Total War: Warhammer III had its highs and its lows, but one thing it got right throughout was its visuals, with a vibrant colour palette and imposing unit design truly doing the source material justice. So it’s a pleasure tonight to showcase some of the illustration and character work that went into the game.
Below you’ll find a collection of works from the game’s development that have now been cleared to be shared publicly. It’s not everything by everyone who worked on the game, but it’s a nice selection of pieces that will give you an idea of the kind of work that went into the game’s development.
A particular highlight are the visual development sketches, raw explorations of some of the faction’s colour schemes and unit design specifics, that are the very heart of an art team’s work on a game like this, and which are very cool to see shared here.
You’ll find links to each artist’s portfolios in their names below. And if you didn’t catch my review of the game, know that it was an ultimately frustrating experience, with so many positives:
Spend a few hours with the game, and you notice there are real improvements to the bedrock of the franchise itself. Like, this is the easiest Total War game I have played. I don’t mean in terms of how difficult the AI is—even on normal it’ll kick your ass if you get sloppy even for an instant. I mean the ease with which this game has streamlined its insanely boring admin. Despite being the worst thing about a Total War game, admin is also quietly the part that you spend the most time doing, and so is the place any kind of improvement whatsoever is most appreciated.
From building outposts in allied territory, to all kinds of options regarding notifications, to improved diplomacy, and even the automation of certain build chains and skill tree upgrades, the management of your empire in Warhammer III is quick and painless, and I love it. You spend a lot less time looking over ledgers and a lot more time fighting battles.
Bogged down at the end by a deeply disappointing...ending:
If you’ve played through/suffered the Oblivion Gates in Elder Scrolls IV, it’s a very similar premise, and it’s just as annoying. For starters, you need to do it five times to win the game, but it gets tedious after the first 1-2 tries, and that’s assuming you complete each one at the first attempt. If you fail, sorry, you have to wait and try again next time they open up. Worse and more importantly, though, is that it undermines the entire rest of the game. Everything that makes Total War what it is—that balance of combat, expansion, construction and diplomacy—is reduced to a sideshow in the name of completing these portal quests, in essence taking all the best parts of the series and surrendering their importance to an abstracted grind.