The latest installment of the “Total War” game franchise is the Gold Edition, which includes Medieval II Total War and Medieval II Total War Kingdoms. The game is set in Europe in the periods 1080 and 1530, respectively; where the country was in faction. In this installment, you get the chance to turn ordinary factions into grandiose ones!
Those who have played the Rome Total War need not worry as they can expect a familiar gameplay. But for those that are new to the franchise, there is a comprehensive tutorial and you can get tips and hints as you play the game. Based on experience, the game itself is easily understood and learned better when actually played.
The single player has two modes, namely Battle Mode and Campaign Mode. In Battle mode, you can select either historic battle; or you can make your own scene and events. You have to select the factions and a map to play on; then you can start the game. The Battle mode permits you to use any faction of your preference. Each faction has unique fighting styles and units, of course. The Campaign mode, on the other hand, allows you to play with only limited factions and is a bit more complex. Here, you also have two options - the short campaign and the long campaign. In the short campaign, you have to obliterate 1 or 2 factions, and then conquer settlements and towns. But in the long campaign, you have more freedom. You have to take over some settlements, either Jerusalem or Constantinople. In the end, it is up to the player to master a faction of his preference. You should at least try every one of them before choosing which to perfect.
In the beginning, I wanted to fight the battles myself, however it bored me when I got used to it. The repetitive part of watching the armies march, then the choice of either running away or running after the enemies has lost its novelty. Hence the “Resolve Battle” option is of great use here. It allows players to spend more time strategizing on other aspects of the game. However, doing battles manually must not be totally abandoned as you may be able to turn tides and win seemingly hopeless battles when you do it manually. I recommend that you fight manually when there is a decisive battle, or when you want to win a seemingly one-sided battle.
The campaign holds some captivating aspects other than the fighting. There is much freedom in the game; and you can still win without relying on battles.
Also part of the game, are 17 playable factions in the Imperial Campaign. You can only choose one. The map emphasizes Europe, Russia, Poland, Milan, Portugal, Moors and the Africa. However, places like Helsinki, South of Morocco, Lisbon, and Baghdad are also included. There are add-ons in the game and you can obtain more maps and campaigns all over the globe including the Crusades.
The down side of this game is that it occupies a lot of memory. A single add-on eats as much as 1.17GB; while the game itself is 11.7GB. If you install 4 add-ons, the entire game is going to take up 16.38GB. The practical move - install only the add-ons that you really like!