Total War: Warhammer 3 goes bigger, bolder and more linear

Warhammer Fantasy has always excelled at the catastrophic. Its grimdark world isn’t just full of heinous monstrosities, they’re practically baked into its bedrock. It’s a setting that forever hangs on the edge, as unceasing legions of bloodthirsty daemons, feculent spawn, and debaucherous sadists threaten all mortal life. Total War: Warhammer 3 looks to lose none of that dark grandiosity. In fact, the game dials it up even further. 

Playing an eight-hour, hands-on preview of the game’s new Cathay and Daemons of Chaos faction, it quickly becomes clear that Creative Assembly has set its sights higher for the third installment of the series. The familiar sandbox system for which Total War has become renowned remains intact, but it’s overshadowed by a greater emphasis on framed, focused campaigning. There’s a narrative edge this time around, and one from which you can’t escape.

Daemon spawn

The Total War: Warhammer 3 character customization screen

(Image credit: Sega)

I begin by trying my hand at the Daemons of Chaos. A potpourri of evil, this lot amalgamates every Chaos faction into one big hodgepodge of daemonic blight. While the forces of the four Chaos gods – Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch – are usually played separately in the campaign, this faction hands you all of them, letting you march crimson Bloodletters alongside pestilent Nurglings. It leans into one of the best parts of the Total War: Warhammer series – its color, its bombast, and the sheer silliness that isn’t seen in the series’ historical titles. 


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