Recently I got the chance to play Total War Warhammer 3 for several hours during a preview session, and the game looked pretty impressive with its new campaign mode and new races.
The Total War series has entered the world of Warhammer for a while now. Back in 2016, we received the very first version of the new Total War trilogy based in the Warhammer lore, and next month, players will get their hands on the final iteration of this trilogy, but it’s not the end!
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During a recent hands-on preview session, I got the chance to play 50 turns of Total War Warhammer 3 with two different races, which are new to the franchise: Daemons of Chaos and Grand Cathay.
An Overview of Warhammer 3 Campaign
Similar to the previews versions, Warhammer 3 will represent a big story-driven campaign, where you are free to choose each one of the available races to accomplish the ultimate goal of the campaign.
Bear-god of Kislev, also known as Ursun, has been lost in the darkness. When a yong warrior attempts to save Urusn, he becomes manipulated and corrupted by darkness, turning into the executioner of Ursun rather than his saviour.
By trapping Ursun and torturing him in the Realm of Chaos, it’s now up to the player and his race to enter a fight against the executioner of Ursun and then decide to either kill or save the Bear-god.
That being said, reaching this realm is not easy. Before you get to participate in the final big battle to decide the fate of Bear-king, you will first need to get past four different challenges in Realm of Chaos, and an entry to the realm will only be available when Bear-king roars.
Every time the realm’s portal is open, you will only be able to insert one army to a single challenge of the Realm of Chaos based on your choice upon entering. And your army should be led by your race’s emperor.
Each challenge in Realm of Chaos belongs to a certain culture. During the preview, I entered the Slaanesh challenge, which was filled with temptation and seduction. So, the player needs to descend a few floors down in this challenge to get to the core of the realm and obtain its soul.
However, on each floor, you will be facing an extremely tempting offer to leave the challenge. The more you get closer to the core, the better offers you get. So, at first, I wasn’t aware of this, and I accept a very tempting offer of 20K Gold and some other items on the second floor and exited the realm.
Once you exit a challenge with failure, you cannot get back to it right after. You should wait for Bear-king to roar again, which causes the activation of a portal to the Realm of Chaos.
During the first 50 turns of the game, you will only hear one roar from Bear-king. Once you manage to beat all four challenges and obtain the souls, you will be able to enter the Realm of Chaos for one last battle to either kill or free the Bear-king.
Daemons of Chaos Gameplay Experience
So, the first race I got to play was Daemons of Chaos, which is simply a war machine with powerful armies and slayers. The emperor of this race, Daemon Prince, serves 5 different demonic cultures and receives special gifts from each one. The prince has a skill tree for each one of the cultures. The more you serve a culture, the better rewards you receive.
Daemon Prince himself is a customizable character, which means you can apply the different rewards that you get from each culture to your character. Each one of the gear pieces will have certain buffs for Daemon Prince, his army, and the whole empire.
Playing as the Daemons of Chaos is a straightforward experience. Thanks to the powerful troops of this race, you could have a blasting beginning in the game by taking over all your neighbour cities. Also, the concept of customizing Daemon Prince and serving different cultures makes the upgrading easily understandable.
With the Daemon Prince customization and cultural skill trees, this race doesn’t have a technology progression map.
If you’re only looking to slay enemies or a newcomer to the Total War franchise, Daemons of Chaos could be your get-go, though I don’t have any experience of other races except for Grand Cathay.
Grand Cathay Gameplay Experience
Unlike Daemons of Chaos, I strongly suggest you start your journey with Grand Cathay if you are a Total War veteran.
As a brand new race in the Total War Warhammer trilogy, Grand Cathay has much more management-based activities that you need to keep an eye out for while doing your regular Total War things.
First of all, the special upgrade house of Grand Cathay is a compass that has four sides, and adjusting it on each side will benefit you with different rewards and buffs.
In addition to that, Grand Cathay is formed up of two black and white powers, and in order to get the most benefit out of your troops, you will always need to keep a balance between these powers in your decisions and progression.
Furthermore, Grand Cathay owns a developed trading system, where you can send caravans to different locations for trade and achieve a great amount of Gold and resources. That being said you need to keep an eye out for the caravans and send an army with each one of them to ensure the safety of your Golds and resources before reaching the destination.
Last but not least, Grand Cathay owns a great wall that separates the empire’s lands from the chaos outside of it. One of your main goals is to keep the wall secure and maintain it regularly whenever it is attacked by enemies.
So, as you can guess, there are some essential things to manage when playing as Grand Cathay, and if you couldn’t deal with each one of these branches, you will be in trouble.
While this makes playing as Grand Cathay a pretty hardcore experience, if you learn how to manage your empire, you will get incredible benefits, turning into one of the most powerful races in Warhammer 3.
Aside from these two races, there are six other races available in Warhammer 3, which were not playable during the preview session.
Overall, I think Warhammer 3 is a solid improvement compared to the previous entries with some minor upgrades in the battle system such as the addition of city-battles without walls or towers, during which you need to take over the critical parts of the city to win the battle.
Currently, the developers are polishing the game to deliver a smooth experience for players on February 17 this year.