Total War: Arena will mesh traditional RTS mechanics with MOBA-style gameplay.

The Total War series is one of the gold standard of the strategy genre, masterfully executing the feeling of commanding vast armies in titanic battles. Even a small engagement in Total War is likely to involve hundreds of highly detailed soldiers locked in a bloody combat. Excitement was palpable when Total War’s developer, Creative Assembly, unveiled the next entry in the franchise, Rome: Total War II. Now Creative Assembly has announced another new game to take up the series’ banner: Total War: Arena.

Though details for the game are still few, Creative Assembly has revealed some tidbits about Arena, namely that it will be free-to-play. More important, perhaps, is the brief description Creative Assembly has offered of Arena’s gameplay. “ARENA will focus entirely on online multiplayer, mixing elements of RTS and MOBA gameplay,” they said. While multiplayer online battle arena titles (or, less awkwardly, MOBAs) can certainly require a lot of thought and strategy, they’re still stylistically quite different from Total War, which is more a hybrid of turn-based kingdom management and real-time strategy.

That being said, only a few details about what Arena will actually be have been provided and, while Creative Assembly seems to be taking a few pages from the League of Legends handbook, it’s still promising “the chance to pitch history’s greatest commanders and their armies against each other in massive team-based battles.” Massive tends to mean big, and considering the scale that Total War fans are used to, you can assume nothing else will be satisfactory.

Gamers interested in participating in a closed beta for Arena can visit the game’s website to sign up.

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