The latest shots of the visually stunning real-time strategy Medieval II: Total War give us a glimpse at the turn-based campaign of the game, which is just as important to the game as the epic, real-time battle scenes.
The turn-based portion of Medieval II is where you can develop your civilization and make it stronger, creating a firmer base from which to launch offensives. For instance, it's here that you're given the option to turn fortresses into cities. This completely changes how that settlement works as it will then be able to produce sprawling markets, which can help the economy.
Once a city is established it can be upgraded, but only by increasing the population. Only then it will be more vulnerable to attack than a fortress, due to the more exposed buildings. So, in order to develop a successful civilization you must be certain that your borders are safe.
The game is shaping up well for its November 24, 2006 release - expect more on this one very soon.
August 4, 2006