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More Expansion News

March 30th, 2007 by Troy Goodfellow · 4 Comments · Creative Assembly, Preview

Medieval II: Total War will be getting an expansion pack soon, subtitled “Kingdoms“. Wow. That took a lot of thought. “Kingdoms“.

On to the fisking of the press release (which can be read in its entirety here.)

“Kingdoms will offer an unprecedented amount of new content that gives gamers over 75 hours of epic new gameplay.”

Unprecedented. Epic. I move that we ban these words from the gaming PR vocabulary. Still, 75 hours is helluva lot of time.

Turns out, this is a campaign pack, so the grand campaign will see minimal changes. In other words, like the other Total War expansions, only bigger.

First up, the Americas.

“[P]layers will be able to retrace the steps of Hernán Cortés in 1519, as he seeks to explore and conquer The New World. Players can earn the support of Spain and explore the mystery and riches of the New World, or take control of the Aztec or Native American factions and call on the Gods and the bravery of vast armies to see off this new threat.”

I would have liked to have seen this connected more tightly to the original campaign game. In Medieval 2, getting to the New World takes more time than it is worth, and for minimal benefits. The American territories don’t work well to put you over the top to victory since they are too far away to reinforce easily and by the time you can sail there you have easier pickings in the Old World. Still, it’s nice that the Aztecs become a faction you can play.

“Players can experience a bloody clash between pagans and Christians in the Northern European Teutonic Wars”

Neat idea in an undergamed part of this era. In fact, religion is one of the big themes of the expansion.

“Kingdoms will also include a new expanded Crusades campaign, where players renew their fight for control of the Holy Lands, with new factions, devastating new units (such as the terrifying Greek Flame Thrower), legendary heroes and powerful holy relics.”


But holy relics introduce the threat of something that this series really doesn’t need – magic. Maybe they will add morale bonuses or something, which sort of makes sense. Kind of like that mobile Cross thing. But if King Richard pulls out a Holy Hand Grenade, counts to three and obliterates my camels I will be ever so pissed.

And it’s “Greek Fire”, by the way.

“[T]ake control of one of 5 factions in the Britannia campaign when England faces war on 4 fronts as once conquered lands rise up against them.”

Norman England versus Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Saxons? Just a hunch. This will be the least popular campaign, I’ll wager.

On the surface, this expansion offers more than Barbarian Invasion did, but I like the bigger campaigns. These mini-campaigns are more in line with the Viking expansion to the first Medieval. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Sega is promising the usual explosion in units and factions, mostly limited to the “magnifying glass” campaigns.

The most interesting part of the announcement, though, isn’t in the PR blurb at Shacknews. From the official Sega site:

“All-new 1v1 hotseat multiplayer campaign mode”

It’s really a shame that I have nobody in my house who will play this with me. And I suspect I’m not alone. Still, this is a sign that Creative Assembly thinks that the Total War campaigns can be done in MP. It can’t be that much of a conceptual leap from hotseat to IP connection. Fingers crossed for the future.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • GyRo567

    Unprecedented. Epic. I move that we ban these words from the gaming PR vocabulary. Still, 75 hours is helluva lot of time.

    You haven’t seen anything in BS marketing catch phrases until you’ve read the back of a recent Star Wars book. (yes, I actually read some of those… >_> I balance it out with frequent Philip K. Dick, Jonathan Lethem and H.G. Wells books, okay?)

  • Alan

    As far as press releases go, I’ve seen worse; imagine the same marketing-speak, but with even less informative underlying content. Usually it’s stuff like “Remember, our product website will be launching next month!” or “Our game sold lots and lots, so we’re issuing a press release to brag about it.”

  • Troy

    Oh yeah, many worse press releases out there. It’s just that “epic” is overdone and rarely accurate, whereas “unprecedented” is almost always a gross exaggeration – or at least impossible to measure.

    I mean “unprecedented amount of new content”? They must mean for this series. In which case Command and Conquer 3 also had an unprecedented amount of new content. As does the Doomsday expansion for Hearts of Iron II.

    Besides, if they take all the breathless prose, what will be left for the gaming press?

  • GyRo567

    Well you can always start a satirical review style… Oh wait.

    Now I want you to notice something. See how I inserted an acknowledgement of my own “clever wittiness” (apologies for spelling) and it took away from the sarcastic irony, or “humor” of the moment.

    Kudos to anyone who can remotely guess who I’m parodying. I’ll give you a hint: film industry.