Total War Pharaoh: A Fresh Take on a Classic Formula

Total War Pharaoh

Total War Pharaoh is an upcoming game in the Total War series that promises to bring a fresh take on the classic swords-and-sandals formula. Developed by Creative Assembly’s Sophia studio, this ancient sandbox has introduced a plethora of campaign mechanics that make it stand out from its predecessors. In this article, we will delve into the exciting features and gameplay elements of Total War Pharaoh, exploring its unique setting, intricate campaign mechanics, and engaging battles.

A Rich and Detailed Campaign World

Total War Pharaoh takes place in the ancient lands of Egypt, encompassing the Nile Valley, the historical region of Napata in modern-day Sudan, the Levant, and the South-Central part of Anatolia. This expansive playable area allows for diverse strategic opportunities and challenges as players navigate the political landscape and vie for power. Whether you choose to become the Pharaoh of Egypt in the South or the Great King of the Hittites in the North, the ultimate goal is to claim the crown and establish your dominance.

Unveiling the Campaign Mechanics

The campaign mechanics of Total War Pharaoh are unparalleled in the series to date. As you embark on your journey, you’ll encounter a multitude of features that add depth and complexity to the gameplay. One notable addition is the division of inhabited locations into three different levels: major settlements, minor settlements, and outposts. This division reflects the pre-industrial world’s structure, with villages surrounding towns and towns surrounding central cities. The inclusion of outposts allows for customization and specialization of regions, enhancing the strategic aspect of the game.

The Race for Legitimacy

In Total War Pharaoh, the struggle for power involves a race for Legitimacy, a valuable resource that can be obtained through controlling core lands, constructing important buildings, and passing Royal Decrees. Legitimacy serves as the currency for challenging the current ruler in a civil war, where other pretenders may also participate. The number of participating factions in a civil war can be adjusted, allowing players to decide the level of chaos they want to experience. Becoming the Pharaoh or the Great King is just the beginning, as you continue to accumulate royal powers and work on your Ancient Legacy.

Cultivating Ancient Legacy

Your Ancient Legacy in Total War Pharaoh is shaped by the great ruler of the past you choose to emulate. Whether it’s trade, warfare, or diplomacy, your Ancient Legacy determines your goals and unlocks new powers along the way. For example, following in the footsteps of Thutmose the Conqueror grants you the ability to weaken cities before attacking them by sabotaging their infrastructure or inciting betrayal. This dynamic system adds depth to the strategy, allowing players to tailor their playstyle to their chosen ruler.

Navigating the Royal Court

The Royal Court in Total War Pharaoh introduces multiple positions with special powers, such as the Treasurer and the Vizier. Players can interact with these court members, seeking favor or plotting against them. Building a positive relationship with a court member can provide access to powerful units or temporary perks, while negative actions can chip away at their Legitimacy and potentially lead to stealing their positions. The court actions revolve around a six-turn cycle, mirroring the seasons of the Ancient Egyptians and adding a strategic layer to the gameplay.

The Influence of the Gods

The gods of Egypt, Canaan, and the Hittites play a significant role in Total War Pharaoh. Players can choose to worship up to three deities as long as they own a region associated with that particular god. Each deity has their own benefits and bonuses, including happiness, reduced labor costs, and battlefield perks. However, players must maintain the devotion of their troops, as a wavering belief can result in penalties. The inclusion of the gods adds a religious dynamic to the game, creating a unique experience for players to navigate.

Dynamic Battles and Degrading Armor

Total War Pharaoh introduces a significant change to the battle mechanics with the degradation of armor. As battles progress, heavily-armored units will start to lose the benefits of their bronze adornments. This change forces players to adapt their strategies, considering the weight and speed of their units. Swift and lightly-armored troops, such as Egyptian forces, fare better in prolonged battles, as they don’t experience as much armor degradation. Weather conditions also impact battles, adding an element of unpredictability and further challenging players’ tactical decisions.

The Threat of Natural Disasters and Invaders

The state of Bronze Age civilization in Total War Pharaoh is influenced by the status quo factions’ control over important settlements and their prosperity. As settlements fall and the world plunges into crisis, the rate of natural disasters increases, and the ferocity of invaders intensifies. The Sea Peoples, in particular, pose a significant threat to the stability of the Nile Valley. A crumbling Hittite Empire can lead to trade opportunities drying up, affecting resource availability. Players must navigate these challenges and ensure the survival and prosperity of their kingdom.

A Visual and Immersive Experience

Total War Pharaoh offers a visually stunning and immersive experience. The game’s attention to detail in recreating the ancient world is evident, from the monumental pyramids to the shimmering shores of the New Kingdom. The graphics and animations bring the historical setting to life, providing players with a captivating experience as they lead their armies to victory.


Total War Pharaoh breathes new life into the Total War series, offering a fresh take on the classic formula. With its rich campaign mechanics, intricate gameplay elements, and immersive visuals, it promises to be an engaging and challenging experience for fans of the genre. Whether you’re a seasoned Total War player or new to the series, Total War Pharaoh is a game worth keeping an eye on. Prepare to embark on an epic journey through ancient Egypt and carve your path to greatness as the Pharaoh or the Great King.

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