To many casual fans of the Total War franchise, being able to tell the difference between a Total War game and a Total War Saga is no easy feat; with both series using the same engine and having almost identical baseline mechanics, it is easy to see why many people believe there is no real difference between the two franchises.
However, despite appearances, there are some major differences, with Total War Saga titles often focusing on a much smaller geographic location and more granular map control.
While Total War games may divide a moderate-sized country into 4 or 5 regions, Total War Saga will often divide a region into multiple sub-regions, which are then divided into smaller control areas.
In addition, Total War Saga titles often have a much smaller focus than global (or international) domination and instead are more focused on regional power and providing players with a variety of ways to maintain that power while placing sensible limitations on the number of armies that each faction can muster, all but necessitating the recruitment of allies and vassals, which in turn make diplomacy far more interesting with as many as 92 different regional powers in play in Total War Saga: Troy, every strategic move against an opponent must be considered carefully lest a skirmish between neighbouring cities becomes a war between empires, as dozens of regional powers are drawn into conflict due to their alliances, and the alliances of their allies and vassals.
I have been playing Total War games for almost 20 years. I can safely say that diplomacy and making war have never felt as good as it does in Total War Saga: Troy,
While the mainline Total War games are flashier and allow for vastly bigger wars between vastly more powerful forces, I must admit to finding Total War Saga: Troy far more enjoyable than recent Total War entries, despite being a huge fan of the franchise as a whole, including the recent titles.
Total War Saga: Troy was given away for 24 hours upon release as a cross-promotion with the Epic Game Store, which resulted in Creative Assembly having a guaranteed payday and Epic Game Store raising public awareness for their storefront, something which paid off well for all involved with a record-breaking 7.5 million players claiming the game for free at launch, making it the biggest release in the history of the franchise.
Despite being billed as a smaller scope title, Total War Saga: Troy is surprisingly lengthy, with each factional playthrough lasting around 20 hours, resulting in an impressive 280 hours of content for those with access to all factions.
Total War Saga: Troy is the first game in the history of the franchise to introduce a nemesis/antagonist system, which results in a single faction essentially hating the player’s guts and refusing all overtures of diplomacy for the rest of the game; this faction will frequently change up its tactics, from scorched earth destruction to coldly calculated strikes aimed at devastating the player’s economy, the antagonist faction leader will stop of nothing short of the total destruction of the player controlled faction, nor will they cease their endless onslaught until they are forced to do so.
This is thankfully made bearable by just how good the alliance system is in Total War Saga: Troy, and players with vessels and military allies will be able to direct them to engage the enemy head-on, something which I recently utilised to great effect, by gifting my vessels territories surrounding my own, which int urn provided me with a buffer zone that kept the vast majority of the enemies armies away from my most critical infrastructure and population centuries.
This, however, is a double-edged sword, and the enemies’ allies will coordinate well with one another; it is not uncommon to be facing a siege by around half a dozen different small factions once the Trojan War is well and truly underway.
In Total War Saga: Troy, raising and maintaining armies is an expressive venture, with each unit having its own set of costs and various maintenance requirements, which can result in players being forced to capture and defend various regions that would otherwise offer no static value.
In a recent playthrough, a coordinated attack by my enemies resulted in a drastic food shortage, which resulted in a 6-hour-long series of “terrible deals” with AI allies to keep my army fed while I prepared for an eventual counterattack that would not only reclaim my lost food production centres but give me enough resources to invest in higher their units and take the fight to my enemy.
While there is something to be said for a streamlined “gold only” economy, I find maintaining a variety of resources far more engaging, even if that means my ability to raise armies and expand my empire.
Total War Saga: Troy offers players three distance ways to expierance each faction campaign, which comes down to the balance between how grounded and fanatical the player wants their experience to be.
“Truth behind the Myth” Mode.
In this mode, the developers attempt to explain away mythic creatures by framing them as various humans who dress weirdly (such as bull skull helmets) or possess exceptional yet entirely natural abilities. It’s a great compromise between Historical and Mythos mode, and it was the only way to play the game at launch.
