Reviews for Medieval II: Total War

100

Everyone is the architect of his own fortune

ZioAgrippa | April 7, 2014 | See all ZioAgrippa's reviews »

The best total war game, and one of the best strategic-management title.

It combines theory with practice in a sublime way, that leaves no room to fate, but only to the personal skill. The map is very simple and accurate but the battles are the real strength of this title that can compete even with Rome 2.

One of my favourite! 100/100

81

top 3 in my list of best total war games

Oktarnash | April 5, 2014 | See all Oktarnash's reviews »

Great total war game, the setting is great, and you get a good feel of isolation from the kind of dark atmosphere of the map, there are tons of mods for this map including a lord of the rings mod. one of the issues with this game would be the cavalry tending to be a tad bit overpowered, which gets fixed with mods and isn't something you truly notice unless you cary around 10 cavalry units in one army and overpowered the enemy units one by one, although other units are underpowered such as the italian crossbowmen with mail armour, since they tend to work as both infantry and crossbowmen.

90

Strategic Masterpiece

ccmm7 | Feb. 17, 2014 | See all ccmm7's reviews »

If you don't already own Medieval 2: Total War, you haven't experienced strategy gaming at its finest. While Medieval 2 was released in 2004, it doesn't show it at all. In terms of graphics, mechanics, and gameplay it is of the highest quality.

For a somewhat old game, the graphics are surprisingly good, especially considering the number of graphics mods and re-skins that are readily available from the community.

If you have played Rome: Total War, the previous instalment in the Total War series, you will find that the mechanics are quite similar. With the exception of an increased importance of religion and vastly superior siege battles, Medieval 2 makes no massive mechanic overhauls from the predecessor, one of the few downsides to this game.

Finally, the gameplay itself is outstanding. The variety of factions with different units, cultures, and religions will have you conquering the Medieval world over and over again without getting boring. The vast selection of mods also adds to replay value. There are literally hundreds of different mods from Lord of the Rings to historical setpieces such as the Hundred Years War or the turmoil in the Middle East that will keep you coming back for more.

I give this game a 90/100, but if you are willing to play around with mods, the game could easily be a 100/100. Truly the crown jewel of the Total War series.

92

Great game

jmods5710 | Feb. 8, 2014 | See all jmods5710's reviews »

This game came out in 2004, yet is still seen as a masterpiece in RTS games. I agree very much with this, as it is one of the most addicting and fun games I have played. Graphics may not be the greatest when seen now, but that doesn't matter when you try the game for yourself. You command huge armies in battle and there are many factions to choose from. The campaign is decent but that isn't the important part. If you're looking for a great RTS game, this is one that is a must buy.

88

Perhaps the best Total War to date

LSD | Feb. 5, 2014 | See all LSD's reviews »

This is probably the closest The Creative Assembly have come to a perfect Total War game. The variety is tremendous. Different cultures have different buildings and castle types, all of which you can see in the flesh on the battle map (which recent TW games have stopped providing us with). There's also a great RPG-like system for generals, with them gaining traints, followers and moral allegiance throughout a campaign. There's so much to do in Medieval, that other TW games pale in comparison. So why only a score of 88? Because the pathfinding is very buggy in siege battles, and because some of the features don't feel properly fleshed out -- princesses, for example, don't feel as well thought out as other features of the game. It's still an absolutely fantastic game, though.

100

The best Total War game

spauny | Nov. 26, 2013 | See all spauny's reviews »

You hardly see a game that was released 7,8 years ago, that is still being played and modded. The community is outstanding and still active. In my opinion this is one of few games that deserves a 100 out of 100. This doesn't mean the game is flawless. It means when I start a new crusader campaign, I still get goosebumps, and I have played it for 7 years. I still play it; I mean Kingdoms + Broken Crescent mod it's a wonderful combination. You have diplomatics, economy, city management, family tree, great immersion. You will end up very attached to a particular city or general... But of course, most of all, you have great total war battles. Also, with patch 1.5 you can play hotseat campaign. There are a lot of multiplayer hotseat tournaments on the total war forums. Go for it, buy this game and you'll have a lot of fun, even after all these years!

92

A Game to Surpass Time

xiluxpain | Nov. 20, 2013 | See all xiluxpain's reviews »

When it comes to the Total War series, or strategy games in general, one game that will always entice my return is Medieval II.

Medieval II is a defining title to the series of Total War; one that provides a vast variation of units, unique methods of victory, and up to 17 unlock-able factions upon wiping them out. Each individual faction has their own unique victory requirements, easily providing between 6-12 hours minimal replay value per faction.

As a veteran player of the series, Medieval II does not disappoint in providing entertainment even after nearly a decade into existence. Whether you start a game with the sole purpose of destroying the influential Papal States, invading forces of the Mongols and Timurids, or conquering the new world of the Aztecs, you will find yourself spending hundreds of hours and still may not have accomplished total victory.

