Troy A Total War Saga is perhaps one of the most underrated titles of the Total War series; for it combines mythology with strategy and turn-based gameplay and is an excellent adaptation of the Iliad. Of course, knowing Troy’s launch on Epic for an exclusive did not give it any favors. Now that’s it on Steam, I can confidently say that is a worthy title worth playing.
Excellent battle maps that force you to take advantage of the terrain, an invigorating soundtrack that is on the scale of Hollywood, and the Mythos Update that brings massive changes to the game; three new campaign modes: Historical, The Truth Behind the Myth, and the Mythological Campaign and three new legendary beasts to hunt down and recruit in your armies in the Mythological Campaign. They have reworked the three new campaigns in ways that make sure that each campaign mode is distinct. In this review, we’ll examine where Troy currently is and why you should play it.
Historical Mode initially strips away all mythology, instead introducing a grey muted color for their battles, including battles being more infantry-based combat and less reliance on missile infantry even though they can still turn the tide of battle. Your heroes do not fight like absolute machines on the battlefield; they retreat like normal generals.
Diplomacy feels that it could do with some improvements and diplomacy could act more historical in some ways. The diplomatic AI offers good deals for bronze and wood, and food. But it often does it to be unhistorical. Essentially, Troy Total War is a sandbox game.
Battles are where I’ll certainly give credit to CA for taking community feedback and improving upon it. In one of my battles, I fought as Agamemnon and besieged a city. An epic battle ensured where rain poured down upon this miserable day as the city walls looked intimidating to my troops. The enemy had brought forward slingers. Slingers! A majority of their army comprised that only. With that in mind, I sent forward my shielded warriors, and we fought a tough battle. Not one side gave up their ground.
The enemy’s missiles kept on peppering my troops with their deadly rocks. Only their slingers remained while mine kept retreating. Exhausted, my troops retreated. They erected a historical landmark at the city gates on the campaign map. Troy can create these epic stories from your battles. That said, I disliked the grey-colored outlook of battles and in the campaign mode. An option to have a colorful mode and a non-colorful mode would have been much better to do between switching colors in the campaign mode. In the battle mode, if you go to the menu, you can select Photo Mode, which means you can switch and adjust the lighting of battles that persists in the campaign map.
Garrisons are sometimes too strong even if you have an army that’s got elite units for historical mode. There was a time when slingers could wipe out entire units in the previous version of Troy before the Mythos Update. It is a definite improvement and one which I welcome. Chariots needed more of a presence on the battlefield and needed to have a more devastating impact on the battlefield.
Since Chariots were the battle tanks of the Bronze Age, some changes to their stats would be welcome. From an overall view, the technology tree didn’t change throughout the three campaign modes, and I feel they could have improved upon this aspect. Making each technology tree distinct from the other would have added more replayability. Historical Mode definitely achieves a gritty grounded feeling and is a recommended campaign experience to try first.
The Truth Behind the Myth Approach
The approach has been revamped, giving the campaign map a more colorful mode. In terms of preference, from the start, I had always wanted Troy to expand out of the Bronze Age and add different factions. I can say with no doubt that it has been improved. Mythical units have been revamped and re-skinned to make them appear Mythical as much as possible. The Gods give passive abilities within battles, and heroes are your typical entity that charges into battle.
Mythological units are mostly humans wearing animal skins, but that’s a wonderful concept. The three campaigns work: Once you’ve had your share of the Historical Bronze Age, it may tempt you to try out the units that were mythical in legend but have a more human approach. After that, it might tempt you to try out the Mythological Mode in its full glory. In this mode, you are witnessing the truth of what was really behind the Mythological steroid-filled fest of the Iliad. It’s a campaign that improves upon certain mechanics in Historical and introduces other elements that you might not have been aware of previously. Overall, it’s worth trying out.
The Mythological Mode
Troy has definitely embraced the realm of Greek Mythology for its Mythological Campaign mode and battle-wise. This was my favorite campaign out of all the three modes, and it is a definitive moment for CA to expand this mythology mode and add in other unique factions of the Bronze Age such as Egypt, the Hittites, and Assyria.
It sadly did not become the next Age of Mythology Contender and I will keep on championing this cause until the day I see CA does a full-scale Bronze Age Total War. It is where Troy excels at. This mode adds three new legendary mythological creatures most famously known in the Ancient Greek World: Cerebus, the dog of Hades and Persephone that guards the Gates of the Underworld, the Mythical Hydra that guards the entrance to the Underworld, and the Griffin of Greek Mythology.
Under-Rated Potential: Expanding the game to Assyria and Babylon was a missed opportunity.
Troy also got its Memnon DLC after the Mythological Update, and it added Ethiopian and Egyptian Style Units to the game. You fought as Memnon and helped the Trojans while recruiting troops from regions such as Assyria/Egypt and other provinces. And this was a missed opportunity because Troy could have become that ‘successor’ to Age of Mythology.
On the one hand, you had a mythological mode for the Bronze Age Factions of Greece and you had the potential to expand to other Bronze Age Factions of Mesopotamia and Egypt. On the other, you had a historical mode that would have complemented the campaign really well. Troy has one of the most gorgeous campaign maps in all of Total War and even its art design and its UI pays homage to the Illiad. CA deciding not to expand this is a missed opportunity and I do hope that one day we get into the Bronze Age in a Total War Setting.
At the end of it all, Troy remains one of the most brilliant strategical games of its time. It goes to a setting that has not been really attempted, and it’s a shame that most games don’t cover the Bronze Age period in detail. This is one of those games that you need to go and try!