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Review

Review: Total War Saga – Thrones of Britannia

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Thrones of Britannia is the 12th entry in the strategy franchise Total War. In this review we check how easy the game is to get into for total newcomers.

Before going into this review, we want to make something clear from the get-go. We have little to no experience with the Total War games, and this is our first time actually trying out the series. So we won’t compare it to other chapters of the series and will just talk about the game for what it is and for how enjoyable the gameplay is. And considering this was our first experience, we were pleasantly surprised by it.

Thrones of Britannia is set up in the years after the battle of Ethandun, a not so long period of time and certainly not full of real information, which means that most of what happens in the game is a reconstruction, somewhat plausible, of what could have been happening back then. It’s an interesting choice for a realistic series, but that also gives the developers an opportunity to learn more about the historical setting, without giving the impression that most of it is just a work of fantasy by the writers. We can choose between 5 different factions (which include the vikings) and we’ll need to gain as many victories as we can, not only in the battlefield but also in a diplomatic or cultural superiority.

Diplomacy in particular represents a very important aspect of the game: we all hate each other but we also need to co-operate for our personal gains. And we also need to be careful to not disregard our potential allies, or they may turn their backs on us whenever we need them most. Some examples of careful diplomacy include marrying one of the daughters to join the realms or lend a part of our army for their war, in the hopes they’ll do the same. Sometimes you can also win by fame, by basically playing the game well enough and end up getting more fame than the others. That will eventually gain you an automatic win, which ends up being disappointing, as it lacks any form of real excitement.

War with brute force is where most players will probably find the most fun, as it’s what these people used to be some of the best at. When the time comes, you can choose to control the troops and their formations manually or, if you don’t wanna bother getting involved, to let the AI play by itself and decide who the winner is. Battles take a long time to generate (it’s also important to optimize your graphical settings and use the benchmark feature, to make sure the game will run as smoother as it can be) and you’ll need to be patient before you can get into the battle yourself. If it’s the AI to decide the outcome of the battle, several factors will be taken into consideration: not only the amount of troops and their formation, but also stuff like the level of hunger and the respect that their commander has. If you manage to win against another monarch, you may also attract the anger of their friends. Proving, once again, how diplomacy will keep playing a key role and must never be ignored if you wanna end up victorious.

Conclusion

Overall, Thrones of Britannia managed to explain the key factors well enough to be appreciated even by a newbie of the series. It is not perfect by any means but it’s a great starting point if you wanna try to get yourself involved in this series. It also manages to work well enough on most PC systems thanks to a great optimization (even if battles take a real slow time), so it’s definitely worth checking out in our opinion.

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