Will you aim for a religious victory? Perhaps a short game of eliminating your sworn enemies in a short, few hour play... Feeling ambitious? Plot using all you know... religion, alliances, betrayals, control key settlements, manipulate factions with money, conduct diplomacy, and eventually... take the world. Do you have what it takes?

86

A Wonderful Strategy Game

Wiesler | Nov. 15, 2013 | See all Wiesler's reviews »

The Total War series offers players another dose of Medieval action in Medieval II: Total War. Outside of battles you will find yourself managing your various lands: taxing, building armies, declaring war, signing treaties, and so on. These things have an impact on how your battles go. Assassinating your enemy's general could cause them to lose their next battle against you.

In battle, the game shifts to an RTS perspective. Battles can be tons of fun, and will require some attention. Units have different stances or abilities that they can use, and it will be up to you to manage them. It is really cool watching your glorious knights riding around through waves enemies, or seeing your archers destroy charging armies. The units have some variety to them depending on the faction, and individual units can also have some slight differences between them.

The game can be played with varying conditions and difficulties. However, the invisible hand of the game can sometimes feel unfair or obtrusive. For instance, at a certain point in the game certain factions will hate you. You could have been allies with each other for the whole game with marriages and trade routs between you, but at some point they might just turn on you for no reason. What's worse is that sometimes your allies will do this after they have already set up large armies near your bases. On top of this, the pope might ask you to not hurt certain factions that are planning on attacking you, or hurting certain allies that you don't want to attack. Depending on the difficulty, the enemy can also sprout units and resources out of nowhere.

Playing the game unlocks more factions, and they all feel great, but some feel underdeveloped compared to others (especially the none western factions). The strategy is complex, but can be simplified if you want to focus on the battles. This is simply a great strategy game.

90

One of my favourite TW games

Jonot86 | Oct. 17, 2013 | See all Jonot86's reviews »

I love the medieval age and this almost is a perfect overall representation of the time. While having the same basic outline on most of the TW series, but with added events.

The battles are huge and the amount of destruction is intense with siege equipment. The game is fun but it definitely takes a lot of time out of your social life!

88

Very good battles

rjb789 | Sept. 30, 2013 | See all rjb789's reviews »

This game is easily one of the best games I have played of all time. I cant imagine the hours I have put into this game doing the lengthy campaign and starting again on the harder difficulties and repeating. It really is a very compelling and extremely rewarding experience. The campaign, as mentioned above, is a stunning representation of the vast battles that took place in medieval times and it really makes you feel as if you are the one commanding the troops. This is helped by the fantastic graphics, sound design and general polish that the games in the series are renown for, added to this is a great control scheme. This makes this game a must buy for Total War fans!

88

One of the better Total War games

BronYrAurStomp | Aug. 24, 2013 | See all BronYrAurStomp's reviews »

As a huge fan of the Total War series I was pleased with the way this game played. Rather than a direct sequel to Medieval Total War, it is better to see this game as a development of Rome Total War.

Battles are extremely fun in this game, particularly siege battles which have been improved significantly from Rome. The nature of the games setting allows for a vast array of troop types from various regions and battles are satisfyingly brutal, appropriate to its historical framework.

Importantly this Total War game does not suffer from an end game sequence which is present in Total War: Shogun 2. You can use diplomacy and even bribe the Pope to prevent factions from ganging up on you during your conquests, avoiding a You vs the World situation.

City management is fun yet rather simple and not its strongest feature.

This game had a difficult task to follow Rome Total War yet it does this well.

97

Best Total War

darkyhbk | Aug. 18, 2013 | See all darkyhbk's reviews »

Medieval II is, in my humble opinion, the best and most polished Total War game to date, despite its release in 2006. Graphically, it was a huge improvement over Rome, both the strategic map and the actual battlefields looking gorgeous. The soldier cap has been further increased, leading to some truly epic battles. The sound goes hand in hand here, with noises made by each unit individually - the march of heavy infantry is both awesome and intimidating, for instance. Gameplaywise, you have a lot of improvements. Building upgrades are much smarter and heavily depend on both the size and type if settlements- castles offer more protection, but less income per turn than settlements. There are more types of agents and they work more smoothly, while diplomacy is also much more natural. While the core gameplay is the same, there's also the relationship with the Pope to consider if you're a Catholic state, as well as the burden of balancing religion- a much harder task than in Rome. All in all, this is the most complex and polished piece of art that Creative Assembly have done, and one you should not miss, under any circumstances.

