Total War: Warhammer II

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Total War: Warhammer II Game Poster Image
Steep learning curve leads to epic violent fantasy battles.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Focus of game is to pit various groups against each other in massive battles. Although there's a story surrounding reasons for fighting, it's more to keep the flow going from skirmish to skirmish.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Different factions in game are all fighting for control of a powerful mystic weapon. While each has its own motivations, some are seemingly more noble than others. None of them end up being particularly "good." Some are more blatant in their plans, while others hide their ulterior motives.

Ease of Play

Filled with intricacies, detail. There's a lot of information to process at any given time, especially when managing movements, actions of both overall war and individual formations. It can be extremely overwhelming and is not helped by the game's assumption of familiarity with the series. Tutorials only outline basics, leaving players on their own to figure everything else out.

Violence

Game's focus is battlefield of war, with large-scale armies battling each other. While camera usually shows these battles from a distance, players can also zoom in to see fighting up close. Fair amount of blood, bodies will litter landscape, but no gore.

Sex

Dark Elf Witch units fight in revealing outfits; more than a few lines of suggestive dialogue over course of game's campaigns.

Language

Fair bit of mild language, including "arse," "bastard," "whore".

Consumerism

Sequel to Total War: Warhammer, which brought together popular Total War game series with Games Workshop's hit Warhammer tabletop, role-playing franchises. Warhammer has spawned various spin-off games, books, other merchandise. There are also plans to release new factions, units, maps, etc., as paid downloadable content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Dialogue in game makes a number of references to drinking alcohol, getting drunk. One cut-scene focuses on a poisoned goblet filled with wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Total War: Warhammer II is a fantasy-based, real-time strategy game available for Windows PCs. Based on Games Workshop's popular Warhammer franchise, it requires players to control large armies of fantasy characters and creatures that battle each other with a variety of medieval weapons and magical abilities. The game has a lot of complex gameplay elements, and the tutorial only covers the absolute basics, which can leave newcomers overwhelmed. Violence is central to the game, and while it's generally presented on a larger scale, players do have the ability to zoom into the action and see the fighting up close. Finally, the game's dialogue does include some mild language, references to alcohol use, and occasional sexually suggestive lines used chiefly as insults.

User Reviews

Adult Written byAaron H. January 12, 2018

Deeper than the cover suggests

This game is incredibly fun. The WARHAMMER universe is based upon the Warhammer Fantasy Battles tabletop game. Creative assembly, the creators of Total War, com... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byWheezy March 4, 2018

Fun, strategy based game

This game is the second of the Total war warhammer series and is set in a fictional fantasy world. This game does have fighting with swords, arrows, magic and m... Continue reading

What's it about?

In TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER II, players leave behind the conflicts of the Old World and get introduced to the war taking place leagues away in the New World. Here the regal High Elves, the sinister Dark Elves, the reptilian Lizardmen, and the rat-like Skaven struggle for control of the Great Vortex, a mystic maelstrom created by an ancient enchantment to drain the world of dangerously unstable Chaos magic. Some seek to defend the Vortex and keep the world free from demonic influence, while others seek to destroy the Vortex and control the forces it holds at bay. Command your armies and watch the epic-scale battles unfold as you see fit. Take in the entire scope of war from a distance, or zoom in to get an up-close and personal view of the carnage. Practice diplomacy or dominate the opposition. Every choice you make has risk and reward. The stakes are high and the choices are yours. Choose wisely and remember: The one who controls the Vortex commands the fate of the world, as well.

Is it any good?

No one ever said that war is easy, especially not the folks behind these strategy games, which are incredibly detailed and fun to play, but demand lots of trial and error to master. Take all that and toss it into the deep lore and established fantasy setting of Games Workshop's Warhammer universe, and you wind up with an overwhelming and sometimes frustrating experience that still manages to reward those willing to stick with it. This is a game that's simply not built for newcomers or casual strategy fans. The game assumes you know what you're doing and punishes you with a steep Everest-like learning curve. Even the tutorial feels more like it's tossed in as little more than an obligatory refresher. But for hard-core strategy fans, and for those willing to put in the effort to learn the nuances of the game, executing a successful battle is an exhilarating rush.

Although Total War: Warhammer II takes place on a different corner of the Warhammer world, replacing the original races with four completely different factions, the game still keeps most of the core components of the original gameplay. Some new tricks help to keep things fresh, though. One of the biggest is the inclusion of Rites, huge game-changing bonuses that can be accessed only by completing a specific set of objectives. The game also expands on the Lord characters of the last game, allowing them to grow and evolve based on your actions. Of course, that's only if they stick around. Thanks to a new Loyalty feature, that powerful leader you've been counting on for a final push might turn on you at any moment ... taking a chunk of your forces with him when he goes. It all adds to the tension of the battlefield, putting a heavier weight behind your decisions and putting a strong emphasis on keen tactics versus dumb luck. You don't just stumble into a victory in Total War: Warhammer II, you fight tooth and nail to snatch that victory from the jaws of defeat, and you wear that win like a badge of honor.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in gaming. What are some ways that the portrayal of violence in games can affect kids? Does a more visual portrayal, like in video games, have a deeper impact than imagined violence, like in a tabletop or pen-and-paper game? 

  • Talk about different types of games. What are the similarities and differences in video games and tabletop games? 

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