Creative Assembly immortalise dying Total War fan by putting his likeness in-game

Last year, 24-year-old Total War fan James visited Creative Assembly's studio in the UK - a trip arranged by the Willow Foundation , whose Special Day initiative gives people with terminal illness the chance to do something extraordinary for the day. While he was there, James was able to interview the development team, make suggestions, and play an early version of the just-announced Total War: Rome II, months before anyone else. Brilliantly, Creative Assembly also created an (exceptionally accurate) character model based on his likeness, transforming him into a Roman soldier - pictured above at the Siege of Carthage. Shortly after his visit, James lost his battle with cancer. Today, speaking to Eurogamer , Creative Assembly spoke of how "moved and humbled" they were by his visit.

"James was remarkable on the day," Total War community manager Craig Laycock explained to Eurogamer earlier today. "His enthusiasm knew no bounds. He asked passionate questions and offered clear and concise suggestions on features for the game.

"When I recently learned that James had died, it was devastating. Even though I had only spent a few hours in his company, it was absolutely devastating, because he was able to show us all here in the studio how passionate he was for our games.

"And although he won't get the chance to see Rome 2 released, he will live on in some small way in our game - and every time I see him I'll be reminded of what a great guy he was."

You can donate to the Willow Foundation here . Total War: Rome II - featuring James - will be out later this year.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.