There’s just a few months to go until the release of Total War: Warhammer II, the latest instalment in Creative Assembly’s planned trilogy of strategy games based in the popular fantasy universe. Fans of the original game, however, are going to be getting some last-minute treats before the new title arrives. One of these DLC releases was shown off to much pomp and fanfare earlier this week, but the second doesn’t seem to have entered the public consciousness quite so much – yet.
The big news, of course, is Norsca becoming available as a playable faction in the campaign. Though never a major player in the lore of the series the game is based on, the revealed unit roster and new campaign features – including a ‘monster hunting’ mechanic promising to be more in depth than that possessed by the Beastmen, another faction fond of big, stompy creatures – reassure that Creative Assembly isn’t skimping on making the Norscans a fully realised faction rather than merely a tacked-on addition. Add in fan favourites such as Throgg, a particularly intelligent if still rather disgusting troll king, as a Legendary Lord as well as various Fimir units (though I could nit-pick why creatures who traditionally dwell in swamps are now in an ice-themed army I’m too pleased at their inclusion to bother) and, despite the occasional justified grumbling over the amount of paid DLC Total War: Warhammer has received, things seem to be shaping up for a home run when it comes to pleasing Warhammer fans.
Compared to all that, the second piece of news might seem almost underwhelming. Those who’ve been paying attention to Creative Assembly’s plans however may remember a promised the reappearance of ‘an old friend’ – the recent subtle addition of Krell as DLC to Total War: Warhammer’s Steam database can’t be coincidental. An undead Chaos Champion in the service of Heinrich Kemmler, Krell would certainly fit the description of ‘old friend’ – as well as maybe see Kemmler, supposedly the least popular Legendary Lord, get a bit more play.
Norsca will be ‘available’ from the 10th August, though there seems to be no word on the pricing yet – those who pre-order Total War: Warhammer II however will receive the race pack for free. When Krell will be arriving is less clear, though with the promise of ‘an old friend’ having appeared on graphics detailing other free content its reasonable to assume there’ll be no charge for him.
One final point to note is the wider impact of Norsca’s inclusion in the game. Unlike every other currently campaign faction, the Norscans were not a playable race in the now-discontinued table-top wargame. (even the Kislevites had a small list, a few editions prior to Wahammer Fantasy’s termination) Much of their announced roster was part of the Warriors of Chaos faction, but some elements – such as Marauder Chariots, War Wolves and Ice-Wyrms – are completely new additions. Though there’s certainly no promises, this could mean at some point more factions present in the lore but never truly expanded on, such as Cathay, Nippon or Ind (being fantastical renditions of China, Japan and India respectively) could get their time in the sun under Creative Assembly. It should be stressed that this is unlikely; even less is known about them than Norsca, and the map that would be required to include them would be truly colossal even by Total War standards. Still, with a new pen-and-paper RPG for Warhammer Fantasy releasing soon with promises to explore more of these under-developed locations, one should never say never.
<p>At age seven, Jordan wanted to be a paleontologist. That went well. He now fills the void by writing on all manner of mildly-interesting topics – when he finds time in between complaining how everything was better in the ‘good old days’, that is.</p>