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Total War: Warhammer II – Curse Of The Vampire Coast

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 21 - 2018

Bring me my undead parrot.

I will admit that it has been a while since I played the tabletop Warhammer game, but I like to think I know my way around the various races that populate the Warhammer world. However, for some reason, I don’t seem to remember there being a race based on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Maybe I missed them?

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The Curse of the Vampire Coast campaign pack brings a brand new faction to Total War: Warhammer II, a game that is already packed to the rafters with content. This time around, we are basically talking about zombie pirates, which is never a bad thing to talk about. Given the number of undead nasties that Captain Jack has had to face in the movies, there is plenty of inspiration to draw on and the variety of different units, along with new mechanics and objectives, make for a very tasty addition to the main game.

I would just like to raise one thing before I get into the specifics of this new DLC. I am really not a big fan of the Total War front end. To be more precise, I am not a fan of choosing to get new DLC, being taken out of the game to Steam in order to get it, which then launches the game for some reason, and then having to restart the game in order to finally get the DLC. Maybe I am missing something somewhere, but that is a lot of faff just to get your DLC. Please, Creative Assembly, do something about it.

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Okay, back to undead pirates. The Curse of the Vampire Coast introduces four legendary pirate lords to the game, and what a bunch of characters they are. Each of the lords share the same faction traits as each other, but also bring along their own unique traits and personalities, or in the case of Luthor Harkon, multiple personalities. Seriously, how much fun can it be to play as a lord that changes his personality every few turns. They are all pretty cool, and offer varying levels of difficulty for the player. This is quite handy, as there are some new things to think about for those who have not yet played Total War: Warhammer II to death.

There is a main campaign specific to the factions of the Vampire Coast, in which the Great Vortex appears to have awoken Amanar, a Merwyrm. To you and me, that’s a big, scary, sea serpent. Anyway, being undead pirates and the like, the various factions have decided it would be great to defeat Amanar and then resurrect it and use it to control the seas. But doing this will mean finding a legendary weapon, the Star-Metal harpoon, and then gathering the verses of a magical sea shanty from some pirate captains. Yeah, pretty cool, huh?

This introduces a new, Vampire Coast specific currency for players to worry about, Infamy. This is a metric of just how cool your pirate lord is, and can be collected by doing all of those things that a pirate would normally do. This means things like fighting or attacking coastal towns, along with other fun pastimes.

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One great way of raising Infamy is through Pirate Coves. This is a unique option for the Vampire Coast factions in that they can sack a settlement and then establish it as a Pirate Cove, leaving control how it was but using it to generate money and resources. Of course, establishing settlements is still a possibility, but the great thing about the Vampire Coast factions is that they can work as both a regular and a horde faction, with the Lord’s ship being a mobile base of sorts, which the player can improve and generate troops from. It means that roaming the open seas is no more risky than wandering in the back yard.

Perhaps the best thing about the Total War: Warhammer games is the variety of the units. Don’t get me wrong, in the more historically accurate Total War games the units can be cool, but they tend to be just different uniforms. For the Total War: Warhammer games it is like an explosion of creativity and colour, and the Curse of the Vampire Coast DLC just pushed that further. So you’ve got vampires and loads of zombies. There are a lot of guns in the Vampire Coast, so ranged combat is often a big thing. There are also crabs. However, perhaps the most impressive is the Necroflex Collossus, a giant-sized reanimated monster that is made up of whatever debris happened to be available, including the flesh of the dead. Sorry, but it is just awesome.

There is a whole bunch of other piratey goings on in Curse of the Vampire Coast, including treasure maps for those willing to hunt. Pieces of Eight are held by pirate captains and claiming these will give the player access to Regiments of Renown. It’s a fairly comprehensive DLC pack that will give many more hours of fun to any Total War: Warhammer II fan. However, there is one thing missing. Where is the naval combat? Surely this could have been built into the game somehow. Instead, battles will take place almost always on a conveniently appearing island. The possible exception comes at the end of the campaign, but I am not going to spoil that epic battle.

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Total War: Warhammer II is already a massive game, especially when combined with the first game. What Curse of the Vampire Coast brings is not only more content, although there is a lot of that, but a really cool new faction, some new mechanics to worry about and master, and freaking zombie pirates. Isn’t that enough people? Probably one of the best expansions for the already great RTS game.




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