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Total War: Pharaoh

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Total War: Pharaoh is the latest entry of the Total War Series developed by The Creative Assembly.

Released in October 2023, this title focuses on the turbulent days of ancient Egypt, set in the late bronze age much like the thematically similar Total War Saga: Troy.


Total War: Pharaoh is described on Steam:

"In Total War: PHARAOH, the newest entry in the award-winning grand strategy series, immerse yourself in ancient Egypt at the zenith of its power and experience the dramatic events that threaten its destruction. With dynamic real-time battles and incredible turn-based empire management, can you rise above your adversaries to become Egypt’s last great Pharaoh and stand against the collapse of an iconic civilisation?"

The game takes a more narrow approach to the campaign than previous games, focusing on the immediate area of Egypt and the territories it expanded to in its zenith. The scale of the map is smaller than most mainline titles and players experienced with Troy report many similar aspects from interface design to the overall feel of the game, however unlike its immediate historical predecessors it moves away from mythology and goes back to a more strictly historically authentic design. Factions are based around characters rather than fully organized states, with each faction vying for political and military influence. The player can seek political office in the Egyptian or Hittite royal courts, or turn your back on the politics of the court and forge your own path.

Pharaoh launched with both praise and criticism, beginning with mixed reviews corresponding to other controversies with Creative Assembly in 2023. Critics point to lacking innovation and underwhelming content for a full price flagship entry to the series. Fans of the project highlight its decently polished campaign despite the smaller scale and some of its immersive battle features.

General Information

Campaign Map and Mechanics

Total War: Pharaoh's campaign map covers Egypt, the conventional "Holy Land" and Anatolia. Over the course of the game various challenges are added, including an increase in natural disasters, the arrival of Sea People invasions, and other challenges particularly affecting public order to simulate the late Bronze Age collapse. The campaign start is quite customizable with the player able to affect starting positions, the conditions of natural disasters, and resource distribution - a more granular way to set up campaign difficulty than older titles.

Battle Mechanics

Pharaoh brings new combat mechanics to the game including: dynamic weather with consequential effect on the battlefield (such as thunderstorms and sandstorms), indication of degrading armor while in combat, spreading fire if one is set on the battlefield, and unit stances to change how units behave when commanded to move. For example, units in a stance to fall back will move backwards, without exposing their front to attack. Various mechanics included in Pharaoh may be recognized from the late Total War: Arena multiplayer title.

Playable Factions

At launch, the player could choose from eight leaders who represented the three power factions of the time period. After the free High Tide update in January 2024, players could also play two Sea Peoples factions, the Sherden and the Peleset, so the game offers four playable cultures and 10 playable factions.

There are also many non-playable cultures (in March 2024, Welsh Dragon listed these as including Habiru, Isuwu, Kaskians, Libu, Luwians, Nubian Kushites, Philistines, Phrygians, Shasu and Syrians). The player can recruit native units which include warriors from some of these cultures, when you are in regions where these cultures are found.

Ancient Egypt

The Canaanites

Hittite Empire

Sea Peoples

  • Sherden
  • Peleset

Reviews and Media

Pharaoh has received generally positive critical reviews, but has also been the source of substantial controversy which may be considered a turning point for how Creative Assembly develops its titles. It has received praise for its execution of the grand campaign and some of the interesting mechanics included, but heavy criticism for its limited scope, overall limited innovation and initial high price for what many found to be a Saga-level of content. Subsequent to the launch Creative Assembly reduced the price and arranged partial refunds for original purchasers, they also announced that the first DLC would be issued as a free update.

Surrounding its launch has been community criticism of Creative Assembly's handling of their games, and heavy turbulence in the studio including the cancellation of an unrelated high-budget project and heavy layoffs.

Critic reviews:

Pharaoh Community on TWC


System Requirements

As given through the Steam Store:

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows 10 64-Bit
Processor: Intel i3-2100 / AMD FX-4300
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 / AMD R9 270
Storage: 50 GB available space

Recommended Requirements:

OS: Windows 10 64-Bit
Processor: Intel i5-6600/Ryzen 5 2600X
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti / AMD RX 480
Storage: 50 GB available space

Total War: PharaohRome: Total War & Remastered PortalTotal War Saga: TroyTotal War: Three Kingdoms PortalTotal War Saga: Thrones of BritanniaTotal War: Warhammer PortalTotal War: AttilaTotal War: Rome II PortalTotal War: Shogun 2 PortalNapoleon: Total WarEmpire: Total WarMedieval 2: Total War PortalMedieval: Total WarThe Modding Portal

See also

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