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Total War: Pharaoh

En egyptisk odyssé - Total War: Pharaoh Intervju

Vi träffade Creative Assembly:s Todor Nikolov för att prata allt om det kommande stora strategispelet, allt under vår tid i Köln för Gamescom 2023.

Audio transcriptions

"Hello everyone and welcome back to Gamereactor.
Right now we're at Gamescom and as you can probably tell by the wonderful face behind us, I'm at the Sega booth and about to talk with Todor Nikolov, the Game Director on Total War Pharaoh."

"So first of all, Todor, thank you for talking with us today, thank you for being here.
Before the first question, how has it been working on Total War Pharaoh?
Are people excited for this upcoming game?
The people are quite excited and it has been a real adventure to explore the world of the Bronze Age over the past few years."

"And right now over here at Gamescom the atmosphere is just awesome and actually I get to see people playing the game that we have worked for so long.
It's an incredible experience really.
And tell me a little bit about that as well."

"Why have you decided to go to Ancient Egypt for Total War Pharaoh?
What was the choice of this time period?
Well, first of all, Ancient Egypt is really influential, a culture and a civilization and it's well known throughout the world."

"And we wanted to tell a specific story from the entire lengthy history of Ancient Egypt, that about the Bronze Age collapse.
It's a period that's very fitting for a Total War game because at the end of the Bronze Age in this part of the world, like the area of Egypt and the modern Middle East, all of the civilizations were living together in a sort of international community, which was pretty stable, but over the course of several decades everything unraveled and most of these civilizations were no more in a pretty violent way, which is pure Total War material."

"And one of the key things about Total War games I've always found, especially the ones that are based on historical time periods, is that they're generally quite educational.
You like to tell stories that are real or inspired by real events."

"Is that the case again with Total War Pharaoh?
Yep, we're trying to take the player back to the Bronze Age and immerse them fully and they will learn a lot of things about the places and the gods and the type of warfare, for example.
The Late Bronze Age is particularly rich in cultural diversity and we're trying to portray that in the game as well."

"And how have you taken previous Total War games and what has been offered on those titles and incorporated and improved on them aspects in Total War Pharaoh?
We have tried to create a game that's easily recognizable to veteran players as a classic Total War title."

"For example, we're trying to make the battles kind of slower and less micromanagement heavy, where you have fewer but more impactful choices and you need to take into account various things around the battlefield.
For example, we're including a dynamic weather system, where the weather changes dynamically in battle and this will have different effects on the units, what they can do, penalties, bonuses, so a proper general needs to take this into account."

"And tell me a little bit about those generals as well.
There's been a lot that have already been revealed, more that are going to be revealed as we come up to that launch in October.
How are these generals different and how do they affect the gameplay?
Well, we have three major cultures in the game."

"We have the Egyptians that rely on desert warfare, on fast-moving chariots, on ranged units.
We have the Hittites, another culture with a couple of playable characters.
The Hittites are heavily armored, they rely on heavy chariots and slow, very well-defended infantry.
And we have the Canaanites."

"The Canaanites are survivors, they're very adaptable and flexible because they have spent their lives in the shadow of the great empires of Egypt and the Hittite Empire and they've really learned to survive.
Now, the Egyptians, we have four playable characters."

"Ramesses III, who is the protagonist of the game, so to speak, he's the one that historically saved Egypt from the Sea Peoples, these mysterious warlike tribes that came from across the sea and laid waste to the entire Bronze Age world from that time."

"So, Ramesses managed to protect Egypt from the Sea Peoples.
We also have Seti, who is a brutal warlord.
His wife, Tausred, who is a master strategist and a brilliant mastermind of all kinds of planning and administration."

"We have Amenmes, who is a spurned heir to the throne of Egypt, but he has been given command over the gold-rich land of Kush and he has the resources to claim the crown for himself.
From the Hittites, we've got Shupiluliuma, the last great king of the Hittite Empire."

"With his death, the great empire of the Hittites was no more.
And we have a possible usurper, Kurunta, who is a distant relative, kind of an unhinged character.
And from the Canaanites, we've got Bey, who has managed historically to become a high chancellor in Egypt and he's all about political scheming and backstabbing."