89

Gives me hope for the next Rome: Total War

fredward93 | Aug. 13, 2013 | See all fredward93's reviews »

This is by far my favorite of the whole series. This game is incredibly advanced and you can sink dozens of hours in the management system alone. The castle and civilization management is extremely fun and it is, to me, one of the better parts of the game. Battles are very interesting especially when it comes to the strategies, such as flanking and baiting.

I think one of the greatest strengths to this game is the fact that you really do not need to play any of the others in the series in order to get the hang of it. The unlock system and many civilizations to play give it huge replay value. Much of the fun was playing each of the starting civilizations in order to see who fit my style the best. Each nation has different strengths, weaknesses, strategies and overall identity compared to the others.

Certain game features can be a bit annoying at times, such as only a few soldiers of each battalion will engage at a certain time, but they really do not hinder the game all that much. Battles can be massive but even with the huge amounts of units on the screen, it is my experience that it can run on even low end computers, which is not always the case with Total War games.

Modding is also fairly easy and the mod list is pretty fantastic.

I have played all of the Total War games but seem to keep coming back to this one. It remains one of my favorite all time strategy games!

80

Focused on battles but campaigns are also very good

mahon | July 29, 2013 | See all mahon's reviews »

I am a huge fan of Rome Total War, but there was one thing that was missing in the ancient period, especially if you play Romans: heavy cavalry charges. Even if you assembled some armies with heavy cavalry, their charges didn't feel like the heavy hammer of a knightly charge from the medieval period.

You get lots of these in Medieval II: Total War. The game is a huge change from the first version of Medieval TW, especially as far as visuals go. Now you can see really numerous troops marching across battlefields and clashing in massed combat. And cavalry has been tweeked so now it takes some skill to be used properly, but if you can pull it off - it can turn the tide of the battle!

Then there is everything that you have already known from the previous Total War games - realtime battles with active pause, interesting campaign to bind the battles together, custom battles and historical scenarios. If you're more interested in medieval battles than grand campaigns like the ones you know from Crusader Kings, the game is perfect for you.

84

Great Game

Sinjin | July 27, 2013 | See all Sinjin's reviews »

This game is one of the greatest Total War games I've played. It is still a lively game for all gamers familiar to the total war series. There is no better feeling to command an army and a civilization of your medieval era troops into the heart of battle against the smart campaign ai or another player. Lots of archers, cavalry rushes and awesome sieges is something you cant turn down.

85

Great game, but not better than Rome

domenthechief | July 2, 2013 | See all domenthechief's reviews »

Medieval II: Total War is a RTS game set in the Middle Ages. It offers quality gameplay where players may choose to build on economy or military. While the game is superior to Medieval: Total War, it is no doubt worse than Rome:TW, which is probably the best game of the franchise.

But don't worry, the game is still very good and would probably make it to the top 50 strategy games of all time. If is a must have for any historical maniacs, who love strategy (RTS) games!

Three words: Buy. It. Now.

85

One of the most polished Total War games

ExpiredJordan | May 27, 2013 | See all ExpiredJordan's reviews »

When I first got this game, I got it with Rome so it was completely overshadowed by the conquest of ancient times. Months later I finished up Rome and I started to play this game. I realized my mistake of playing Rome first, because this game just completely destroyed it.

The gameplay of this game is pretty much the same as Rome Total War, a few small changes like merchants and princesses, but for the most part it should be easy to pick up if you played Rome.

The graphics and the sound of this game are amazing, they can still hold their own against many new games today. This is because everything was future proofed by the developers and it shows.

Because of the high level of polish and detail to an already great formula, and the great time zone to play in, I am giving this game a 85 out of 100.

84

Solid Graphics/Gameplay/Sound - Even Now

ElitistCuisine | May 19, 2013 | See all ElitistCuisine's reviews »

As stated, this Total War is an excellent starter point to the Total War series.

Gameplay: It has an incredibly detailed Campaign play. Often times, you will find yourself just wanting to take a step back from the chaos of battle, and management. However, this is only half the fun. Said battles are, still, a treat to watch and listen to. Nowaday machines can easily render/process up to 10k+ units per battle. So, lucky us, it is a joy to control these armies.

Graphics: It is unfair to truly stack these against modern-day graphics, but even then, they still hold strong against todays contenders. While you won't be wowed by Crysis-level graphics, the absolute scale and art of everything will easily draw you in.

Sound: Zoom in, and you have a panoply of sound coming your way. Be it the screams of a Scottish Highlander, or just the clinking of a sword, you will easily become immersed into the environment.

My major gripe: Often times in melee combat, you will have a platoon (legion, force, however you call it) of soldiers charge into battle, and just stop short of the main force. So, often times this platoon will have only 5 men fighting the horde at a time. The same goes for the AI, but this is a nasty issue that can make battles drag on.

