Within the last few months I’ve experienced a renewed excitement about video games, and it’s due in no small part to the Total War series. I had never been into strategy games very much (aside from a brief obsession with Civ IV), but once I played Rome: Total War, I was hooked. Being a PC game with a loyal following, the series has received some of the most interesting mods. Medieval II: Total War was completely reskinned with Legend of Zelda characters, allowing people to play out Hyrulian war fantasies between the Zoras, Goron, Kokiri, and Ghomas. The same game also received a Lord of the Rings themed mod. A civil war mod allows players to take the on the North or South in Empire: Total War. While all this is impressive, what’s more amazing is that modders have accomplished all of this without ever having official modding tools from the the developer, Creative Assembly (CA). But that all changes now.

Announced a few weeks ago, Total War: Shogun 2 has finally released its map editor. It includes all the props from the game, allows you to change terrain height, and even allows you to change the AI’s army, which can create for interesting scenario challenges. It may seem like a small update considering how high the ambitions of the modder community clearly are, but seeing as how CA has never actually supported mods, it’s a step in the right direction. Though the studio has made clear there won’t be any more tools released for Shogun 2, Brand Director Rob Barholemew has said

We will be keeping a really close eye on it, and working with the leading modders in future to investigate what other ideas might be worked on for the next Total War

If you’re looking for evidence as to how passionate the modders are about the series take a look at this:

Let’s hope CA makes projects like this easier to accomplish going forward.

via [Shacknews, Total War Blog]