Viking: Battle for Asgard

One of the miniature quests involves Skarin’s attempt to shut down an enemy barracks. There appears to be a multitude of ways to do this - stealth being the most obvious. Instead of walking in sword drawn and taking on all comers, reconnaissance reveals a partially ruined wall that could be scaled. Once inside, we scuttle from cover to cover, eliminating the odd guard who, if alerted, might raise the alarm. Cunningly, stealth kills are inordinately powerful, giving Skarin an incentive to keep his head down whenever possible. Once a certain amount of assault criteria have been fulfilled, it’s time to enter what Tom Clancy deems the “Endwar” stage.

As Skarin’s forces plough their way through legions of undead grunts - with up to 1000 fighters on-screen - the sheer visceral abandon becomes apparent. Limbs are lopped off, bodies hewn in two, heads sail from shoulders… red ruin fills the screen as far as the eye can see. Intense one-on-one battles between soldiers flare all about as we survey the carnage from atop a hillock - each skirmish as real and desperate as the ones Skarin has fought himself. It’s like finally being in the midst of one of Total War’s battles, and it’s breathtaking.