Once Warhammer’s done, what other non-historical backdrop would suit the series?
The next Total War game is set in China and inspired by The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and after that we’re expecting one final Total War: Warhammer game. Obviously there’s plenty of history left for the series to explore, but given how well the Warhammer World worked it would be fun to see other fictional settings have a chance to be adapted to the Total War format as well.
Settings like Middle-Earth, Star Wars, and Westeros always prove popular with modders, and we’ve got some suggestions of our own. What do you think? What fictional setting should Total War do next?
Wesley Fenlon: Barsoom
The Warhammer Total War games really show that Creative Assembly can do great things when cut loose from the rigors of history. With that in mind, I tried to think of a fictional setting that would really let them go wild, still fits the requirements of political/strategic management and large-scale battles, and hasn’t been overdone in games before. For sci-fi, I think Barsoom would be a great fit. You know the setting if you saw Disney’s big budget flop John Carter back in 2012 (not a great movie, but not as bad as its reputation!): a fantastical version of Mars, complete with warring tribes and Martian species, basically sword-and-sorcery with some sci-fi flavor.
The Martians war over scant resources, perfect for a Total War game, and because they’ve mostly just been depicted in classical fantasy art, Creative Assembly would have tons of room to put its own spin on these creature designs and factions. Honestly, this game would probably bomb even harder than Disney’s movie, but it would make for a great fantasy-sci-fi game world, dammit.
Samuel Roberts: Warhammer 40,000
Dawn of War seems to be dead. So how about another Sega studio takes on the 40K universe in a strategy game? Someone needs to make a big budget 40K game that encompasses all of those factions—right now it’s fractured into a million different licensed games. The Total Warhammer games show the potential of bringing that much Games Workshop iconography to life.
James Davenport: Urth, from Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun
I’m only halfway through what might be my favorite sci-fi novel ever, and I’ve yet to see what a large militaristic force looks like in Wolfe’s interpretation of the distant future, but a sideways glance is enough to get me excited at the potential. It’s a dense read and I’m still piecing together the cultural and governing bodies at play, so please excuse me if I botch the subject material, but get this: massive animated marble statue sentries, swords with a line of liquid mercury running through the blade to increase the momentum of a casual swing, fire-obsessed cultists, grand palaces hidden beneath grassy hummocks, everyone wearing spooky masks—the future is wacky, is what I’m saying.
But how would it work as a Total War game? I don’t quite know. My hope is that Wolfe’s intricate imagining of a distant future would be a robust enough sociopolitical snapshot to wrap Total War’s systems around, much in the same way Creative Assembly does with every new era or fiction it explores.
That, or a Total War in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
Jody Macgregor: The Inferno
Back in the 1990s I was hooked on a strategy game called Warlords 2 which, in its deluxe edition, came with a bunch of oddball maps in variant settings. One of them was an interpretation of Hell—specifically the version described by medieval poet Dante Alighieri—and it set up armies of Demons and Traitors and Virtuous Pagans to battle across locations like the River Styx and the city of Dis. Give me a Total War version of that and I’ll be stoked.