After a year of Epic Games’ Store exclusivity, the latest entry in the Total War Saga spinoff series, A Total War Saga: Troy, is finally hitting Steam. The launch of the new Mythos expansion pack aims to coincide with this rerelease and, after spending a couple of campaigns’ worth of time with the DLC enabled, I can safely say that Mythos, whilst far from flawless, is a solid addition that builds on some of the features of the base game and helps distinguish the game from its predecessors.
Fact and Fiction
Although the Total War franchise has become known for its impressive commitment to historical realism in its depictions of various time periods over the years, the main draw for players of this expansion is in fact the exact opposite. Aiming to embrace the mythological side of Ancient Greece, the Mythos DLC introduces a host of new units, abilities, and mechanics centered around Ancient Greek myths. As an existing fan of the more historically accurate base campaign, I was very pleased to see that all the content from this pack is only accessible through an entirely stand-alone Mythos campaign mode, meaning that players who purchase the pack won’t suddenly find their existing saves disrupted by any of the new content.
When booting into the new campaign, some of the most significant changes are immediately apparent. For example, a number of units have been replaced by their mythological counterparts, with a number of starter armies now including the likes of centaurs and harpies. It’s a nice touch and, although these creatures don’t perform too differently from their historical counterparts, I appreciated being able to quickly get hands-on in battle with some of the new combatants without having to invest in lengthy building trees to unlock them first. There are also a couple of changes to the map, with a handful of fantastical ruins now adding a little more character to the otherwise fairly forgettable environments of the overworld and battlefields.
Depictions of the Greek gods are now visible in the sky, presumably to highlight the pack’s increased focus on the now overhauled Divine Will system. Whilst the Divine Will system was only a small part of the base game, with the occasional prayer to the gods or new temple providing little more than a couple of very situational percentage stat bonuses, the addition of some new powerful abilities make pleasing the gods a far more appealing prospect. Leveling up your Divine Will level with prayers to Poseidon, for example, allows the player to summon huge waves on the battlefield which can sometimes, no pun intended, change the tide of a battle. It’s not a huge change, but it goes a long way in helping the system feel worthwhile and something worth actually pursuing.
By far the most substantial addition is the new Mythic Expedition screen. Through this, players can spend resources to launch expeditions to try and capture one of three huge mythological creatures - a griffin, Cerberus the three-headed dog, or a Hydra. Expeditions take the form of occasional pop-up dialogue boxes with text prompts, usually outlining a problem your soldiers are facing in the pursuit of your chosen creatures and allowing you to choose a solution. Your chosen solutions can provide additional troops, buffs, or even debuffs when the time comes for your final confrontation with the creature. These are huge battles involving two of your chosen armies and a great mythological foe. In my first playthrough, for example, I chose to pursue Cerberus, which culminated in a very tense, and satisfying, fight against a seemingly endless swarm of the undead at the gorgeously 3D modeled fiery gates of the underworld.
Successfully defeating one of the three myths in battle adds them to your arsenal, bringing unique abilities to the table. Cerberus, for example, can summon ghostly shades to fight on your behalf on the battlefield, allows the construction of a new building and recruitments of new units on top of some substantial faction bonuses. Each creature’s abilities and the paths to unlock them feel pleasantly distinct and are fun for a few hours, but they provide such good bonuses that completing one in your Mythos playthrough is pretty much a necessity. Because of this, I can easily see these encounters becoming stale over time, especially considering the similarity of the final confrontations, and becoming just one more thing players have to get out of the way before pursuing the end-game objective of conquering Troy.
A Total War Saga: Troy - Mythos Review
It’s undeniable that the Mythos pack goes a long way to help set A Total War Saga: Troy apart from the games that came before it, and it serves its purpose as an enjoyable diversion from the main campaign. The upgraded Divine Will system is a fantastic addition so it’s a little unfortunate that many of the new mythological units are hampered by feeling a little too similar to their base game counterparts. Similarly, the new Mythic Expeditions are a lot of fun at first but likely won't be able to hold you attention past the first few playthroughs.
TechRaptor reviewed Total War Saga: Troy - Mythos on PC using a copy provided by the publisher.
- Loads of New Unit Types
- Improved Divine Will System
- Distinct New Campaign Type
- Most of the New Units Feel Too Much Like Their Base Game Counterparts
- Mythic Expeditions Can Become Stale