A Total War Saga: Troy Review

Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 10:00 | By: Alex Verdini
Publisher
Sega
Series
Total War
Multiplayer modes
Co Op, Local, Online
Platforms
PC
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
Epic Games Store GamesPlanet Humble Bundle Steam Store
Immense Depth in Bronze Age War Sim

Annual franchises can be a bit of scary undertaking these days. Risk of limited development time might translate to limited features, but new tactics abound in the latest Total War entry, thanks to additional resources and the Divine Will feature playing a massive role in A Total War Saga: Troy. Truly, the latest Total War game may offer one of the deepest and most significant campaigns yet in the series.

Depth to the Bottom of the Aegean Sea

The hero Achilles charges into battle in A Total War Saga: Troy
Achilles charges recklessly into battle

One of the best aspects of A Total War Saga: Troy is the continuation of character customization from Total War: Three Kingdoms. Troy continues to up the ante with immense skill trees where players can continue to diversify and customize their chosen heroes. In my playthrough, I started playing as the legendary Achilles. Each hero seems to really key in on their personality and style, as many of Achilles’ abilities focus on his aggressive playstyle. Equipment upgrades are back as well, and it gives an extra spice to the customization of each hero.

A newer addition to the series includes managing your hero in different states. Achilles is known for his wild emotions, which can have a massive impact on your style of play. When Achilles’ emotion turns to rage, he gains massive attack bonuses, but it negatively impacts the development of provinces under his control. Managing these emotions can be key to working your way through the campaign. Hitting rage when at war is immensely useful, and pushing toward other emotions when needing to build your provinces is a big part of the metagame.

All Your Resources are Belong to Achilles

New resources on the campaign map of A Total War Saga: Troy
Plan new strategies based on the additional resources in the campaign

Aesthetically, A Total War Saga: Troy doesn’t deliver much new in the way of visuals. Character models still look solid but dated at this point. The setting is the real big benefit by providing some stunning battle maps to play on over the course of your campaign. There’s a wide variety of maps, which should offer more varied tactics for each battle. An epic soundtrack means you should probably crank up that music in the settings too. 

 
 

The story, for the most part, doesn’t really exist in A Total War Saga: Troy. What it lacks in narrative though, it’s made up for with choice and depth throughout most of the game. A seemingly small, but large part of this additional depth is the addition of more resources to the campaign map. Five in total. Gold, bronze, wood, stone, and food now create interesting new dynamics to your tactical decision making. Each city focuses typically on one of these different resources, so when declaring war it’s important to think about which resources you’re more in need of at any given time. If you enjoy massing armies, focus on those farming and bronze producing cities. If you prefer playing more diplomatically, getting stone and gold for trading can be important.

Divine Will is brand new to A Total War Saga: Troy and the mechanic is layered in the mythology surrounding the time. The gods of Troy play a major impact on day-to-day events throughout the campaign. They can stir up random, or not so random events (stop causing so many pesky earthquakes, Poseidon!), and the gods can be worshipped to earn favor on each of their behalfs. Build temples, make sacrifices, and earn the favor of these gods and expect to see substantial benefits to your kingdom. Worship the god of war, Ares, and you’ll see morale benefits to certain soldier-types, or your kingdom might gain happiness when at war. Pleasing the gods comes with a host of benefits, and should not be overlooked when building an empire.

One Minotaur and a Side of Centaur, Please

Bowmen unleash a volley of arrows at their enemies in A Total War Saga: Troy
The unit composition is less varied, but still made interesting by unique mythological units

A Total War Saga: Troy attempts to stick to more “realistic” unit composition at the time, but this does come with a drawback and a big caveat. During the Bronze Age, there was little focus on cavalry and siege units, so expect to see primarily infantry-based units throughout the course of a playthrough. To add more diversity, Creative Assembly split up infantry into three different categories: light, medium, and heavy. Light units are quick and nimble, while heavy units are beefy upfront hold-the-line skirmishers. This does add some variety and allows for different playstyles, but I do think it can make the combat portion of the game a little stale compared to other Total War titles.

While lacking in unit diversity, the game does make up for it by adding giving you the chance to add mythological creatures to your armies, such as the minotaur or gorgons. It does seem a little odd that the game tries to adhere to more realistic unit compositions but then lumps in mythological creatures. Still, these creatures make battles far more interesting and many of these units make a big impact during the course of a battle. Truly, I wish there were even more of these mythological creatures as Greek literature is overflowing with them.

Sadly, there is no multiplayer to speak of in A Total War Saga: Troy, which isn’t necessarily abnormal for the series these days, but some of my fondest memories are playing through Total War: Shogun 2 with one of my buddies. Multiplayer added more longevity to the game, but the sheer depth of the campaign will certainly make up for that missing multiplayer.

A Total War Saga: Troy Review | Final Thoughts

A Total War Saga: Troy is a worthy addition to the series. New additions add a significant level of depth to an already deep franchise of games. Lack of multiplayer is disappointing, but for the Total War series, it has been the norm as of late. A Total War Saga: Troy makes up for it with incredible customization options. The unit composition is a bit lacking compared to other entries due to the time period, but the Divine Will mechanics and customization of each hero is almost unmatched in a real-time strategy game and adds considerable variety to each playthrough. Total War is a tried and true series, and veterans and new plays both should look to add this game to their collection.


TechRaptor reviewed A Total War Saga: Troy on PC via Epic Game Store with a copy provided by the publisher
 

Review Summary

8.5
A Total War Saga: Troy is a worthy successor with significant new features, such as Divine Will, that adds depth to the tried and true franchise.

Pros

  • New Resources Make for More Tactical Decisions on the Campaign Map
  • Mythological Creatures Create New Tactics and Strategies
  • Divine Will and Character Customization Options Lead to Varied Play Styles

Cons

  • Lack of Unit Diversity Due to Time Period
  • No Multiplayer Options
  • Story is Brief and Rarely Visited Throughout the Campaign

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A picture of staff writer Alex A. Verdini
Staff Writer

A gamer since his earliest memory, Alex enjoys practically every video game genre known to humankind (with a particular favoritism toward shooters and RPGs). He's been a long time Dungeons & Dragons player, and he has a fondness for board games and tabletop RPGs.