It’s been a journey the best part of a decade, three games, and countless expansions in the making, but Total War: Warhammer has finally realised its ambition. With the launch of Immortal Empires last month, developer Creative Assembly has fused together the world and empires of all three Total War: Warhammer games into a single grand strategy campaign on a scale never before seen in the genre.
What does that mean? It means that now, seven years on from the release of the first game in the series, is the perfect time to take up arms and play Total War: Warhammer. Whether you seek to forge alliances against the forces of Chaos, be Chaos yourself, or take advantage of the existential conflict to fuel your own ambitions of conquest, the Immortal Empires campaign is a vast simulation in which you can live out your Warhammer strategy fantasies.
But first, for a little context. Throughout this series, Creative Assembly has been undertaking the seismic task of merging each game together. So while Total War: Warhammer II has its own map, its own campaign and unique factions, some time after its release it received a ‘Mortal Empires’ campaign update, which merged the huge map and all the factions of the first game into it. This was a free update, though required players to own both the first and second games in the series.
What’s special about Total War: Warhammer III is that, in a token of gratitude to the series’ community, this time you don’t need to own the previous two games to play the merged ‘Immortal Empires’ campaign. That means you’ll be able to ally with, invade, and rub shoulders with every faction from across the series–from familiar faces like The Empire, Dwarves, and High Elves, to the Lizardmen of distant Lustria and the Egypt-inspired Tomb Kings of Nehekhara.
If you want to play as a faction from the previous two games, you’ll need to buy the respective game or DLC they feature in, but if, say, you just want to pick up Norsca or the Vampire Coast, then it’s enough to buy their DLC without buying the base game they feature in.
It’s not like you need to jump straight into Immortal Empires either. Like its predecessors, Total War: Warhammer III has its own self-contained campaign. Titled ‘The Realm of Chaos,’ the campaign sees eight factions (including four Chaos Lords, and debutants to the Warhammer universe, Grand Cathay and Kislev) battling it out to get their hands on the enslaved ‘Great Bear’ Ursun, harnessing his power for their own ends. The series prides itself on asymmetry, so each faction plays extremely differently, catering to endless play styles and strategic possibilities.
Combining the unparalleled real-time strategy battles of the Total War series with grand campaigns set in the Warhammer universe has proven to be one of the most inspired ever uses of a Games Workshop property, and this weekend you can experience the culmination of years’ worth of work from the legendary strategy developer for free.
The free weekend runs from March 9 (7pm CET) to March 13 (7pm CET). For more details, head over to the official Total War: Warhammer III website, or go to the Steam page to dive right in.
With the Forces of Chaos encroaching, what will you do to leave your mark?
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