With four factions and four main campaigns, there isn’t a huge amount of story content but a lot of meat in the single player. Choosing a Lord to lead your faction and then slowly taking over the battlefield is the majority of the story content, as you are immediately thrown into a war torn country and tasked with conquering or uniting factions together. As each faction is so uniquely different, each campaign is different in terms of how they play out. While the general goals remain the same, territories, enemies and allies will be drastically different.The plot isn’t anything special, but the backdrop of the Warhammer universe really helps the game become alive. This is possibly the most unique and bombastic Total War game yet, and it really helps that the fantasy nature of Warhammer allows Creative Assembly to branch away from historical battles and get really crazy with the presentation of the story.Like all Total War games, the pure scope and breadth of watching huge armies battling in real time combat is absolutely breathtaking. The huge variety of units really stands out, as the push away from historical context allows Creative Assembly to really push the imaginative and fictitious playgrounds made famous by Games Workshop.
On a purely technical scale it’s impressive, watching thousands of units battle it out in what are mostly gorgeous backdrops. It’s something the Total War series always excelled in, and it’s especially fun to watch in the fantasy nature of Warhammer. In terms of pure graphical fidelity, it’s less impressive. While there have been an array of improvements in terms of environments and animations, it’s still quite repetitive in terms of assets used.
In a performance front, it’s very difficult to critique this part. As I had access to a pre-release copy, there are officially no drivers for nVidia GPU’s as of this review, and performance was pretty atrocious. As AMD has announced a partnership with Creative Assembly, drivers have already released for AMD users, and reports of decent performances in mid-tier cards have surfaced. Unfortunately, the true performance boost lies in the DirectX 12 upgrade, which is infuriatingly locked behind Windows 10 exclusively. If you’re a W10 user, feel free to download the DX12 update come June, which reportedly boosts performance and framerates quite significantly, but those who do not upgrade or choose not to are stuck with the less impressive DX11 performance, which suffers from poorer performance and lacks any benchmarks.With a mid-tier rig (i5-3570K at 3.4GHZ, 16GB RAM, GTX Geforce 970) I managed to squeeze a decent 30-40FPS during intense battle scenes on the medium settings. V-Sync would oddly lock the framerate to 30FPS instead of 60, with no choice to switch between the two, and with that lock the game would run at a very smooth 30. Even on minimum settings the V-Sync refused to lock to 60, so I have to assume this will be fixed in a patch or a driver instalment.