Sega and The Creative Assembly recently unveiled Kingdoms, the first expansion for RTS Medieval II: Total War, and today we're talking to designer and artist on the project Brendon Rogers.
The main part of Kingdoms' content consists of four new campaigns, with battle and strategy erupting in the Americas, Great Britain, Northern Europe and the Holy Land. The Creative Assembly giving these campaigns a tighter focus than the campaigns of the original game, and they concentrate on these specific regions and periods of history across the medieval world.
But there's actually a lot more to Kingdoms than just the new campaigns. We quizzed Brendon Rogers for more info...
Kingdoms' four new campaigns are set in the Americas, Great Britain, Northern Europe and the Holy Land - what made those locations ideal for the expansion?
Brendan Rogers: For Britannia, Teutonic and Americas a major factor was the public demand as we are constantly bombarded with requests to make games covering the history of these particular lands in greater detail. The Crusades is the fourth campaign and it is included because it offers such an interesting game world.
During medieval times the Crusade in the Middle East was the place of hero's, professional soldiers, religious zealots, holy relics, wealth, and intense politics. It also gives us an opportunity to explore an end game that escalates to a climatic finish.
Why did you choose to revisit some of the themes and content (The Crusades) that were included in the core game?
Brendan Rogers: As mentioned previously The Crusades offers a very interesting game world that warrants more attention. Medieval 2 includes "Crusades" which can occur in the Middle East but doesn't explore the depths of what was exciting about this place and time. The Crusades campaign in the Kingdoms expansion certainly does however, and we're sure once you play it you will understand why we thought it deserved its own game.
What else can you tell us about the new campaigns at this stage?
Brendan Rogers: Each of the campaigns offers new factions, new units and new game mechanics so each one offers a unique challenge. We'll be revealing each campaign in detail over the months ahead but right now we can give you some details on Britannia.
In this campaign you can play as the English, a dominant force that has to cope with rebellion from conquered territories of Wales, Ireland and Scotland and also within their own ranks. Or you can play as one of these conquered, rebellious factions, rising up against the English King.
You can even seek to take command of the Norwegian invasion forces and look to sweep across the British Isles by the might of your Viking warriors.
The campaign plays at a great pace because there are no rebel provinces to provide a buffer between the factions, so the player will have to decide on their friends an enemies early on, use diplomacy to buy them some time and strike decisively.
Added to the mix is the Barons Alliance event - a rebellion from within the English ranks led by Simon de Montfort. This event effectively creates a sixth faction, an army of rebels that must be squashed if you're playing as the English.
If you're playing as one of the rebellious factions however, you can encourage the formation of the Barons Alliance by completing missions at the Barons request and create a new ally against the English. Britannia is a fast paced campaign that's been designed to promote large armies fighting it out for high stakes.
What additional hero characters are we going to see outside of Richard The Lionheart and Saladin?