If you've ever wanted to know what it would be like to oversee a long-term invasion of England and Ireland in ancient history, then Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is perfect for you. Between the various different types of warfare you'll engage in, managing settlements that you create in the new land, and the fantastic visuals, the game gives you plenty of bang for your buck. The only real issue is the fact that the game can feel less challenging then it should be more often than not.

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Gameplay: Lead your faction to glory

In Thrones of Britannia, you're able to play as ten different factions — two of them Anglo-Saxon, two Welsh, two Gaelic, and four Norse — all of which vying for control of the ancient European lands. Each group seeks to control as much terrain as possible and use the country's resources to propel themselves to fortune and power. To do this, you will need to lead your faction both on the battlefield and back in the villages that you create.

While moving your forces is done via turns, actual combat is handled in real-time. You have a wide array of troops at your disposal; everything from swordsmen to archers to siege engines for assaulting fortified structures can be integrated into your armies, and understanding how each unit works with others, and how to maximize their effectiveness in battle, represents the core of Thrones of Britannia.

As good as the gameplay mechanics are, though, the game does suffer from a lack of solid challenge. The best thing about strategy games is that they challenge your mind and force you to think critically about the situations you find yourself in. In Thrones of Britannia, however, combat is somewhat a breeze once you master the basics.

Fortunately, there's another type of play as well: settlement management. As you battle your way through the countryside, you will need to create settlements for your people to live in. More importantly, settlements also critical to the success of your military campaign — without food production and high morale from your civilians, even the strongest armies can crumble to ruin. In this regard, Thrones of Britannia feels very close to a Civilization game.

Presentation: The beauty of warfare

The landscape of Thrones of Britannia is absolutely beautiful, and is without a doubt the most aesthetically appealing backdrop in any strategy game I've ever played. Details that games of this genre usually skip out on are noticeable if you have a keen eye; for example, you can see individual flowers and blades of grass when looking at the land.

This excellence translates into the fighting, too. Each individual soldier on the battlefield has a unique look, and everything from beard length and style to hair color varies when looking from man to man. Additionally, dents in armor or blood on weapons can be observed as well. All of this makes the experience feel more authentic and immersive, which is a huge plus.

Thrones of Britannia for PC conclusion

Though the gameplay does suffer from feeling too easy at many points, the depth of the game mechanics and excellence of the visuals help carry Thrones of Britannia to greatness.

Pros:

  • Great gameplay mechanics.
  • Fantastic visuals.

Cons:

  • Gameplay can feel very easy at points.

4 out of 5

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is available now for $39.99 on Steam.

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This review was conducted on a PC, using a copy provided by the publisher.