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What’s Gus Playing? Episode 4

Our wee warmonger wages (total) war ~

Lloyd Sabin, 23 October 2017

Total War
Yes, Total War. Deal with it!

Some games just capture our imagination and never let go. For me, games like the Thief series, The Witcher series, the Age of Wonders series and Skyrim are all permanently installed on my hard drive. And then there are the games with extra special mojo that I hope to play until my dying day…like the Total War series.

I know, I know…the AI sucks! It presents no challenge after 20 turns!! Total War punched my grandma!!! You know what? I don’t care. It has always been my go-to series of games and I have loved every single one of them since the release of the original Shogun…well, with the exception of the Warhammer: Total War games. I own the first one and still have not started a campaign. I will be playing very soon but I think my delay with Warhammer: Total War is my lack of knowledge about the Warhammer universe. But that’s a tale for another What’s Gus Playing.

So yes, I have my favorite PC games, and within that hollowed category, a smaller, extra-elite category of titles that will be part of me forever. I love Total War games, and within the Total War line I have been, and always will be, infatuated with Medieval 2: Total War. The Grand Campaign, gussied up (pun intended) with the Stainless Steel mod (v6.4) is quite choice. But you know what? The smaller mini-campaigns are also excellent. The Britannia campaign, the Teutonic Campaign, the New World campaign, and of course, the Crusades campaign.

I recently went through a bout of Crusading reading and was looking for a PC game to go along with my reading theme. There are a few games out there I tried before going back to the 10 year old (!!!) Medieval 2: Total War Crusades Campaign. Yes, the AI was a bit dopey and the graphics a little dated, but I had a blast. I did manage to capture some solid screenshots too…for a 10+ year old graphics engine, it is still capable of creating some great atmosphere and memorable gaming moments. How many games even allude to the Mamluks? Or the city of Zara? Or Krak de Chevaliers? Not many. So beyond the Crusades campaign’s longevity, there is also it’s novelty. There’s just not too much competition for it. Let’s hope that changes at some point. In the meantime, enjoy some of my screenies below showing a bit of my Kingdom of Jerusalem campaign.

 

Sure, you could try to find another game that includes events like the sacking of Zara, but I don’t think you’ll be successful.

 

Well I couldn’t help myself and looted Cairo for all that she was worth. I suppose this is my comeuppance.

 

What luck! Smashed Saladin’s head against Jerusalem’s walls! Repeatedly.

 

Once I successfully withstood the Egyptian counterattack, it was time to counter-counterattack. And by grabbing some territory I was soon on top.

 

Yes this graphics engine is now 10+ years old. Not too shabby in its portrayal of Egypt exhausting itself against my huge stone walls.

 

Things go from bad to worse for the Egyptians…

 

…and that’s a wrap for the Fatimids. I almost feel bad.

 

Then I am brought back to reality with the new ‘threat from the east.’ Oh dear. Time to wrap this one up before that threat gets too serious.

 

Did it! Fun campaign…unless you were the Fatimids. Not so fun for them.

 


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