The action is so real, you might have to go and change your armor

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The action is so real, you might have to go and change your armor

Total War: Medieval is a real-time strategy game in which you try to build your empire and command battles that play out on a truly grand scale.

True to any build-up-your-nation-game, Total War hones your skills in resource management, politics, diplomacy, religion and combat.

While all these ingredients help make this game one of the greats in its genre, it's the combat that catapults Total War to the top of my list.

The maker of the game, Creative Assembly, did an excellent job making the battles seem real by incorporating several real-life factors into the scenarios.

Troop types, terrain, formations, weather and fatigue all come into play, meaning that simply sounding the war horn and charging straight ahead with your knights isn't going to work.

With Total War, you've got to know the basics of combat. You've got to attack from the flanks with archers to soften up the enemy ranks. Then you've got to devise a solid strategy to overrun the enemy.

But Total War isn't merely about tactics. It's also about the scenarios preceding the battle. You choose the battle and size of your forces.

There are 12 conflicts set in the Middle Ages, with as many as 10,000 troops to command, ranging from archers to artillery equipped siege machines.

The verdict: This game has incredible replay value. You can engage in lengthy campaigns or opt to instantly smell the blood by choosing historical-, quick- or custom battle modes that cut to the heat of the campaign.

If you're tired of beating up the computer's AI, which I guarantee won't happen easily with Total War, you can go online and challenge players around the world with the game's multiplayer option, which also makes it possible to team up with other players.

by Brian Lee
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