As the third part of the Total War Saga series, Troy takes us into the world of ancient mythology. Paris, son of the Trojan ruler Priam, seduces the beautiful Helena, wife of the Spartan ruler Menelaus. What would be used as material for a soap opera nowadays ensures a ten-year war between the Greeks and Trojans in this story.

The legend of the Trojan horse, with which the Greeks finally penetrated through the impregnable walls of Troy, is well known to most people, the exact contents of Homer's Greek mythical "Iliad" are less known. But it is precisely on this narrative that Total War Saga: Troy builds its foundation. So almost every hero we meet has sprung from the Iliad and cannot die in battle, only gets wounded. The campaigns are also based on Greek legends. Every hero has a fate that has to be fulfilled in the course of a scenario if one wants to achieve Homeric victory.

There are a total of eight starting heroes and campaigns with which you can start the game and which are divided into the Danaer (Greeks) and Trojans factions. If you choose the Danaer, who are mostly called Archaeans in the game, the ultimate goal of the game is to destroy the Trojans and thus get revenge on Paris. On the other hand, one must put an end to the threat from the West in the Trojan campaigns. Of course, every single hero has his own goals that need to be fulfilled apart from the great war, his own opponents who dispute his country and very personal character mechanics that are only available to him.







The beautiful Helena leaves her Spartan husband Menelaus for Paris, the son of the Trojan king, and thus triggers the Trojan War that was to last ten years.



The beautiful Helena leaves her Spartan husband Menelaus for Paris, the son of the Trojan king, and thus triggers the Trojan War that was to last ten years.

Source:, PC Games




While Paris fights with his brother Hector for his father's favor, which can ultimately bring him rule over all of Troy, Aeneas is able to communicate with the dead in order to receive large bonuses. Sarpedon wins the Homeric victory over Handel, whereas Achilles has to defeat his rivals in order to be able to rise again to the living legend. Fiction and reality are clearly blurred here, which is actually atypical for the otherwise so true-to-history Total War franchise. While in Three Kingdoms you could choose between a historical and a semi-historical setting, Creative Assembly decided against a division at Troy. Generals are always superhumanly strong, but beings from Greek mythology such as centaurs, minotaurs or gorgons exist only by name. They are simple, human armed forces equipped with costumes and special skills.

In order to recruit them, the favor of the gods must be earned, which is very reminiscent of fantasy for total war standards. The extensive religious system is ubiquitous and a multitude of missions require us to make the gods positive, which comes with some very big bonuses. So we can build temples, make offerings, or send simple prayers to Olympus to accomplish this. If we build a temple, we unlock the priestess. With the spy and the envoy, it represents the three types of agents who, as in other Total War titles, can take on various tasks independently or within the army.






Without the favor of the gods, you won't get very far in Troy. In their honor we offer food, gold and everything else we can do without.



Without the favor of the gods, you won't get very far in Troy. In their honor we offer food, gold and everything else we can do without.

Source: PC Games










If you look forward to centaurs, minotaurs and such legendary creatures, you will be disappointed. Troy tries to depict the truth behind the myth and relies on special, but still human units.



If you look forward to centaurs, minotaurs and such legendary creatures, you will be disappointed. Troy tries to depict the truth behind the myth and relies on special, but still human units.

Source: PC Games




Of course, not only the tasks of the starting heroes differ from each other, but also the troops available. The game already takes us by the hand in the selection screen and tells us which troops and how to play each character. While the archaic Agamemnon has a very balanced armed forces, Odysseus mainly leads fast troops with which one has to act carefully and very tactically. Most heroes do not have a cavalry per se either, since the horses were mainly used to pull chariots during the Bronze Age, which for most heroes can only be unlocked quite late in the game.

Especially in difficult scenarios and battles, we have to plan tactically well and repeat battles from time to time: The intelligent AI always tries to encircle us and tear our troops apart. The result is very chaotic looking battlefields, with widely spread out troops. The classic rock-paper-scissors principle still works, of course, even if it is weakened. The cavalry, which is missing over long distances and in many campaigns, is replaced by a large variety of infantry, which needs to be steered with more skill than horsemen who charge their opponents from behind.

If an army of a maximum of 20 units is no longer sufficient or if we fight on several fronts at the same time, a new army must of course be found. When recruiting a new hero, who as a general has to lead each combat group, we choose between archer, defender, army and fighter. In addition, the heroes each have a personality that determines how their motivation increases or decreases. The moral bonuses and punishments of the escort army as well as the reliability and loyalty of the general are dependent on this.







If the playable heroes fall in combat, they are only wounded and recover after a while. On the battlefield, they can keep hordes of armed forces in check and bring the decisive advantage.



If the playable heroes fall in combat, they are only wounded and recover after a while. On the battlefield, they can keep hordes of armed forces in check and bring the decisive advantage.