Overall: I highly recommend this game, especially if you are into mods, or you have never played a Total War game. Altogether, I believe you will thoroughly enjoy every aspect.

85

Great game with solid gameplay

Damhuis | May 13, 2013 | See all Damhuis's reviews »

Lets face it we don't play these kind of games for the story, so these kind of games are even more judged by their gameplay.

And I can tell you that the gampeplay in this game is excellent. When we look at the difficulty it really speeds up with the same speed as you do. You never feel very under or overpowered, The battles are beautiful (for it's time even more so) and i often just zoom into an battle and enjoy the carnage.

As for diplomacy, this has been taken to a whole new level and really gives you the feeling as if you were in the high council.

This game is a must buy and you will enjoy playing it for many hours to come

73

Great Game, Better Mod

cheesyfishface | May 13, 2013 | See all cheesyfishface's reviews »

The fourth installment of the Total War games sees the mechanics improved upon but not much else but brilliant if you love the time period!! The best thing about this game is the Third Age Mod which transports you into Middle-Earth to fight in the closest thing to Lord of the Rings Total War we are likely to see.

Play as any of the well known factions and get Hero units to fight and take over the land!!!

My biggest issue is late into the campaign you can get cannons. :(

91

A great game, but make sure to pick up the expansion pack, too.

DaiMonPaul | May 13, 2013 | See all DaiMonPaul's reviews »

Medieval 2: Total War is a very good entry into the Total War series. The real-time battles offer a huge variety of maps (some generic, some based on historical battles) that are a ton of fun to play. The AI is solid and will exploit your weaknesses if you're not careful, but it's also not impossible to beat with good strategy. The turn-based campaign is of an epic scale, covering 450 years of history from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance and the early explorations of the New World. I found it to be a little bit too easy, though. Managing your cities, armies, and economy is a fun time sink, but it's not a difficult task to win. The many mods available for the game make it more challenging, and the four campaigns in the expansion pack, "Kingdoms," are also a bit harder (and highly recommended for purchase). Despite this, the game is still fun to play, and it's very rewarding to see the medieval European empire that you've built once you've put some time into the campaign.

If you enjoy strategy games, then Medieval 2: Total War should be in your collection. It's a classic that still holds up, with great gameplay (especially with the tactical battles) and graphics that still look good. The expansion pack, though, is essential to get, as are some of the many mods out there for this title.

75

Decent TW

rslancer | May 13, 2013 | See all rslancer's reviews »

I got this game from my friend and was really looking forward to it. I would say this is a decent TW game. Very similar to Rome total war. I didn't have to do the tutorial because it was that similar. The only real difference I really see is the presence of a pope and the division between castle and cities.

So essentially you grab a nation and you build up your cities and your armies in a turn based manner and then when your armies meet an opposing army you guys fight it out real time. I suppose the meat of the game lies in the real time fighting which is decent but for some reason just doesn't seem quite as fun as Rome total war was. Definitely better than Shogun total war 2 though because at least there is some variation between nations but less variation between units than Rome. I think that might be why its not quite as fun. Everyone starts off with very bland spearmans and horseman. Rome is just so much more interesting because factions have much more diversity in their units. The Carthaginians have some spearmans and elephants, the Greeks have their phalanx and the Romans have their swordmans etc. I'd say this game is worth a buy when its on sale if your a fan of the series or if you haven't tried it yet.

90

Outstanding Graphical and Gameplay upgrade to the original

HMKuk | May 12, 2013 | See all HMKuk's reviews »

Medieval II is basically everything you could want from the sequel to Medieval. The gameplay is fantastic, controls are smooth and the visuals are an outstanding improvement.

There is nothing not to like - unless you preferred the "chess piece" movement of the original which has been replaced with the Rome - Total War style dynamic movement.

It's worth noting also that this is the most accessible of the series - the previous games are now too graphically outdated to be "pretty" and the newer games seem to assume an understanding of the mechanics of the Total War style.

Pros : Accessible, gorgeous and strategically outstanding. Cons : None! Total War at its best

85

Superb Follow-Up to Rome

ROKET | May 12, 2013 | See all ROKET's reviews »

Rome TW was limited by the technology of the day. It lacked a bit in the graphics department and battles could become repetitive after a while with difficulty soaring in some situations. It need a bit more variety and a bit more scale and thats where Medieval TW came in.

Gameplay: The game plays very similar to that of Rome. You get an RTS TBS hybrid game with a large campaign map and glorious real time battles. There are a few new features and the scale of battles have been tweaked with larger variety in land geometry and AI.

Presentation: The setting provided for one lush environment to play it. The updated graphics really gave you a sense of immersion and it was a true sight to behold watching your huge armies glinting in the sun as they marched forward into battle. You also got a bunch of new siege weapons and that provided for even more fun.

Overall great game.