I arrived at SEGA Europe HQ for the morning session and met Phillistine from Heaven Games, Lusted and Laverick from Total War Center. Also, Mark O Connel (Who runs the totalwar.com site) and Richie Skinner (The Shogun) from Creative Assembly were there as well as Alex Friend and Mark Suthers from SEGA. It was interesting to meet some of the people who I’ve seen around online in the real world for once. We sat out on sofas waiting to start, watching a rolling movie of SEGA’s latest work. It was all very much like a VIP event.
As we were waiting we were given a copy of the game to pass around and have a look at. After admiring the box and manual for a while, which are both beautiful, we were shown through to an office fully kitted out for the event. There were Medieval II banners and posters adorning the walls and five computers for us to use in the middle. As we all sat down, there was a definite feeling of ‘kids in a candy shop’, as Lusted put it.
Richie, Alex and the two Marks kept us fuelled with information on the game and how it had changed and improved. They were all very keen on the game and seemed to be as excited as us. As we tried out all the new features, they were there to lend advice and tell us how they worked. It was really interesting to meet some people who are actually involved with projects like Medieval II.
As for the game, it’s awe-inspiring. The graphics have leapt forward again and everything looks and feels very real. The fact that all the men in a unit look different, the trees swaying in the wind on the campaign map, the buildings that have holes knocked through them by trebuchet fire. Everything has had the finest attention to detail paid to it and it shows. The new campaign features are excellent, too. You can now recruit merchants to boost your trade and take over from enemy merchants, taking their assets and resources. Each settlement can either grow into a castle or a city, each with unique benefits. Cities can train militia units, which then have free upkeep, as well as building a much wider range of economic buildings such as markets. Castles can build many more military buildings and train a much wider variety of stronger troops.
Overall it was a fantastic day that everyone really enjoyed. We not only got to preview the game, but also were able to meet some of the people who make it happen, which was very interesting. Thank you Creative Assembly, SEGA and everyone who was there!