Malekith channels Darth Vader in the Dark Elf trailer for Total War: Warhammer II

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Total War devs Creative Assembly would like you to meet Malekith. Not the Christopher Ecclestone one who fought Thor, but the bitter, Warhammer one who got burned by Asuryan’s flames and was thus denied the elven throne. That’s right: it’s the Dark Elves’ reveal trailer.

Here's everything we know about Total War: Warhammer II so far.

Captured in-engine, the new trailer shows a High Elf city under attack by their hateful kin. On show is a Black Dragon – Seraphon, if it’s Malekith’s mount – and a fire-breathing Hydra, a powerful unit on the tabletop.

The trailer also gives us a brief look at the Dark Elves’ bleak and mountainous homeland of Naggaroth, where Malekith stews over his supposed usurpation with only his mother, Morathi, for comfort. Morathi narrates much of the trailer, and appears at her son’s side at the end – she’s a sorceress, and almost certainly the second of the Dark Elves’ two Legendary Lords.

Though rightly mocked for being Warhammer’s biggest baby – basically crying to his mum about having his toys taken away – I’ll admit that Malekith looks pretty badass. One of the few Warhammer lords to be handy both with magic and in a fight, there’s a hint of Darth Vader in Rogue One about how he dispatches those hapless High Elves at the end, and his voice actor sounds amazing.

CA tell us the Dark Elves will offer "a ferocious new gameplay style. Swift to strike – and brutal to a fault – they’re capable of tearing down an enemy’s defences in a trice, provided they sustain their Murderous Prowess." Murderous Prowess refers to a race-wide tabletop trait the Dark Elves have – sounds like CA are implementing it in the form of a momentum mechanic.

As with Warhammer II’s other races, expect Creative Assembly’s marketing people to trickle Dark Elf details throughout the next couple of months until the game launches on September 28. I’m especially interested to hear how they’ll incorporate slavery on the strategic map, as we know they will.

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