While the big picture campaign may have some interesting quirks, co-op shines when you get into the real-time battles. If, like me, you get overwhelmed by attempting to manage each of your units while enemy forces charge down on you, then you should bring a friend along to help out. When one player gets into combat they can give direct control over some of their units to their co-op buddy, thereby delegating some of the responsibility. For example, maybe you only want to concern yourself with your ranged units, so you give your friend control over the infantry and cavalry squads. Not only does this allow you to better focus on a smaller portion of the battlefield at a time, it also provides you and your co-op buddy with some great chances to really strategize and use the units to their fullest (“ok, I’ll pull the enemies over here with my archers and when they get close, you charge in with that shield squad before hitting them from the side with the cavalry”). Granted, this is only an option if your co-op buddy doesn’t have their own army close enough to provide reinforcements mid-battle, in which case each player controls their forces separately.
As a fan of all things Warhammer, the Total War take on the game has been an adequate substitute for the tabletop experience and even allowed me to play with old buddies once more. Within the bigger picture of RTS titles, I feel like Total War: WARHAMMER 2 provides a little bit of the “best of both worlds” mechanics from a variety of games in the genre. Even if I’d prefer the battles to be turn-based instead of real-time to truly fulfill my tabletop dreams, they still capture some of the best parts of Warhammer and provide you with that same thrill when your dragons swoop down on a pack of Skaven. If you hold a particular, specific hatred for the rat creatures, you can even slow time down and zoom in on the action to watch them get torn to pieces. There’s plenty of fun to be had within the game by itself, and you can sink even more time into it if you own the original title thanks to Creative Assembly’s (wise) decision to pull all the races into the sequel and make them playable in the multiplayer Skirmishes and “Mortal Empire” campaign. At this point, the only other thing I’d wish for would be an army painter feature.
Total War: WARHAMMER 2 is definitely a step in the right direction for the franchise as a whole. While there are a few quirks when it comes to the co-op, playing with a friend feels like the best way to tackle the campaign. Not only do you have someone with whom you can shoot the breeze while you wait for the A.I. to finish up its turns, but you also open up the possibility to better execute certain strategies on the battlefield by divvying up control of the units. While the game scratches a very specific itch for me as a Warhammer fan, I believe Total War: WARHAMMER 2 is an excellent title in its own right and worth picking up if you’re in the mood for something else to give you that “one more turn” feeling.
The Co-Op Experience: The Co-Op Campaign mechanic in Total War: WARHAMMER 2 has changed from the previous title. Now, players play together as the same race - Dark Elves, High Elves, Skaven, or Lizardmen - with each player controlling a Legendary Lord of that race. Players can play online or via LAN. Alternatively, up to four players can team up together against up to a total of four A.I. opponents in "Multiplayer" battles. Each player chooses their own race, a lord, and up to 19 units from that race's roster to duke it out on the battlefield. "Multiplayer" battles support up to four players online, four players via LAN, or some combination of the two.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.