Developed by Creative Assembly and published by Wargaming and Sega, Total War: Arena is a free-to-play game, a first for this stalwart of the strategy genre, and will focus on online multiplayer with a specific emphasis on battle arena-style gameplay elements. Released in February 2018, the game has massive 10-player-versus-10-player battles and each commander is given command of three units that max out at 100 soldiers in sum.
Download Total War: Arena
The game client can be download either from Steam or directly from Creative Assembly Total War: Arena website. To begin, click on the Download button at the end of this review.
Total War: Arena puts players in the shoes of a great warlord from history – such as Julius Caesar of Rome, Leonidas of Sparta, or Arminius of Germania – with 13 commanders spread across 3 different in-game factions, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Barbarians.
These commanders can be enhanced and have abilities unlocked as the player progresses in the game with each commander having three unique abilities to unlock. Three of the commanders are free with the game but the remainder needs to be unlocked using the in-game currency. The game goes out of its way to make itself accessible solely through the in-game currency, so gamers should not have anything to complain about if they want a completely free experience in this app.
Players start with a basic tier of units but can upgrade their army over time through a tech tree. This is similar to other games in this genre such as Command and Conquer or the much more slowly paced Civilization series.
A Multiplayer Real-Time Strategy Game
Total War: Arena combines elements of both a real-time strategy game and a multiplayer online game in its setup. While players can play solo against bots, a lot of the emphasis is on multiplayer arena battles.
Interestingly, this MOBA/RTS is packed with historical references and explanations about the exploits of the great commanders featured in the game. This adherence to historic precedent is unique in a genre that is otherwise heavily influenced by fantasy and science fiction.
Towards this end, the game takes place on historical battlefields. Ripped straight from the pages of epic history, these locations in and around the Mediterranean further underscore Total War: Arena’s adherence to history and authenticity. Many of the units and technologies described in this game are sourced from real events and the strategies commanders use are taken straight from actual accounts from contemporaries that lived during the commander’s era.
Total War: Arena In-Game Purchases
Though the game is free to play, there are in-game purchases that players can make. These include everything from upgraded units to speeding up the in-game time it takes to accomplish something.
The upside to this is that the developers at Creative Assembly are constantly at work updating and streamlining their game. Total War: Arena will probably not only change in the future but will likely add more historical content and factions as time progresses.
With a robust and growing community and promised upgrades on into the future, the game promises to become a mainstay of strategy games with its mixture of a free–to–play business model and classic gameplay.