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.
Eurogamer launches naval multiplayer manoeuvres.
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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.
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.
Sega will cut jobs and cancel titles as it attempts to "streamline" the home video games business in Europe and the US.
Parent company Sega Sammy released a statement announcing the "structural reform" today. It comes as Sega braces investors for an "extraordinary loss" for the full financial year ending 31st March 2012.
"The Consumer Business centred on Sega Corporation is expected to post operating loss in the year ending March 2012, due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes in the home video game software market environment in the US and Europe.
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.
FIFA Street has scored a second week on top of the UK all formats chart. It managed the feat despite a 44 per cent drop in sales.
For Japanese soldiers fighting in the mid-1860s, modern life really is rubbish. This is because their traditional approach to warfare, faced with the rapid advancement of military technology, now means they spend their time marching in neat and orderly rows toward Gatling guns. They often do this across wide open spaces and in broad daylight. From an aerial perspective - perhaps while directing cavalry towards a flank or ordering cannons to bombard a castle - you might very well imagine them as a line of men patiently queuing up to die. The industrial revolution hasn't just created the production line, it's also made butchery much more efficient.
It's no wonder that your general populace resents technological progress, with each new level of advancement only making them unhappier. This forces you to strike a balance between embracing the gains afforded by new inventions, and the growing resentment of a conservative populace. Nevertheless, the temptation may be all too much for the would-be warlord - because Fall of the Samurai opens up a toybox of terror for Total War gamers. There are so many new gadgets to get to grips with in this new standalone expansion, from pocket derringers to pocket battleships, you'll just have to convince your subjects to get with the times.
While Fall of the Samurai may be all about change - the sudden inrush of ideas and technology to Japan - it's immediately familiar to any Total War player, and represents more of a careful, composed and considered step forward than any great leap. On the surface it may be a new setting with different units and a few alterations to play, but what Creative Assembly has also done here is make subtle alterations under the hood, ironing out bugs and looking toward areas of the game that have been lacking. The naval battles, for example, finally have some real wallop to them, feeling both more elegant and more exciting than before, not least because they present players with the option to take manual control of their ships and cannons.
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.
Sega is among the latest batch of publishers to make their PC games available on EA's Origin digital download platform.
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.
Yakuza: Dead Souls launches in Europe on 16th March, Sega has announced.
Dead Souls is the Western name for Of the End, the zombie-themed PlayStation 3 exclusive Yakuza game.
Elsewhere, a Limited Edition of PC strategy game Total War: Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai launches on 23rd March 2012.
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.
Standalone Total War: Shogun 2 expansion Fall of the Samurai will be released on 23rd March, Sega has announced.
Maybe it'll be a perfect blossom on that day, maybe it won't.
Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai costs £24.99 on Steam.
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.