Creative Assembly’s Bronze Age Total War spinoff, titled A Total War Saga: Troy, is finally hitting Steam, after a year of Epic Games’ Store exclusivity. The launch of the new Mythos expansion pack just so happens to coincide with this rerelease and, after spending a lot of time hours with the Mythos DLC, I can assure everyone that it’s a solid addition that builds on the already great features of the base game. It also helps to distinguish the game from its predecessors.
The Total War franchise has become well known for its impressive historical titles in its depictions of various time periods over the years. One of the main draws for players of the Mythos expansion is, in fact, the exact opposite. Mythos aims to embrace the mythological side of Ancient Greece as described in The Iliad and the DLC introduces a whole host of new units, abilities, and mechanics. These are mainly centered around the Ancient Greek myths.
But players who are existing fans of the more historically accurate base campaigns will be very pleased to see that all the content from this pack is only accessible through an entirely new stand-alone Mythos campaign mode. That means players who purchase the pack won’t suddenly find their existing saved games disrupted by any of the new content.
When I began a new campaign, some of the most significant changes were immediately apparent. For example, a number of units had been replaced by their mythological counterparts, with many starter armies included the likes of centaurs and harpies. It’s a nice touch and although these creatures don’t perform too differently from their historical counterparts, I appreciated being able to quickly get into battles with some of the new combatants.
It must be noted that there are also a couple of changes to the map, with a handful of fantastical ruins now adding a little more character to the otherwise fairly forgettable environments of the overworld and battlefields. The colors are also much more saturated and beautiful to behold.
Depictions of the various Greek gods are now visible in the sky, presumably to highlight the pack’s increased focus on the newly overhauled Divine Will system. The Divine Will system was only a small part of the base game. With the occasional prayer to the gods or temple, it provided little more than a couple of very situational percentage stat bonuses. The addition of some new powerful abilities makes pleasing the gods a far more appealing prospect.
For example, leveling up your Divine Will level with prayers to Poseidon will allow the player to summon huge waves on the battlefield which can sometimes, pun intended, change the tide of a battle. It’s not a huge change but it goes a long way in helping the system feel worthwhile. It also makes it seem like something actually worth pursuing.
By far the most incredible addition is the new Mythic Expedition screen. Through this screen, players can spend resources to launch expeditions to try and capture one of three huge mythological creatures. These include a massive Griffin; Cerberus, the three-headed dog; or a gigantic Hydra.
These special expeditions take the form of occasional pop-up dialogue boxes with text prompts, usually outlining a problem your soldiers are facing in the pursuit of your chosen monster and allowing you to choose a solution. These chosen solutions can provide additional troops, buffs, or even debuffs when the time comes for your final confrontation with the creature. These are massive battles involving two of your chosen armies and a great mythological foe. In other words—do or die time. These battles looks great on decent gaming PCs or gaming laptops.
Each of these creature’s abilities and the paths to unlock them feel pleasantly distinct and are fun for a few hours. But they provide such great bonuses that completing one in your Mythos playthroughs is pretty much a necessity. Because of this, I can see these encounters might feel like a chore over time.
To be honest, however, the Mythos pack goes a long way in helping to set A Total War Saga: Troy apart from the other games that came before it. Therefore, it serves its purpose as an enjoyable diversion from the main campaign. The upgraded Divine Will system is a fantastic addition. Similarly, the new Mythic Expeditions are a lot of fun at first but likely won’t be able to hold player’s attention past the first few playthroughs. Maybe they’ll add more monsters and Expeditions later on in the game’s development.
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