Source: PC Games




In addition, the personality of a hero determines in which direction he specializes. So he can either strengthen himself or the surrounding units. The extremely powerful men can defeat masses of armed forces and appear extra large on the battlefield. However, there are no duels with opposing heroes with special staging. If heroes meet in battle, you can of course watch their animations just like those of the other units, but that's hardly worth mentioning.

Successful battles and sieges bring bonus effects to the participating heroes. Sometimes we are rewarded for missions with equipment that we can distribute among our generals. Theoretically, a hero can be stationed permanently in a garrison and ensure lasting positive effects within a province, but the hero's maintenance costs are not entirely insignificant.







To get ahead of our adversaries, we must position ourselves intelligently in battles. High rocks, muddy floors and dense forests give us the chance to gain an advantage.



To get ahead of our adversaries, we must position ourselves intelligently in battles. High rocks, muddy floors and dense forests give us the chance to gain an advantage.

Source: PC Games




In principle, each individual unit is affordable, but if you want to wage war appropriately in Troy, you should ensure there are enough sources of food as a precautionary measure. With this, all troops and heroes are constantly supplied. Other game resources include wood, stone, bronze and gold. Each of these goods can be obtained through royal decrees or be mined in appropriate settlements. Stone and wood are primarily intended for urban development, bronze for heavier troops and gold for elite fighters. The rituals to the gods also consume resources and so you have to manage your budget intelligently. Anyone who wants to expand their influence and recruits for it should take care to take up positions in which food can be grown before their armies go hungry. Alternatively, of course, you can also plunder or trade in hostile areas.

The trading system is connected to the diplomacy system in the usual Total War manner and functions either as a one-off exchange or an exchange agreement that lasts over several rounds. As a rule, the goods used cannot be traded one-to-one; gold, for example, is worth much more than food. Those who manage to amass gold can, even in the beginning, when the resource has no use yet, make great profits by trading it for large amounts of alternative goods. The respective exchange rate also depends on whether a fraction lacks the goods or has them in abundance.







All trade is done through the diplomacy system. We can also exchange goods to meet certain demands.



All trade is done through the diplomacy system. We can also exchange goods to meet certain demands.

Source: PC Games




Of course, the diplomacy system goes beyond trade and, in addition to various agreements, also includes the possibility of making demands. Non-aggression pacts and military alliances are just as much a part of the negotiating table as the demand for the dissolution of a pact with a foreign faction. Anyone who wants to assert such claims should not only be in a good position with their interlocutor and have a lot of resources in their pockets, but also bring considerable power with them – an always strong means of argument. After all, there are also demands that can only be enforced with power and strength. Anyone who wants to make another faction a vassal or incorporate it into their confederation can either issue an ultimatum, which in most cases will probably lead to war, or declare war directly.

If you are not playing Agamemnon, you should completely forego the option of making other races vassals. Because it is a game mechanic that is exclusive to him to charge fees and to benefit from subordinate factions. With this mechanic, other campaign heroes would only lose the opportunity to take the region in question without losing trust and receive nothing but thanks. Creative Assembly has limited mechanics here that were common in Three Kingdoms, for example.

A general step backwards is Total War Saga: Troy but not. The different mechanics that you learn and Homeric victories that have to be achieved invite you to play for hours. The animations and the atmosphere of the game are also good and the story behind the Trojan War is exciting. If you haven't got the game for free in the first 24 hours after its release, fans of Greek mythology or real-time strategy will be well entertained for the full price. A multiplayer mode is also to be added by the end of the year. A good and important step, because the competitive battles are one of the more popular features of the Total War series.






Depending on where you are in the world, the landscapes are very different from each other, which adds to both the atmosphere and new tactical possibilities.



Depending on where you are in the world, the landscapes are very different from each other, which adds to both the atmosphere and new tactical possibilities.

Source: PC Games




My opinion

FromAntonia Dreßler
Author

Very successful RTS, including a detour into Greek mythology

Although Total War stands for historically precise settings, Troy has nevertheless dared to be a mythical experiment. While you could choose between fantasy and realism with Three Kingdoms and Warhammer relied entirely on a fantasy setting, the latest part of the series tries to achieve a balancing act. Between mythical creatures, which are mythical creatures only by name and appear as normal units in the game, and gods who have a real influence, both fantasy fans and history geeks fall by the wayside. The mixed feelings meet some backward-looking steps in terms of game mechanics, but the convincing campaigns significantly upgrade the game. For lovers of Greek mythology, Troy is definitely a must and the title is also suitable for beginners thanks to well-implemented tutorials.

A Total War Saga: Troy (PC)

Lots of different campaigns
Interesting setting
Complex hero system
Resource management works well
Strategically challenging real-time battles
Vassal system limited to one character
Setbacks in game mechanics
(Still) missing multiplayer

Anyone interested in Greek mythology will definitely not be disappointed here. Troy takes an interesting look at the truth behind the fiction and creates an exciting setting that knows how to entertain many hours of play.

The beautiful Helena leaves her Spartan husband Menelaus for Paris, the son of the Trojan king, and thus triggers the Trojan War that was to last ten years. (Source:, PC Games)

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