A school gym in England, mid-'90s, and two local rugby players await orders. One is small and wide and called Adrian, and one is tall and weighs about 20 stone. He's Big Dave. Adrian has been getting flattened by Big Dave all day but he keeps getting back up. It's the rugby training in him: you bloody well get back up if you're knocked down. But this instinct is starting to annoy the people he's in the school gym for, the people making the sports game. They're trying to motion-capture for a rugby game and would rather Adrian lay still. They should be careful what they wish for.
As the studio celebrates 25 years in business and another BAFTA, it speaks about its successes and its future.
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The outstanding Total War series has been around for 15 years, and to celebrate, you can play the games for free this weekend via Steam. Should be just enough time to conquer a continent.
Award-winning PC strategy game Total War: Shogun 2 is being repackaged as a Gold Edition that will include its Rise of The Samurai and Fall of The Samurai expansions along with all the DLC for the series - excluding the Blood Pack, Sega has announced.
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.
Sega will sacrifice operations in Europe and Australia to laser-focus on four key brands: Aliens, Sonic, Total War, Football Manager.
Total War developer The Creative Assembly will appear at Rezzed: The PC and Indie Games Show to exclusively show the future of its strategy series.
Attendees at the Eurogamer event will get the first look at the developer's next project during a presentation celebrating the studio's 25th anniversary, scheduled to take place 6th July at 1pm UK time.
"This year, The Creative Assembly is celebrating a quarter of a century making games," said Total War lead designer James Russell. "I'll be at Rezzed giving a talk on the making of the Total War series, and showing a sneak peek of what we're doing next. Exciting times - see you there!"
The first ever official Total War modding tool, The Editor, has been released for Shogun 2 and standalone expansion Fall of the Samurai.
Minecraft maker Markus "Notch" Persson is being courted by Creative Assembly for the next Total War game.
Total War developer Creative Assembly believes it would be "really stung" by reviewers if multiplayer - still a relatively new addition to the game's turn-based campaign mode - was removed.
"Reviewing is important," studio director Tim Heaton told Gamasutra, "it's still important."
"And there are some hygiene factors that perhaps you need for some reviews that maybe aren't as strong for players. At the moment, Total War is primarily a single-player game, and we have talked about how valid multiplayer is in the way that we've sometimes done it in the past.
The current generation of consoles aren't powerful enough to host the Total War series, says developer The Creative Assembly - but it's optimistic that the next generation will be able to, and the Horsham studio has a plan that could see its successful strategy series finally making the jump.
Winning a BAFTA and shipping a massive expansion, celebrating a quarter of a century in the industry and managing to be one of the few outfits expanding against an increasingly bleak economic backdrop - that's not bad work, all in all, but the team at The Creative Assembly aren't exactly ones to shout about their success.
Developers are cautiously optimistic over UK game industry tax breaks, announced yesterday as part of the new Budget.
A monumental title update for acclaimed PC strategy sequel Total War: Shogun 2 goes live later this week to coincide with the release of the Fall of the Samurai expansion.
New features offered in the free download include extra maps, 40v40 battles and improved AI.
A few of the changes are specific to Fall of the Samurai though the vast majority apply to Shogun 2 as well.
Superb PC strategy series Total War is being recreated for mobile platforms in a new series called Total War Battles, Sega has announced.
A new team within Creative Assembly, the Total War Digital team, will build the games using the renowned Unity engine.
The team's been hard at work prototyping for the last 12 months.
Jan 27th, 1868. A snowy plain just outside of Kyoto. The battle of Toba-Fushimi is about to take place. A small battalion of Imperial soldiers shiver as they face down a force of the Shogun's finest warriors advancing across a handful of rivers, hopelessly ineffectual at preventing the samurai from their coming attack. Hundreds of these majestic samurai warriors riding on noble horseback are drawing near. Playing as the Imperials, I'm hopelessly outnumbered. Traditionally, I wouldn't stand a chance. But these are hardly traditional times.
From the trailers released so far for Fall of the Samurai, you could be forgiven for thinking of the ill-fated Satsuma rebellion that made Tom Cruise sad in The Last Samurai, but while set in the same period of turmoil, Fall focuses on the earlier 1869 Boshin War, a civil conflict that barely lasted two years. A brisk timeframe to contend with as you struggle to determine the course of Japan's embrace of industrialisation.
But don't go thinking Fall is going to be a couple of scant missions and some new DLC outfits. This is a proper old-school expansion pack with all-new toys, a different beast entirely from Shogun 2's campaign. This was a period in Japan's history that saw it transform overnight from a feudal agrarian society into a steam-powered industrial powerhouse. To represent the lightning pace of development, turns on the campaign map take up a mere two weeks. Better pack an extra pair of mittens, as that means Winter now lasts a morale-shattering six full turns.
Two new downloadable add-ons for Total War: Shogun 2 have been announced and released on PC.
Creative Assembly has released a patch for Total War: Shogun 2.
There are alterations to add-on Rise of Samurai, as well as broader tweaks to the acclaimed strategy game.
This patch should be live now. Notes below.
Standalone expansion Fall of the Samurai has been announced for Total War: Shogun 2.
It will be released in March 2012. As mentioned, you won't need the original Shogun 2 game to play it.
Fall of the Samurai tells of an approaching industrial age, as British, American and French military muscle is coveted to the detriment of classical samurai warfare.
Detailed notes for the giant patch accompanying imminent Total War: Shogun 2 mini-expansion Rise of the Samurai have been released.
The list is as long as a really long worm, which we've coaxed out with Fairy Liquid and stapled, in full, below.
Rise of the Samurai will release tomorrow, 27th September. From Steam, Rise of the Samurai costs £5.99.
