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Interviews

Medieval 2: Total War

The Creative Assembly explains what's hot about its return to medieval times and the next Total War title

We have a confession to make. Medieval: Total War was always our favourite title of The Creative Assembly's epic Total War trilogy. Not a jot wrong with either Shogun or Rome mind you - far from it. Both were innovative, splendid-looking games providing a perfect marriage of strategic cunning and explosive tactical action.

But it was always Medieval that really truly captured our hearts and imaginations. It just seemed the perfect fit for indulging our long held mania for conquering the known world and beyond, mixing superb strategy, epic medieval battlefields and high political intrigue as we sought to impose our yoke of tyranny over the peasants of the medieval world.

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Imagine then our utter joy and delight when we found out that the next Total War game was a chance to revisit our favourite Total title with all new units, explosive new gameplay and updated graphics which promise to make Rome: Total War look like it's from the Stone Age.

High time then that we tracked down Bob Smith, The Creative Assembly's Project Manager, for an exclusive chat on Medieval 2 - we introduced him to the delights of CVG's very own torture chamber until he confessed all. Shame he wouldn't take our suggestion about Cavemen: Total War though. Perhaps next time we'll have to make sure we warm that poker up until its white hot.

We thought Medieval: Total war was pretty much the best Total War game - so we're not complaining mind, but with all of history to choose from, why did you decide to revisit the Medieval period this time around?

Bob Smith: Two main reasons really. Firstly, the medieval period is in many ways the perfect setting for a Total War game. It has a wide range of unit types, technological progress, constant warfare, treachery, intrigue and the clash of civilizations. Secondly, in the four years since the launch of the original, our technology has improved hugely and on the battle side we can now really capture the colour and pageantry of the period. Now we can really do the medieval period justice.

Are we looking at a radically new game - or is Medieval 2 an evolution rather than a revolution? What would you say are the major advances in Medieval 2?

Bob Smith: The aim with Medieval 2 is to significantly improve upon the gameplay of Rome and bring it to the medieval era, while raising the spectacle of the Total War series to a whole new level. As a result, Medieval 2 will raise the standard for Total War games right across the board, from the campaign game to the historical and the multiplayer battles.

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What nations and signature units will be available to play Medieval 2? Will there be substantial differences here from the first MTW?

Bob Smith: There will be 21 playable factions for custom battle and multiplayer: England, France, Scotland, Holy Roman Empire, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Milan, Venice, Papal States, Sicily, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Byzantium, The Turks, Egypt, The Moors, The Mongols, The Tumurids and The Aztecs.

The final line-up of playable factions in the campaign game is still to be decided, however there will be a rich variety of factions to play. You'll notice from the list that we've included several factions that weren't included in the original Medieval, namely Scotland, Portugal and Venice. They'll all add their own unique challenge to the campaign game and, of course, their own unique units to the battlefield.

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