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Total War: WARHAMMER II released for Linux, port from Feral Interactive

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Originally developed by Creative Assembly and published by SEGA, Total War: WARHAMMER II is another Linux port from Feral Interactive. Arriving on Linux a little over a year after the Windows release, it's another game to use the Vulkan API on Linux.

This also marks Feral’s 24th Linux port (27th if counting standalone expansions).

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This is actually the second game in a planned trilogy, with Total War: WARHAMMER II offering up a new narrative campaign. If you own the first Total War: WARHAMMER, you can grab the Mortal Empires free DLC which enables you to battle across a huge combined campaign map which stitches both games together. That sounds really rather exciting!

It’s quite a popular game, with it regularly hitting well over twenty thousand people and so having it on Linux and officially supporting is a great thing.

I’ve spoken to Feral Interactive, who confirmed that sadly again the online multiplayer is only for Linux and Mac, it will not work with Windows. Hopefully in future Feral will be able to work with developers even more closely to make fully cross-platform multiplayer a thing.

As expected, it comes with the Feral launcher styled appropriately to the game. It looks good, it's functional and I personally find it quite useful. Being able to pick a screen to display the game on and resolution before you load a game is really nice.

I know some people groan about launchers, but I think when done as well as they are for Feral games, they're more useful than annoying.

Some benchmarks are up next. All done at 1080p with the NVIDIA 415.13 driver. Worth noting that while Feral's system requirements state it was tested on the 396.54 driver, they did say "or better".

Also, when maxing out the settings, the game does warn about "Shadow detail" being set to "Extreme" being likely to cause some performance problems. Not something you should really do, unless your machine is an absolute power-house. Just including that for fun to see how it levels out at the very top.

Here's some results for you:

Ubuntu 18.10 versus Windows 10 benchmarks. Done on the same hardware, both installs up to date. On the Windows 10 side, the NVIDIA 416.94 driver was used. The DirectX mode was picked as 11, since DirectX 12 support for it on Windows is only classed as a beta, so we are comparing properly released states.

In terms of performance, it seems Feral have done a really good job overall. They really know their stuff now and their work with Linux ports and the Vulkan API seems to be paying off to give us some well performing Linux games that can be enjoyed by many. Looking over Windows benchmarks other people have done, it's looking very close.

As for the gameplay and the campaigns on offer, I won't step on the toes of our contributor BTRE who will do it justice, but it certainly seems quite interesting. After going through a rather pretty intro video, the initial campaign load time on a HDD was quite long at 2-3 minutes (seems to be much faster on an SSD according to BTRE). Thankfully, loading the first battle took half the initial game loading time.

Once in, testing myself in the campaign on Ultra everything seems to be really smooth, not even the slightest hint of stutter seen. After a solid hour+ it's not given me any issues at all. Very happy with the Linux port, I'm not usually one for Total War games but even I'm quite impressed.

You can pick up a copy from Humble Store, Feral Store or head directly to Steam.

A full Linux gameplay review will be up within a week from BTRE as there was no advanced access

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38 comments
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Patola 20 November 2018 at 6:10 pm UTC
Now let's just hope that the incoming steam sales might let us keep spending by buying ALL THE DLCS!!!

NOTE: I have a spare 50% discount card for the game in steam, if you want it just add me on Steam (@patolinux).


Last edited by Patola at 20 November 2018 at 6:23 pm UTC
Redje 20 November 2018 at 6:17 pm UTC
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I bought the game and did a quick benchmark on my laptop with an 1060 Nvidia card with graphics set on high.

51fps in battle benchmark
62fps in campaign benchmark
54,6 in skaven benchmark

The game appears to run great!

Thanks for the port Feral!


Last edited by Redje at 20 November 2018 at 6:22 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
raverrebel 20 November 2018 at 6:57 pm UTC
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Even if I would've wanted the game, the missing crossplay would hinder me from playing with friends.. Really hope that crossplay will be implemented for future ports (I know it's hard and sometimes impossible).
mirv 20 November 2018 at 7:20 pm UTC
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At the time of writing, the Feral store is down for maintenance. But I'll wait. This game I'll pay full price for, directly from Feral, because I think this time it is (or will be) worth it.
DLC I'll probably buy on sale, but none of it particularly appeals to me right now. Just the core game.
drlamb 20 November 2018 at 7:44 pm UTC
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mirvAt the time of writing, the Feral store is down for maintenance.

Feral is making it quite hard to give a copy away...
BTRE 20 November 2018 at 7:45 pm UTC
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Since someone always asks: works fine on Mesa 18.2.4 on Arch.

I'm not going to steal Liam's thunder and leave the 'fun' of proper benchmarking to him but, on my RX 480 and 2700X CPU, with most things on ultra (no AA, shadows on high because they're a resource hog and I don't really see much of a difference in quality) my averages are: 56 FPS in the battle, 65 in campaign and 60 in the skaven benchmark. My minimum FPS was 50. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up in actual gameplay.
mirv 20 November 2018 at 7:46 pm UTC
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BTRESince someone always asks: works fine on Mesa 18.2.4 on Arch.

I'm not going to steal Liam's thunder and leave the 'fun' of proper benchmarking to him but, on my RX 480 and 2700X CPU, with most things on ultra (no AA, shadows on high because they're a resource hog and I don't really see much of a difference in quality) my averages are: 56 FPS in the battle, 65 in campaign and 60 in the skaven benchmark. My minimum FPS was 50. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up in actual gameplay.

Don't suppose you can compare that to the first game? Just interested in how much difference their Vulkan backend makes, even though I'm aware there are underlying engine changes between the two.
BTRE 20 November 2018 at 7:56 pm UTC
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mirvDon't suppose you can compare that to the first game? Just interested in how much difference their Vulkan backend makes, even though I'm aware there are underlying engine changes between the two.

I detest benchmarking with a passion

But, yes, I was thinking of checking out the performance difference with the first game as that ran pretty well with Mesa also. And seeing the difference between Vulkan/OpenGL is interesting though as you correctly point out, I will probably have to take into account the differences in the engines. Just need to free up space as these games are massive. I might have a note on that whenever I post up my review.
buenaventura 20 November 2018 at 7:57 pm UTC
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RedjeI bought the game and did a quick benchmark on my laptop with an 1060 Nvidia card with graphics set on high.

51fps in battle benchmark
62fps in campaign benchmark
54,6 in skaven benchmark

The game appears to run great!

Thanks for the port Feral!

Thats great, I have that card too so now I know I could run it
mirv 20 November 2018 at 8:04 pm UTC
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BTRE
mirvDon't suppose you can compare that to the first game? Just interested in how much difference their Vulkan backend makes, even though I'm aware there are underlying engine changes between the two.

I detest benchmarking with a passion

But, yes, I was thinking of checking out the performance difference with the first game as that ran pretty well with Mesa also. And seeing the difference between Vulkan/OpenGL is interesting though as you correctly point out, I will probably have to take into account the differences in the engines. Just need to free up space as these games are massive. I might have a note on that whenever I post up my review.

Cheers. Their store just popped out of maintenance mode, so the download commences. So long as this game runs ok though, probably doesn't matter. Though personally, I wouldn't be too surprised if I couldn't run it - but then I've got a really good excuse to look for a newer system.
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