"And finally, we've got Irsu, who is a warlord, a marauder, a plunderer, and he actually kind of likes the fact that the Bronze Age is collapsing and he's going to contribute to the whole thing.
And tell me a little bit how these characters will interact with one another throughout the story that you're looking to weave in Total War Pharaoh."

"Overall, for most of these characters, we're trying to portray their family relations because, for example, for the Egyptians, we've got Amenmes, Seti and Tausred and they're all brothers and sisters in a way.
There is an elderly pharaoh, Merneptah."

"After his death, the entire Egypt, which is currently at the beginning of the Ark Campaign, is going to be stable.
Things are going to be unraveling.
There are civil wars going on."

"Ramesses is a bit of an outsider because he's not that close of a relative to the rest of the Egyptians but he will make sure to join the entire fray.
And he's also one of the factions that will likely meet the incoming Sea Peoples head-on."

"Something similar happens for the Hittites because Shubiluliuma and the other playable faction, Korunta, are actually relatives.
So Korunta also has some claims to the throne and we're portraying over there the conflict between, again, family conflict."

"For the Canaanites, we are portraying the different styles that the Canaanites used to survive.
Bay is someone that will try to worm his way inside a great empire such as Egypt or the Hittite Empire and will benefit from his knowledge of politics and his initiative.
While Irsu is the other type of Canaanite faction where they rely just on marauding and plundering their neighbor and enriching themselves in that manner."

"And you mentioned a moment ago that it looks to tell the story not just of these pharaohs but of the Egyptian culture in general.
And that includes the religious side of things with the gods.
How are you looking to include that in the way that the Egyptians used to worship their own deities?
Well, so, first of all, it's my own personal pain that we couldn't include absolutely every Bronze Age Hittite but there are literally hundreds of those."

"So in the game, you have gods that are related to different portions of the map.
So as you expand, you will gain access to new gods and you can choose which ones you want to worship in particular.
The worship itself is related to establishing your religious infrastructure.
So you build temples in your settlements and you also construct shrines on the map."

"They are interactable objects that can be constructed quite as buildings called outposts.
And the more of these buildings you have constructed, the greater the favor and the greater the bonuses that you receive.
But these are not passive for your entire faction.
Instead, you will be sending your armies, your generals to pray at the shrines and they will gain a temporary boost depending on the gods that they have chosen."

"You can also assign a general to be the special devoted general to a certain god and they will gain a permanent bonus.
The system gives you a variety of bonuses and you choose in which way to particularly employ them.
Total War Pharaoh is coming relatively soon. We're a couple of months out at this point."

"So for people who are going to be checking out that game when it does arrive, do you have any tips that you would give to players that are going to be checking out this game for the first time?
I would advise the players to check the tutorial campaign that we have prepared for them because it's there to teach you the ropes and teach you the basics."

"But there are also the campaign customization options that you can use, for example, in a variety of ways.
But for a new player, it would be prudent to make the game as easy as possible and in this way secure for themselves a safe playground.
In the campaign customization options, you can do a lot of things."

"You can, for example, if you're a new player, you might choose to give yourself more resources, make the AI more passive.
Perhaps you would not like to meet the Sea Peoples on your first playthrough, so you can tone them down or switch them off."

"On the other hand, if you're a veteran player and if you want more of a challenge, you can bump AI aggressiveness up or make the Sea Peoples stronger, challenge yourself by reducing the resources, limit the gods that you can worship to a degree.
And if you just want a different experience, you can safely start the campaign with a random starting position for your factions."

"That means that they will start in a different configuration, which leads to a very different kind of experience.
And then there's a final question for anyone out there who isn't familiar at this point.
When is Total War Pharaoh coming out and on what platforms will it be debuting?
Pharaoh is coming out on 11th of October and it's coming on Steam and Epic for PC."

"Well, there you have it.
Thank you very much, Total, for being here and talking with me today.
October, Total War Pharaoh, don't miss it.
We'll see you on the next Game Reactor interview."