Monday, 31 August 2020

A TOTAL WAR SAGA: TROY

A TOTAL WAR SAGA: TROY

With Total War, this is the case: if you played at least one part, then consider that you are familiar with everyone. After all, the basis of the strategy has not changed for 20 years - by the way, feel yourself old. You have a global map where you can develop cities and move armies in step-by-step mode, as well as tactical locations for the duration of battles, in order to independently control the soldiers and watch up close as they bludgeon each other. Then what is the originality of Troy and is the new creation of Creative Assembly worth the attention? We take up a shield, a spear and understand the most pretentious war of the ancient world.

The Big Bang Theory

What is the essence of the conflict, everyone knows who at least once opened a book about the Greeks or watched a film with Brad Pitt (William Bradley Pitt). According to the plot of the game, the Trojan prince Paris kidnaps Elena - the wife of the ruler of Sparta Menelaus. He, of course, comes from such impudence into a rage and calls on his brother Agamemnon from Mycenae to gather an army for retribution. The army is joined by the greatest heroes of antiquity such as Achilles and Odysseus. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Aegean Sea, the kidnapper of other people's wives is enjoying delightful evenings and the crunch of a Trojan roll.

However, if the strategy turned out to be a repetition of the Homeric story, it would look strange. At the start, there are really two sides available - the Danaans, who live in the lands of Greece, and the Trojans, whose possessions cover the western part of modern Turkey. So instead of an epic rush on a shining chariot into the enemy's camp, you must first settle the problems with the neighbors.

Each of the eight available factions has enough troubles. Trojan princes Paris and Hector compete with each other for the right to lead the allied army. The mythical ancestor of the Romans, Aeneas, got stuck in a showdown with the Aeolians, and the leader of the Lycians, Sarpedon, is waging a protracted war with Rhodes. On the other side of the sea, too, not smeared with honey. Achilles, and Odysseus, and the brothers-leaders Menelaus and Agamemnon have enemies - both sleep and see how to capture Tiryns and win over the rest of the Peloponnese. In general, whoever you choose, you find yourself in a jar with spiders, where sometimes it is more profitable to declare a friend of yesterday's enemy than to negotiate with ambitious relatives.

As in other games in the series, from the start you get a certain area with a fortified capital and a couple of simpler villages. And then you act in a military or diplomatic way, just to get your hands on everything that is bad on the map.

The construction of buildings in cities gives various bonuses, from an increase in resources to stronger troops, and also allows you to hire spies, priests and messengers - agents who can somehow weaken the enemy. Religion became the highlight of the program: you can choose a patron god to build temples in his honor, pray and make sacrifices. In return, the celestial gives enhancements - Apollo, for example, blesses archers, and Poseidon multiplies trophies.

An updated resource system now plays a significant role in the development of the empire: food, bronze and gold are needed for recruiting and maintaining units, and wood and stone for construction. That is, the steeper the detachment or building, the more the bins are emptied. In order not to go broke on grandiose multi-passages, it is necessary to seize and build up competently special villages - in one of these people are busy only with the extraction of food, in the other people work hard at quarries. Diplomacy also allows you to get hold of. Trade in A Total War Saga: Troy does not exist for show - you can get more from it than from your own fields, sawmills and mines.

In general, the global part is very accessible. You don't need to be a fan of the genre to figure out what's what. Lack of resources - trade, you need a larger army - hire heroes in addition to the main leader, you need to inspire your soldiers and upset the enemy - prayer and agents to help. If you decompose the game into its component parts, they really turn out to be outrageously simple. And here is the diplomacy window, where you can see how much and what should be added in order to make peace right now, create a defensive alliance or arrange a joint campaign against a common enemy.

But even inside such simplicity, you stumble from time to time. Because not every ally will stand up for you in case of war. Every now and then you wonder if it's worth it right now to complete the storyline if it immediately sets you up with all the neighbors. And what is more profitable - to take by storm the village where the resource you need is being mined, or to arrange a raid and solve the problem without losing the soldiers? Being an artless piece, Troy still doesn't let it go overboard. And if you choose different leaders at the start, the path to victory is not repeated, because the hero's personality has a great influence on the gameplay.

The success of the greatest warrior of antiquity, Achilles, depends on his mood swings - he goes crazy and quarrels with everyone in a row, then he falls into despondency because of the priest in the army. Agamemnon can strengthen his position by being appointed to the council of commanders, and, if necessary, receives a one-time large tribute from the vassals - "The Lion's Share". Sarpedon spends resources on interfering in other people's deals, Aeneas uses bonuses from communicating with the spirits of dead ancestors, and so on.

Slingers vs. Centaurs

Battles in tactical locations are the hallmark of Total War. Unlike the global part, where over 90 factions move in turn, everything here is in real time. Unless there is a pause to think about the actions, slowing down and accelerating. During the battle, you control hundreds and even thousands of soldiers: light, medium and heavy infantry, arrows, swordsmen and spearmen with and without shields. But little attention is paid to the cavalry - centaurs, as ordinary horsemen are called here, and chariot drivers ride on horseback. Mythical creatures like the Minotaur and Cyclops are represented by ordinary thugs in epic rags, but there is still a place for a semblance of magic. Accumulating rage, the hero-commander can turn on special skills that are pumped as experience is gained, as if in some RPG.

What else you need to know about battles in Troy: the authors of the series continue to work on algorithms for the behavior of enemy soldiers. They learned to sensibly cover the flanks and rear: if you go to the side of the enemy shooters, the artificial intelligence will withdraw at least one unit to fire at the attackers, and when the spearmen retreat, they are given effective cover. On the other hand, sometimes the AI ​​is frankly dull and kind of cautious, wasting manpower. In connection with this not at all heroic manner, finishing off the fugitives turns into "Benny Hill Show" with cutting circles around the location. Not without a scam. The enemy even reacts to the rearrangement of those units that are not visible to him - for example, an ambush hidden in the forest.

Decline or progress?

Good or bad, but from release to release, the series becomes clearer to a wider audience. Perhaps it is for this purpose that strategies are created with the subtitle "Saga". To test my feelings, I decided to launch some classics from Creative Assembly - and you know what? Shogun 2 from nine years ago will almost certainly seem more difficult to a beginner. This applies to diplomacy, espionage, urban development, battles - in general. Even in the fantasy dilogy Total War: Warhammer , with which the novelty is compared, there are more nuances, modes and depth.

A Total War Saga: Troy is a clear strategy and extremely simple, not to say primitive. Therefore, for acquaintance with the genre and the series, it is ideal. But the longtime fans of "Total War" are unlikely to impress and delight at least something - there is too little novelty for this in the game.

Pros: not the most hackneyed setting; the leaders of the eight factions feel like unique personalities; beautiful design; the gameplay is simple and tasteful - anyone can quickly figure out the strategy.

Cons: too little novelty; Russian localization is incomplete - if the text is fully translated, the characters' replicas are only partially duplicated.

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