While Wargaming may be best known for the WW2 vehicle based multiplayer games, perhaps a little less well known is their upcoming project with Horsham based studio, Creative Assembly. Famous for developing the Total War games - a line of epic strategy games that span the earlier parts of history - Total War: ARENA marks a collaboration between the two sides, taking the historical strategy of the Total War games, and blending it with the Wargaming approach to team based online games.
If that sounds like a bit of a mish-mash to you, you're probably not alone, but early reports suggest that Total War: ARENA actually works pretty well. Rather than having to control an entire army on your own, ARENA instead encourages teamwork by putting you as a commander of a small battalion of three squads, each of which in turn is made up of hundreds of warriors. Playing as either the Greeks, Romans, or Barbarians, you'll have access to a range of different unit types, from your bog standard melee infantry, to mounted cavalry, artillery (which in this case means giant flaming trebuchets), and even "wardogs". Which are actual dogs. With each unit having its own set of strengths and weaknesses, it's up to you to work together with your team to position your units, work on strategies, and see off the enemy armies to win the day.
While it's been in closed beta testing for a while, as of today (24th November), Total War: ARENA is hosting an open week, where anyone can sign up, download the game, and join in the fun, in order to give their servers a real stress test. As a reward for signing up, anyone who answers the call to arms will earn three special premium units, which will carry over into the main game: a Tier 4 Auxiliary Cavalry, a Roman spear cavalry unit; a Tier 4 Bloodsworn, a Barbarian sword unit; and a Tier 4 Telesillas Argives, a Greek spear unit.
If you want to get involved with the action, all you need to do is head over to the Total War: ARENA website, where you can download the game and get stuck in without spending a penny.