Total War: Warhammer II has just been announced, and we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to discuss the strategy sequel with game director Ian Roxburgh and communications manager Al Bickham shortly before the big reveal.
As we found out during our interview, Warhammer II is a standalone game, so you don't need the original to play a new campaign that brings new races (high elves, dark elves, lizardmen, and a fourth that they'll be talking more about "in the future") to the digital table. It's coming later this year (we're not sure exactly when) and it promises to expand on the foundations laid down with the first game. As Ian Roxburgh explained that they're "looking at taking on four new races. It's a different chunk of the world," and they're "looking to expand on the feature set, evolve the gameplay, and generally take it from there."
"Warhammer II will have a completely different standalone campaign map that is just a full scale map," Roxburgh continued, "the same size as it was in Warhammer I, but a different chunk of landmass. And at the same time the team's also working on a separate mega campaign that will combine all of the content from Warhammer I and Warhammer II and all the DLC that we've released in-between, to create the biggest, most rich and diverse Total War campaign game that we've ever made... That will be available for purchasers of Warhammer I and II, for free, shortly after the release of Warhammer II."
Given how the new "mega campaign" will play out across the entirety of the campaign map, it'll require players to own both games. Those who do so will thus have three campaigns to conquer, with the third one spanning the land masses and factions of both games. As you'll read later with regards to their plans for the final game in the trilogy, it sounds like it's going to be a trick they repeat when it comes to Warhammer III.
One of the biggest departures from Total War: Warhammer when considered against CA's historical games, is the asymmetrical nature of the different factions. As Roxburgh explained, they're looking "to develop that [asymmetrical gameplay] further, expand on it, make everything even more unique, and play to the strengths of the things that people liked and enjoyed, and really go to town on it. And you'll see throughout the DLC that we've already done for Total War: Warhammer, we've already started doing that even more; with Warhammer II we'll just take that to a whole new level. We want people to feel like you're not so much choosing which race you're going to play as, but you'll be choosing what style of Total War game you want to play."