Total War: Warhammer 2 will be officially released on September 28th but, as of August 31st, it was already the most preordered Total War title thus far, just as its predecessor was “the fastest selling Total War title on Steam.” That probably has something to do with Steam’s ever-increasing presence, but the preorder bonus is also tempting: the new TWW 1 Norsca DLC faction comes free (normally $10).

The Warhammer trilogy is being released as three full standalone games, rather than the large-scale expansions Total War fans may be used to. TWW 2 therefore includes several new graphical features: improved SSAO, volumetric fog with god-rays, a new sharpening filter, and improved wet surfaces. That’s good news overall, but it means our TWW 1 benchmark results won’t 100% carry over. Creative Assembly’s official system recommendations are as follows:

Creative Assembly has been busy with the Total War: Warhammer franchise lately. The second game of the planned trilogy is coming on September 28th, and in preparation a host of updates and bugfixes have been added to the original, as well as the new Norsca DLC faction.

One part of these updates was quietly replacing the default benchmark packaged with the game, which we’ve regularly included in our current cycle of CPU reviews. It was a short snippet of a battle between greenskin and Imperial armies, shot mostly from above, with some missile trails and artillery thrown in. Its advantages were that it was fairly CPU intensive, from a modern game that people are still interested in, and extremely easy to run (as it is automated).

Total War: Warhammer launched May 24th -- and it’s been a massive commercial success. In just three days, the latest Total War title has broken the sales records for all the franchise’s prior launches. Within a week of launch, Total Warhammer has already hit half a million sales, making it “the fastest selling Total War title on Steam.”

We’ve talked extensively about Total Warhammer with the team, specifically with regard to how the game makes use of DirectX 12. You can find some of that content here and here.

We spoke exclusively with the Creative Assembly team about its game engine optimization for the upcoming Total War: Warhammer. Major moves to optimize and refactor the game engine include DirectX 12 integration, better CPU thread management (decoupling the logic and render threads), and GPU-assigned processing to lighten the CPU load.

The interview with Al Bickham, Studio Communications Manager at Creative Assembly, can be found in its entirety below. We hope to soon visit the topic of DirectX 12 support within the Total War: Warhammer engine.

Total War: Warhammer demonstrates a natural, synergistic fusion of two genres -- the long-standing grand-strategy games, Total War, and even longer-standing Warhammer tabletop game. Campaigns in the Warhammer universe like Storm of Chaos have given way to Total War-like experiences; armies roam the world map, growing or unfurling (or ‘crumbling’) with wins and losses. At the same time, combat in Total War has kept its structure and mechanics: units travel in tightly-knit groups, facing and flanking are important parts of the battle, and strategic map utilization can make-up for troop count disparities. Then, of course, having a strong general and maintaining troop morale dictate most heavily the staying power of military forces.

All these points are shared by the Warhammer tabletop game. As much sense as the partnership makes, it marks an astounding new venture for the Total War team -- a first venture into a fantastical environ.

AMD just announced a partnership with Total War developers Creative Assembly, highlighting the game developer's move to implement DirectX 12 with the upcoming Total War: Warhammer Grand Strategy game.

The next installment in the Total War series has been revealed as one that details a darker chapter in history: The reign the Huns.

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