Total War sallies forth

This latest bundle of screenshots of the real-time strategy juggernaut Medieval II: Total War offers further proof, if it were ever needed, that this is a visually stunning game. In terms of the recreation of epic battles, developer Creative Assembly really is second to none.

The dynamic strategy game is set in the years between 1080 and 1503 - one of the most turbulent times in history in terms of conflict, just beyond the Dark Ages. This allows Medieval II to include battles from Europe, the Middle East and even the New World.

It's in the New World that religion will play a huge part in establishing the stability of the newly conquered lands during the game. Historically, when Christian countries defeated the Aztecs and started to colonize them, one of their first objectives was to turn the 'savages' to Christianity, and this is reflected in Total War.

In Medieval II, strong priests are needed to combat heretics who cause unrest, and - with experience -priests can then grow in power and eventually be elected Pope. It's this type of strategy that's needed once the epic real-time battles on the luscious looking world maps are over.

Another important factor to consider outside the battles is economic stability and for that you'll need to position merchants at strategic points to harvest the wealth from the land. Again, just like the priests, merchants can gain experience during the game, which will help them to see off competition from rivals or move into new areas.

To see the new screens in all their armored glory, click the Images tab above.

July 18, 2006