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Today at GDC in San Francisco, the Creative Assembly revealed a new spin-off to their Total War strategy series. Total War: Arena is a free-to-play game that focuses on multiplayer battles.

Total War: Arena isn't set in a particular time period. Instead, the game sounds like it will be a hodge-podge of different eras. Players take on the role of "history's greatest commanders" and lead armies against each other. These battles are team-based, with up to 10 players on each side. Creative Assembly describes the action as a mixture of real-time strategy and MOBA. In other words, it's taking the traditional Total War combat and putting a League of Legends spin on it.

Each player will control three units. For basis of comparison, the max army size in traditional Total War games is 20 units. I think the idea is that, by giving players smaller armies to work with, the game allows them to have finer control over these forces. During the GDC presentation, lead designer James Russell (via Polygon) mentioned features like manual aim that require more direct command of units.

The game will be supported by the sale of optional in-game items. It's not clear what these items are. However, they can also be earned in-game if you're not inclined to pay money.

To sign up for email notifications for the closed beta, head to Total War: Arena's website. Signing up will apparently give you access to "Vanguard Armory items" when the game launches.

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