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Total War: Attila trailer delves into the darkness of historical chaos

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One of the new ideas that The Creative Assembly is bringing to Total War: Attila is the notion of nomadic factions: playable tribes that wander in search of a new home.

This trailer from publisher Sega, released today, takes a look at the Goths, who are forced onto the road by the coming hordes of Huns and by climate change. When I played the game earlier this month, I noted that the factions seemed less rooted to their own patch of land than in most strategy games, that upping sticks and moving on may well be a valid strategy.

The trailer also takes climate change and famine as a central theme. Total War: Attila is set during a time of civilizational breakdown, due to political reasons driven by catastrophic environmental shifts. It's interesting that, although this game takes a Great Man as its marketing and narrative focus, it's also taking a fuller view of history, and daring to incorporate those ideas into its gameplay.

For example, players who find a nice place to settle and defend are also in for some nasty surprises, as the climate becomes colder, famine starts to bite and, inevitably, plague arrives. If nothing else, this trailer shows that Total War: Attila takes on some grim themes. It isn't all about glorious leaders, marauding armies and the flash of steel.

Total War: Attila will be released for Windows PC on Feb. 17.