In this mode, offerings to gods exist, as do the gods and heroes of Greek mythology; in addition, heroes enter the fray alone, without the benefit of bodyguards beyond an eventual chariot ancillary.
In this mode, the world of Total War Saga: Troy is entirely devoid of mythic creatures, strangely dressed single units, and magical encounters, and while offerings to gods exist, the gods themselves do not, and heroes no longer take to the battlefield alone but instead are surrounded by bodyguards as in older Total War titles.
Mythos Mode DLC ($24.99).
In this mode, Greek mythology is real, and gods, giants, harpies, orges, gryphons, and more all make an appearance; in addition to heroes having access to their full arsenal of divinely embued powers, this mode is great for those who find “Truth behind the Myth” to be a little bland.
I make no secret of the fact I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I know for many Christians that games or movies involving Greek mythology are controversial; however, I feel that viewing such content as fiction is pretty much harmless if you keep in mind that myth is fiction, and that truth is reality.
You may ask, what is truth? That is an excellent question that could be summed up simply as “Jesus Christ”, but that sounds too much like “Christianesse”, so instead gets loot at how the Greek gods interact with the world of Total War Saga: Troy and how their actions compare to that of Jesus Christ during his early ministry.
In Total War Saga: Troy gods can both help and hinder the various factions by either bestowing their favour upon a faction, resulting in more effective units or increased production, or they can unleash their divine wrath on factions, which will often result in entire cities being damaged and in some cases brought to the point of ruins, but this is pretty accurate when it comes to the way mythology portrays the fickle and often cruel greek pantheon.
It made me ponder just how lucky we are these eccentric deities are confined to mythology, and God is far from fickle or cruel, despite many of his self-proclaimed followers doing their best to portray him as such due to their deep-rooted misunderstanding of who he is, and how he interacts with humanity.
Only Jesus Christ spoke and acted perfectly as the Father (God) instructed; he even said as much when he stated.
With this in mind, let’s examine how Jesus engaged with humanity, knowing he did exactly what God wanted.
In addition, Jesus addressed multiple social issues, such as equality, unity, diversity, social justice, and more, and his example is one that anyone truly compassionate about making the world a better place should follow.
It’s pretty easy to see that even the kindest mythological Greek god is but a shallow imitation of the love of God and of Jesus Christ, who, by his death and resurrection, made way for fallen humanity to be reconciled to a righteous and holy God.
Many atheists mockingly reduce the story of redemption to Jesus saving people from his or his Father’s wrath, and that is not academically honest; it was humankind who, by welcoming sin into the world, gave their destiny and that of all their descendants into the hands of lucifer, a fallen angel with delusions of grandeur.
In contrast, it was the Father who foresaw the fall of man and ensured that there was a way for humankind to be redeemed.
When God (the Father) created man, it was in the full knowledge that by doing so, he would have to sacrifice his Son, as he could not allow sin into his presence quite literally, as if he tried to do so, his glory would consume them, in much the same way a roaring fire could not allow snowflakes to warm themselves in its presence, no matter how much it longed for their company and well-being.
Despite maintaining a 70%+ positive review score across multiple aggregators and being claimed by over 7.5 million players on the Epic Game Store, before Total War Saga: Troy is almost entirely dead to the point I was unable to find more than a handful of multiplayer games/lobbies across the span of several days, which is surprising considering its robust cross-launcher support, and massive player base.
This is likely due to most Total War fans viewing the game as more of a single-player experience. I firmly believe it is time that Creative Assembly considers dropping multiplayer support from future titles and investing instead in an even more immersive single-player expierance.
On average Total War Saga: Troy takes between 20 and 100 hours to complete.
Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.
Total War Saga: Troy supports:
Total War Saga: Troy offers the following matchmaking options:
Total War Saga: Troy is rated PEGI 16+ and contains the following:
However, with Total War: Pharoh scheduled to launch in a matter of weeks, I see no reason why anyone should pay full price for Total War Saga: Troy when waiting for a sale and investing in Total War: Pharoh or Total War: Warhammer III is a much more practical option.