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Expanding on Medieval II: Total War
Medieval II Total War was one the greatest strategy games ever released, placing you in the middle of an epic struggle for domination of the medieval world. The original game was reviewed in Getting Medieval: A Total War Experience.
The good news for fans is that developer The Creative Assembly have released an excellent expansion pack, Medieval II Total War – Kingdoms Expansion Pack. Often expansion packs are an excuse to squeeze more cash from an existing title and they frequently don’t seem worth the extra cash but I’m glad to be able to say that the Kingdoms Expansion Pack is well worth investing in and it provides countless additional hours of game-play and a host of new units. While the content update is massive the basic game-play remains unaltered so there is nothing to stop Total War veterans from jumping straight into the action.
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The pack adds no fewer than four new campaigns to enjoy.
The New World, which came briefly into play at the end of the original game, is given a complete campaign here. An Americas map covering North and South America gives you the chance to take on the role of Cortes and the invading Spanish or play as one of the home nations, South American tribes such as the Aztecs or Native Americans such as the Apachean Tribe.
My personal favourite, being a Scot, is the Britannia campaign. Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland have been expanded into a decent sized map and you can battle for control. The developers have also added hero characters so playing as the Scots you will have William Wallace as a general, a nice touch which definitely brought a smile to my face, especially when he led my army to victory over the English.
Next up is the Crusades and as you fight for domination of the Holy Land, generals like Richard the Lionheart and Saladin face off against each other.
Finally there is the Teutonic Campaign which covers Eastern Europe and sees Denmark face off against Lithuania and the Teutonic Order.
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There are 13 new factions in all and 10 you’ll remember from the original. There are also over 150 new units and the most interesting facet of the game is probably the hero characters. You get individual characters from history like William Wallace and they each possess special abilities.
Although the game-play has not been significantly altered some of the factions represent genuinely unique challenges, for example the Native Americans don’t build roads and the Aztecs have little in the way of technological advances but huge numbers while the invading Spanish are tooled up but have few men.
The original game had a great deal of depth and most gamers could expect to get several weeks worth of gaming out of it. I’d recommend the expansion for people who still enjoy the original but are starting to find it a bit stale or people who like the sound of one of the new campaigns.