Content of the article: "My thoughts after finishing Troy"
I just finished my campaign in Troy Total War as Achilles, on medium. Usually, I play on higher difficulties, but due to a leg injury, I didn't want the frustration that sometimes comes with harder difficulties. I achieved both the Homeric and Total war victory condition at the same moment. Here are my thoughts on the game and campaign overall.
Let's start with the good things.
This game is gorgeous. Everything from the world map to unit design is great. The way it all harkens back to the bronze age is great.
Unit rosters. Every culture has different unit rosters, further differentiated by playing different epic heroes. I feared that we would end up like in 3K with every faction being basically the same, but that was not the case. You could easily tell by the way they looked to which culture they belong. That is especially true with Amazons, Acheans, and Trojans. But other less fleshed out factions like the Thracians also had different unit style.
Battles we're great. I really liked playing them. A lot of terrain features to use and maneuver around them.
The size of the map. It is huge with a lot of minor factions to color it.
Resource system. That really changed the way I played and built armies. Prioritizing settlements with the right resource was key and was also a great motivation for expansion.
Hero design. From aesthetics to the way they play they were great.
The stuff I am on the fence
The truth behind the myth approach. While I understand the need for bigger than life Heroes in a game based on the Trojan War, and I love heroes. The single entity units like Minotaurs and Cyclopes were a bit anticlimactic. I really liked the other mythical units. Giants as simply big burly barbarians, centaurs as horsemen, harpies as a scary, stealthy skirmisher unit, and spartoi as some kind of armor-clad warrior monks. That was great.
Sieges. I like that we got back to full city sieges. But the losses during an assault are enormous. Even while using elite infantry I get a lot of losses. Best way to win? Ignore the walls. Even with siege towers fighting on them is bloody as hell. Destroy the gates with giants or a disposable unit with a battering ram and then storm through the destroyed gate. Also, ladders for everybody are pretty stupid.
Epic hero power. This is a double-edged blade. Hector on level 10 could easily beat my level 21 hero. Epic heroes should be more powerful. With Achilles, I easily beat the crap out of other even epic heroes. But that could also be due to level difference.
Total War, whack a mole. Because of this, I needed to restart the campaign and adjust strategy accordingly. It made the game harder, but sometimes it felt really stupid. Sometimes these moves were great because the Ai could really gain a lot of regions while my armies were engaged in other places. In the end, it gave me a harsher but more rewarding experience. Because destroying a faction was the only way to get sure that no one attacks you from behind I achieved all victory conditions. Usually, I am content with the "plot victory", here called Homeric Victory.
Antagonist system. It worked pretty well and made the game interesting. But his plans never really changed. " Sack all my unprotected settlements" was all Hector was capable of.
The finale battle. Normally Troy is a distinct faction with one high tier army. But since AI-controlled Hector became the heir he used the army in stupid battles, so when it came to laying siege to Troy I could assault it in one turn and crush the weak garrison. Nevertheless, the map construction is really cool. And the Trojan Horse night battle has great potential if only I had enough enemies for me to be worth my time.
Battle maps – additional terrain was great. But I would like some procedurally generated maps like before in older Total Wars. So there is some reason for protecting the pass or fighting in a forest.
Hero motivation. On paper, it is a great idea. But if you confederate, epic heroes, from other factions, get some random traits which can make them useless. Also, Patrocles gets the trait called Servant which makes him unhappy while fighting alone. It is annoying as hell.
Unit balance. Most of the time it seems good if not great. With exceptions. One is of course chariots. They are op. But using them was the only way for me to kill Hector's Chosen. These bastards cannot be flanked and can mow down even my elite myrmidons.
Rising difficulty by lowering player stats and letting the Ai cheat. That is a very total war problem. It is infuriating. And one of the reasons why I lowered the difficulty this time.
I really enjoyed my time in Troy. Despite the initial setback and the issues I mentioned above, I didn't have so much fun playing a Total War game since Realm of the Wood Elves (I know it is outdated as hell but I love their hit and run playstyle).
- The problem with Troy (and perhaps the AI on higher difficulties in general)
- Troy A Total War Saga has Gods & Heroes, no creatures and lots of resources. A write up of what you will be able to experience in just a few days from now.
- So what do we want CA to learn from Total War Saga: Troy?
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