Stormrise

The future of Total War

The problem with consoles hasn't been controllers, it's been power.

Eurogamer has spoken to Creative Assembly studio director Mike Simpson about the future of Total War. What new historical settings are under discussion? Will there be more remakes? What about consoles? Those questions, and more, are answered in the article below.

Stormrise

Stormrise

Whipping boy.

Does anyone remember Greenclaws? He was a corpulent, anthropomorphic maggot beast, reminiscent of the protagonist from Fat Worm Blows a Sparky, who hung around with a retarded woman and a mechanical owl on his own TV programme in the late 80s. Each episode involved a contrived disaster, which forced the couple to open Greenclaws' box of special magic seeds, selecting a gaudy, intriguing little kernel and germinating it over the course of the show inside a hollow tree. At the end, the tree would open and there would be a plant inside, invariably bearing crushingly disappointing fruit, such as shoe polish or dusters. I think once it was cake, but it was carrot cake, so it doesn't count.

The point is that the seeds were always the interesting part. Shiny, brightly coloured and full of promise, there was always the mystery, the unknowing, the possibility that this week, against all odds, a plant bearing toy soldiers or Micro Machines would sprout inside the tree; that the over-hyped seed would finally come good and something truly special would bloom. Anyway, those of you well-versed in the interpretation of painfully extended analogies may already have guessed that Stormrise's success is best expressed in terms of a tree bearing curtain hooks, owl pellets and the fingernail clippings of a man with haemorrhoids and no social mores.

When I first saw the game, tucked safely away behind the PR barrier at SEGA's Brentford offices, I was cautiously impressed. Wowed by the simplicity and effectiveness of the Whip Select, in particular, I was willing to accept that what I was watching could be a generational leap for the genre.

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Stormrise

"Faster than keyboard and mouse".

Creative Assembly PR Vispi Bhopti is a talkative bloke. He natters amicably throughout the two hour presentation for real-time strategy title Stormrise, dropping in anecdotes stories, technical details and expletives with ease. At one point, however, there's a pause. Bhopti scans the room to see if what he's just said has sunk in. He's just announced that Stormrise's Whip Select control system means using a control pad is even faster and more efficient than using a keyboard and mouse.

Peculiar bedfellows, perhaps? There was always going to be a clash somewhere in this year's Coming Attractions as we sorted our way through 12 categories, but you could argue there's more that unites fighting and strategy than divides them. Both are about trying to take maximum of advantage of your opposition's weaknesses, both reward patience, concentration and consideration, and as of Red Alert 3 both have a thing for impractical women's clothing.

Stormrise

Creative Assembly's PS3/360 RTS.

Creative Assembly's PS3/360 RTS.