Medieval II: Total War On Linux, Plays Fine With RadeonSI
Written by Eric Griffith in Linux Gaming on 28 January 2016. Page 1 of 2. 15 Comments

Author's note: Testing was done on a Fedora 23 x64 Workstation, with the RadeonSI driver. No technical problems involving the game were had. Congratulations to Feral for yet another successful port. Read on for a review of the game itself. I'm coming at this as a player who started with Shogun 2.

Some History:

Debuting in 2006, Medieval II: Total War, and its Kingdoms expansion, were the final Total War game to use the second version of the Total War Engine. It is also, arguably, the last game in a generation for the series. The follow-up to this game was Empire: Total War (also available on Linux), which changed the game engine, user-interface, as well as several of the gameplay mechanics-- such as adding naval battles.

As is common for several OS X and Linux ports these days, this port was handled by Feral Interactive.

The Game:

Medieval II: Total War follows the same premise as other games in the Total War series, and could be compared to the likes of Civilization, though with a more historical and combat focus. The main premise of the game revolves around the the World Map, broken down by territories and provinces which are controlled by one faction or another. In the base game you have the option of playing as the English, French, Italians, Spanish or the Holy Roman Empire. More factions are available to play-- 17 in total, once you progress through the campaign a couple times. The goal? Pretty simple, in a short campaign? Wipe out your rivals. For a long campaign? Control Europe, and part of Africa, of course. It's the simple things in life right?

The expansion: Kingdoms, opens this up to more areas of The Holy Lands, The Americas, and the Baltics.

Take control of cities, control their development, raise armies and generals and march your forces across Europe, Africa, the Americas. The player controls every aspect of their faction's development. Want a castle where you have a city? Go ahead and change it over, you'll collect less income, but it's much more useful for economic development. French breathing down your necks while you're trying to conquer the future United Kingdoms? Send a diplomat off to the Italians and the Romans and ask them to become your allies against the French to give you some breathing room.

The cities themselves could practically cover a game in and of themselves. Upgrade their defenses, their economic capabilities, handle their garrisons against attackers, tax policy, as well as handling conversion to and from various religions. Want to play defense or offense? Maybe turn that settlement into a castle, but if you do that then it makes you less money than a city would, which means you might not be able to pay those soldiers you just garrisoned there. Turn the settlement into city instead and it will make you more money, but it's much easier for an invading army to take over. Turn by turn, season by season, year by year, one city can be the difference between being the in hole three grand per turn, and being up ten grand. It's a delicate balance of economy vs defense, and it's oh so easy to screw up.

Armies and cities aren't the only ways to control the map though, a few well placed agents (missionaries, assassins, spies, or merchants) and you can keep an eye on your enemies, assassinate key personnel, pick their economies apart bit by bit. Or, there's my personal favorite: incite unrest in their cities until they are forced to make a choice. They can either keep their armies at home, fighting the unrest, which keeps their offensive capabilities tied down, or they can risk taking new cities... while rebels take over the cities you just started riots in. It's a situation that spirals out of control pretty quickly.

If you're not looking to rewrite history, Medieval II also allows you to replay historical battles from history, such as the Battle for Agincourt.

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