Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires is on the way, bringing with it the largest undertaking ever by veteran strategy game development studio Creative Assembly. Immortal Empires is bringing together all three Total War: Warhammer games so far, allowing players to send factions against one another across the entirety of the Warhammer Fantasy world.
Vampires can clash with Skaven, Lizardmen can fight rotting Daemons, and the icy warriors of Kislev may clash blades with the hedonistic Dark Elves. It's an unprecedented undertaking, not just for Creative Assembly but for strategy games as a genre. Here's everything you need to know about Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires.
What is Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires?
Total War: Warhammer 3 is the third and final entry in the Total War: Warhammer sub-franchise. While currently available as a standalone game with distinct factions and mechanics from its predecessors, the developers at Creative Assembly are working to add Immortal Empires, a mode that brings all three games together. After all, why play one of the best PC games for strategy fans when you can play three at the same time?
With Immortal Empires, players can use factions from across all three games together, as the world is combined into one massive map. This allows anyone who enjoys playing with factions from the two prior games to continue using them in the latest game. Naturally, players can only use what they've purchased, so if you want to use a faction from the first two games, you'll need to buy the games and any DLC you want to have in Immortal Empires.
Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires — Map and gameplay details
As you can see from the game map above, saying Immortal Empires is massive is like saying Khorne gets upset about things. It's true, but it doesn't quite convey the magnitude of the situation. Immortal Empires features the largest map that Creative Assembly has ever built. It's nearly twice the size of the already-impressive Mortal Empires map from Total War: Warhammer 2. Right now, the map will not include the Realms of Chaos from the Total War: Warhammer 3 campaign, but the developers note that players should "never say never."
There are 554 Settlements, 278 starting factions (including minor non-playable factions on the map), and at launch, 86 Legendary Lords. Several Legendary Lords are getting "promotions" and will now lead their own factions, including Grombrindal, Helman Ghorst, Volkmar the Grim, and Be’Lakor.
There's also a long list of gameplay improvements on the way. Naturally, Immortal Empires is growing the list of factions in Total War: Warhammer 3 by adding in all the content from the first two games. Many of the Legendary Lords will be starting in new locations, shaking things up for anyone who is used to where everybody starts right now.
Due to the sheer size of the map, a new feature called Sea Lanes is being introduced. Sea Lanes allow travel from one side of the map to the other via the oceans. You can see the different lanes marked on the map below:
Other big changes are on the way in the form of Corruption being reworked. While Corruption was already heavily reworked for Total War: Warhammer 3, and the developers are tweaking it further given the sheer complexity of having so many different factions on the map.
Intriguingly, the developers are also working to add "dynamic end-game scenarios," which are randomized mid- and late-game events that can provide more challenge when one or two factions begin to steamroll the map. Examples given include the rise of undead, or a Greenskin WAAAAGH.
Finally, Immortal Empires will support 8-player multiplayer, just like the mainline campaign included at the launch of Total War: Warhammer 3. Only the host of the game will need to own all three games, though any joining players will still be limited in what content they can access based on what games and DLC they own.
Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires — Open beta
Immortal Empires is launching in an open beta format. The reason for this is that the developers want to provide Immortal Empires to fans as quickly as possible, but are also blunt about just how complicated this undertaking is. Creative Assembly says that Immortal Empires will be "content complete" at launch, but that there are countless small things that will take time to fix.
In particular, the developers have highlighted issues with how Corruption works, lighting quality on maps from the first two games, and balancing factions across the three games to ensure there's a generally consistent playing field. These will take time, and when combined with the extensive post-launch DLC outlined in the roadmap for Total War: Warhammer 3.
Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer 2 both had extensive post-launch support, and Total War: Warhammer 3 shouldn't be any different.
Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires will feature the beta tag until the developers feel it no longer applies, but this won't affect how it's accessed. You won't have to opt-in or sign up for something to play it. Instead, Immortal Empires will be available at launch for everyone.
Once the game mode launches, the developers are asking that players (respectfully) give feedback. Bugs, balancing issues, and other relevant feedback can and should be shared with Creative Assembly. This beta launch and the immediate months following it are being deemed "Phase 1" of Immortal Empires, but the mode won't be finalized for years to come.
Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires — Release date
We now have an exact release date for Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires beta, as Creative Assembly confirmed it's slated to launch on Aug. 23, 2022.
Prior to this, the developers had indicated that Immortal Empires beta was slated to launch in August, so everyone will be able to start playing at that point. From there, the game will grow with additional DLC packs, updates, tweaks, patches, and more.
We'll be sure to provide updates here as more information on Immortal Empires (as well as future plans for the mode) become available.
Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.
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