As a long-time Total Warhammer fan, I‘ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Total War: Warhammer 3. Now that I‘ve had a chance to complete a full campaign, the question on every fan‘s mind is: does Warhammer 3‘s campaign live up to the hype?
In my expert opinion, yes – Warhammer 3‘s campaign is good overall. It‘s an incredibly deep and engaging strategy experience. However, some design flaws like the chaotic endgame hold it back from matching the height of Mortal Empires in Warhammer 2.
The Highs and Lows of Warhammer 3‘s Campaign
Let‘s start by recapping the main pros and cons of Warhammer 3‘s core campaign gameplay:
- Jaw-dropping visuals, cutscenes, and art design that pull you into the dark fantasy world
- Four highly distinct playable races with diverse playstyles and mechanics
- The classic, satisfying Total War gameplay loop enhanced to new heights
- Survival battles add an exciting twist on sieges
- Overhauled diplomacy with new strategic depth
- Technical issues like turn time lags and stuttering
- Realm of Chaos becomes repetitive and limiting
- Simplistic siege battles outside of survival mode
- Steep learning curve for new players
- Chaotic endgame that loses direction
So in summary, Warhammer 3 executes exceptionally on core gameplay, visual presentation, and narrative. But it stumbles on technical aspects, campaign pacing, and approachability.
Warhammer 3 Campaign vs. Previous Total War Titles
To fully evaluate Warhammer 3‘s campaign merits, we should see how it compares to previous Total War titles. Let‘s look at some key metrics:
|Game||Main Campaign Length|
|Rome 2||60-100 hours|
|Warhammer 1||60-120 hours|
|Warhammer 2||80-160 hours|
|Warhammer 3||70-140 hours|
Warhammer 3‘s campaign duration falls in the middle of the pack – longer than early historical titles but shorter than Warhammer 2‘s Mortal Empires.
Warhammer 3 has the steepest learning curve out of any Total War besides perhaps Three Kingdoms. The chaos realms, demonic gifts, god-specific mechanics, and survival battles add layers of systems to master.
Unfortunately, Warhammer 3 suffers from more technical issues, slowdown, and lag than any previous Total War title at launch. Turn times can crawl past 5 minutes in the late game. Performance optimizations are sorely needed.
With 8 starting factions and 86 Legendary Lords, Warhammer 3 offers tons of replay value. Each race provides a unique experience and path to victory. Prior Total Wars had replayability around 3-5 distinct campaigns.
Many players criticize Warhammer 3‘s chaotic endgame as directionless. The journey through the demon realms also disrupts momentum. By contrast, Warhammer 2 and Shogun 2 had consistently smooth campaign pacing from start to finish.
Innovations and Standout Elements
While imperfect, Warhammer 3 introduces some campaign features that represent meaningful steps forward for the series:
- Survival battles – no more cheesing siege battles; now defending a walled settlement feels truly epic.
- Realm of Chaos – teleporting to nightmarish demon dimensions makes for tense, novel mid-game challenges.
- Sprawling map – the most detailed and massive campaign map ever in Total War, with vivid distinct regions.
These innovations push the envelope in terms of campaign scope and gameplay variety compared to older historical titles. Warhammer 3 falls short of greatness but points towards the future potential for Total War campaigns.
Suggestions for Improvement
In my first 600 hours with Warhammer 3, I‘ve identified several enhancements that could help the campaign reach its full potential:
- Performance optimization – reduce turn times and improve framerates to create smoother experience
- AI tweaks – improve siege and settlement defense tactics
- Better Chaos Realm rewards – make each realm journey feel more rewarding
- Victory condition changes – add late game threats to sustain tension after achieving daemonhood
- Co-op campaigns – deliver multiplayer campaigns with 4+ players and drop-in battles
The Verdict: A Flawed but Strong Addition
While Warhammer 3 doesn‘t claim the Total War campaign crown, it still delivers a marvelous fantasy strategy experience. The breath-taking battles and faction diversity overshadow the repetitive Chaos Realms. Technical improvements could elevate it to an all-time great Total War campaign. I wholeheartedly recommend Warhammer fans and strategy gamers play through it, temper your expectations around the endgame, and enjoy conquering a lavishly crafted new world.
In my expert judgment, Warhammer 3‘s campaign earns a solid 8/10 score – not quite the franchise pinnacle, but another jewel in Total War‘s ornate strategic crown nonetheless. I‘m eager to revisit the epic campaign once Immortal Empires brings the massive combined map. The future looks bright for Total War: Warhammer!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions about Warhammer 3‘s campaign strengths and weaknesses. I‘m happy to offer additional insights from the frontlines of this expansive fantasy strategy epic. See you on the battlefield!