A brand new downloadable Total War: Shogun 2 campaign called Rise of the Samurai will be released in September, Creative Assembly has announced.
Total War: Shogun 2 won't be getting mod tools anytime soon, developer Creative Assembly has announced, though it's not for want of trying.
Total War: Shogun 2 has new downloadable content that adds the mysterious warrior monk Ikko Ikki clan to the game.
Ass-kicking Ikko-Ikki faction added.
Two months after Total War: Shogun 2 arrived, Creative Assembly has revealed the development of a brand new Total War game to Eurogamer.
Despite "stagnant personal consumption", "generally weak demand" for video games and the devastating 11th March Japanese earthquake and tsunami, SEGA has managed a magnificent profit.
Creative Assembly will release an enormous patch for Total War: Shogun 2 at some point today.
Among a gargantuan heap of fixes are four new maps - Aki, Flood Plains, Hida Mountain and Sanriku Ria - and DirectX 11 support. The full, eye-watering list of changes have been posted below courtesy of the Total War forum.
Incidentally, when today the content and patch will be released hasn't yet been decided.
A patch adding DirectX 11 support to PC strategy sequel Total War: Shogun 2 is scheduled for the first week in May, developer The Creative Assembly has announced.
The update had initially been promised within two to four weeks of the game's 15th March launch, but as explained in a forum post on the game's official site, that was a little over-ambitious.
"You'll appreciate that all this takes a lot of time and testing, and while we're working as hard as we can, we may not quite make the two to four week post-launch window that we'd originally hoped to hit," wrote community manager Craig Laycock.
There were a few surprises at this week's BAFTA ceremony – such as Civilization V outgunning StarCraft II in the strategy category, and the realisation that Gemma Atkinson still has a career of some description – but whether or not you agree Mass Effect 2 is a better game than Heavy Rain or Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, there was a lot of quality and variety to salute among the many worthy candidates.
PC gamers love Team Fortress 2. Yes you do. And SEGA wants PC gamers to love Total War: Shogun 2.
When PC strategy sequel Total War: Shogun 2 launches next week it will not support DirectX 11.
SEGA confirmed to Eurogamer this morning that DirectX 11 support will be patched in through an update scheduled to release two to four weeks after the game comes out.
"We wanted a couple more weeks just to polish the performance of DirectX 11 on a variety of different cards," Creative Assembly communications manager Kieran Brigden explained to Eurogamer this morning.
After that business with hydrophobic invasion forces in Empire: Total War, it's impossible to sit down to review a new Creative Assembly creation without anxiety.
Will I miss some grievous bug and end up looking like an arse? Should I sprinkle my paragraphs with verbal get-out clauses like 'appears to', 'from what I saw' and 'on the whole'? Am I destined to be remembered as the critic that failed to notice that all the horses in Shogun 2 only have three legs?
It can reach the point where you wonder if you'd be better off phoning-in sick and letting the poisoned chalice pass to another poor blighter. What stops you from fleeing are the memories. Brain echoes of blissful afternoons spent carving-up Carthaginians, axing Saxons and peeving the Pope. Vivid recollections of cherished generals, valiant defeats and impossibly narrow victories.
Mo-capped samurai and really big drums.
Behind the scenes with Creative Assembly.
The Total War: Shogun 2 demo is on Steam now.
PC strategy sequel Total War: Shogun 2 gets a demo next week, publisher SEGA has announced.
You'll be able to test your skills on the game's new campaign map from 22nd February, via Steam. The full game then launches its assault on stores from 15th March.
The last entry in the franchise, Napoleon: Total War, launched last February, skirmishing its way to a sturdy 8/10 at the hands of Eurogamer's Quintin Smith.
See a slice of SEGA's swordplay.
The system requirements for The Creative Assembly's PC strategy sequel Total War: Shogun 2 have left the barracks.
Forget night vision goggles, forget remote controlled cars - strategy games have chess sets.
The Collector's Edition of PC samurai strategy game Total War: Shogun 2 will be wrapped in an authentic bamboo box, no less.
Creating the music for the title.
Samurai up our street.
They say it's called a revolution because over time it always comes full circle. And that saying applies perfectly the Total War series.
For a decade, Total War games have followed the same naming convention - but Shogun 2 will change all that.
PC strategy game Shogun 2: Total War will be released globally on 15th March 2011, SEGA's announced.
Creative Assembly assembly.
SEGA will focus on its "three pillars" as it looks to grow: Sonic the Hedgehog, Football Manager and Total War, the publisher's new European boss has revealed.
Field marshal arts.
In 2000, Creative Assembly sent tremors through the strategy genre with Shogun: Total War. A Civilization-style game with Red Alert-style live battles? Impossible! But it wasn't. What it turned out to be was the start of a consistently brilliant march through history, controlling the armies of the Romans, the medieval kings and queens, and even Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington.
History is boring, which is why Creative Assembly has told Eurogamer it's crucial to spruce it up for Shogun 2: Total War.
Feudal Japan blossoming into life.
A public demo of strategy sequel Shogun 2 will be the highlight of a Total War session at Edinburgh Interactive 2010.
Moonlight bathes the rolling hills and forested glades, glinting off our serried rows of troops. Up ahead, a white castle gleams from the top of a steep hill, torches flickering distantly under the sloping eaves of its distinctive roof, a pale sentinel watching over the valley; our objective.
SEGA has confirmed the rumours and unveiled Shogun 2: Total War. The game will be released exclusively on PC in 2011.
The details picked from the leaked fact sheet have turned out to be true, although the multiplayer parts are still TBC.
Shogun 2 will present a smaller-scope but more detailed, personal experience.