OPINION: As a newcomer to the series, I was pretty sceptical that I would be able to enjoy and understand Total War: Warhammer 3, given its in-depth strategy and endless lore.
But after playing the game ahead of release, I am now happy to report that this is definitely a title that anyone could get into, even if you’ve never played an RTS (real-time strategy) game before.
Total War: Warhammer 3 is the next title in the long-running franchise, with the developers claiming this as the most noob-friendly entry yet, but we wanted to put that to the test.
To start off, Warhammer 3 comes with a prologue, which the developers recommend everyone plays, regardless of your experience with the franchise.
For me, the prologue was integral in introducing me to this new world and game mechanics. It spends a couple of minutes running through beautiful graphics that explain the overall story, even though it becomes quickly clear that you don’t really need to understand the lore to play the game.
Once you get onto the map, the prologue really takes its time in setting up how you play, giving you step-by-step instructions from the ground up; the first thing I learned was how to move my character forward.
While that may seem like a trivial task, I can say without shame that it took me a long time to understand how I could move around the map freely. But as the prologue explained to me, you have a stamina bar, and when it drops down you need to end your turn to move again.
Veterans of the franchise may find this aspect of the game condescending, but there is no harm in running back over how to play, and it really is the most accessible way to introduce new players.
After learning the ropes of selecting armour and understanding the turn mechanics, it was time to go into my first battle. The battle aspect of the games was the easiest part for me to pick up, but learning even more tactics and button shortcuts was incredibly helpful.
It ran through the types of battle units and how they can be used most effectively before letting me take the reigns, resulting in an impressive Heroic Victory, which means I won despite having fewer (or weaker) troops.
After I ran through the prologue, I settled on the Easy difficulty setting, as playing the prologue helped me recognise I wasn’t going to be able to hammer through the Hard campaign with ease. And if it did get to the stage where I was suddenly winning battles left and right, you’re able to change the difficulty settings mid-game, so you’re not trapped on a path you don’t like.
What makes the prologue so perfect to me is that it’s also optional; if you know these games inside and out you are more than welcome to dive straight into the campaign, but if you want a quick refresher you have the option to learn what you need to do, instead of being left in the lurch.
So while this game did not make me an RTS expert, I can safely say that the prologue will guide even the most clueless gamers through the perils of the Choas Realms. And if you’ve ever been too nervous to dip your toe into the Warhammer franchise, there really is nothing stopping you now.
Total War: Warhammer 3 launches on 17 February 2022, and will be available to play on PC Game Pass from day one of release.