This could be the studio's best Total War game. That's the argument Creative Assembly is making this morning, at any rate — an argument for delaying Total War: Warhammer by a month to May 24.
The developers announced the news in a slightly curious way, with the studio saying in their Steam announcement that "we want reviewers to have enough time to play it thoroughly before launch, so that you get a fair review from a reviewer you trust".
It's not too often you see the press referenced as reasoning for a delay, although chances are you might need the extra time to save up for a hardware upgrade regardless. The studio also used the announcement as an opportunity to reveal the minimum and recommended PC specifications.
CA's recommended specs are a little more interesting than most, as they've provided scenarios and frame rate targets for what players can expect if their rigs meet said requirements. Here's all the details:
PC Minimum Specifications: [Expected around 15-25 FPS on campaign map and in a 1v1, 20 units vs 20 units battle, default graphics preset set to “Low”] Operating System: Windows 7 64Bit Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 3.0Ghz RAM: 3GB* Hard Drive: 35 GB Video Card: (DirectX 11) AMD Radeon HD 5770 1024MB | NVIDIA GTS 450 1024MB | Intel HD4000 @720P (*) PC integrated graphics chipsets require 4GB ram, e.g. Intel HD series PC Recommended Specifications: [Expected around 45-55 FPS on campaign map and in a 1v1, 20 units vs 20 units battle, default graphics preset set to “High”] Operating System: Windows 7/8.1/10 64Bit Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4570 3.20GHz RAM: 8 GB Hard Drive: 35 GB Video Card: (DirectX 11) AMD Radeon R9 270X 2048MB | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2048MB @1080P PC 60fps+ Specifications: [Expected 60 FPS+ on campaign map and in a 1v1, 20 units vs 20 units battle, default graphics preset set to “Ultra”] Operating System: Windows 7/8.1/10 64Bit Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-4790K 4.0 GHz RAM: 8 GB Hard Drive: 35 GB Video Card: (DirectX 11) AMD Fury X or Nvidia GTX 980 @1080P
20 vs 20 units doesn't sound like a whole lot, although you have to remember this is a Total War game, so a single "unit" is actually a battalion of Orcs or Chaos archers. Well, maybe not precisely those units, but you get the idea.
Needing a 980 or a Fury X GPU just to get 60+ FPS on the campaign map is pretty hefty, mind you. It'll be interesting to see how AMD and NVIDIA's new GPUs later this year handle TW:W; the Total War games have been good benchmarking tools in the past, and it'll be interesting to see if CA takes advantage of the multi-threading capabilities in DirectX 12 or Vulkan down the road.
The company also revealed what the graphics presets were for Low, Medium, High and Ultra settings, another step that you don't see a lot of other PC developers take. For those who are curious, here's that table too.
It's interesting that screen space reflections are disabled by default on all presets: perhaps that, along with DOF, are the kinds of effects gamers running dual or tri-SLI/Crossfire setups should turn on. I'd personally never bother with depth of field — if I want a picture to be blurry, I'll muck around with my DSLR — but it's cool to see that CA are being upfront about all of it.
One final note to leave this story on: the company's creative director, Mike Simpson, also wanted to thank all the people who have pre-ordered the game so far. That comes after the studio felt compelled to explain themselves at length following the public backlash against the Chaos Warriors being partitioned off as DLC and a pre-order bonus. And that follows the launch of Total War: Rome 2, which required weeks of patching to correct its abysmal performance at launch.