Total War spins off Saga series focused on smaller 'powder-keg' moments in history

Think Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai.

A Total War Saga
Credit: A Total War Saga

How much Total War is too much? It seems like Creative Assembly’s determined to discover the answer, today announcing yet another spin-off of the strategy series. In addition to the mainline historical Total War and the fantastical Total Warhammer, we’ll now see A Total War Saga games.

And soon. While Total Warhammer 2 releases this fall, the first A Total War Saga game will release “before the next major historical release in the franchise,” as this press release puts it. Sometime next year, probably.

So what is A Total War Saga? I’ll let Creative Assembly’s Jack Lusted give you the short of it. From today's announcement:

“There are key, pivotal points in history which don’t necessarily revolve around a single character, and only lasted a few months or few decades at most. Such moments also tend to be constrained to a tight geographic area as well.

These moments are perfect fuel for Total War. They’re a powder keg, where anything can happen and history could have gone in any direction. So, Total War Saga games will be the same mix of turn-based campaign strategy, real-time battle tactics and hundreds if not thousands of hours of gameplay as a regular Total War game, but focused down on a distinct moment.”

The easiest point of comparison, and the one used by Lusted in today’s announcement, is the much-loved Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai. A standalone expansion, Fall of the Samurai took what people loved about Shogun 2 and then drilled down on a specific period in the 1800s—greater detail, smaller time-span, same general feel and scope.

Personally I’d argue the same is true of the seminal Rome: Total War though—the 2004 original. While covering perhaps a slightly longer era in history and more land area, Rome was primarily about the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In retrospect, it would’ve made perfect fodder for one of these Saga games.

And maybe it still will. Lusted teased the first game in today’s announcement though we’re still a ways off from anything official, saying “It’s another spiritual follow-up to Total War: Rome II, like Total War: Attila, and moves the time period forward in much the same way.” Expect more in the coming months.

As for a real, proper historical Total War? It’s still in the works, still focused on an entirely new era for the Total War series, and Creative Assembly will still “be talking about it much more in the future.” At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if the game’s weren't released until 2050 and the “new era” is early-2000s warfare.

Oh well. At least this first Saga game should tide you over.

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