: These can be put into 2 categories, Heavy & light. Chivalric men-at-arms for example is an example of heavy infantry, it?s these guys job to do most of the fighting & on the whole they are very slow moving. Highland clansmen on the other hand are a perfect example of light infantry, these guys are fast & deadly against anything bar heavy cav & heavy inf.
Cavalry: these again can be put into categories, heavy, light & missile. These titles are pretty self explanatory, heavy cav are heavily armed, armoured & slow, Light Cav are quick, manoeuvrable & best charging home a flank or rear. Missile units are basically archers on horseback & combine firepower with speed.
Pro?s & Con?s of the game:
This is a far improved version of shogun, no longer are we faced with whole units that seem to get stuck behind one single tree. No longer do we replay maps over and over again, whereas on shogun attacking a province with mountains
to the north when you?re coming from the south would result in mountainous terrain, on medieval the terrain you fight on depends from where you enter the country & where you came from. The Game AI has been much improved, no longer will the computer sit and watch with his army while you walk round behind him and attack him, he?ll reposition himself accordingly. The game depth is massive, I?ve been playing for hours yet I?ve still only conquered France.
While there are many other pro?s these are the one?s that stick out the most for me.
I think one of the only cons for this game, at the same time as being a pro, is the game depth, by the time you have taken over the entire map you would be totally sick of it as it takes a long time without you knowing about it, trust me the hours fly by.
16MB Video Card
1.7GB Hard Drive space
Price: At the moment I believe it?s around the GBP£15 mark
Summary: say goodbye to your life