Empire: Total War [Download]
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489 of 549 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2009
(For the most recent comments see the updates)
Let me begin by pointing out that I am a HUGE fan of the Total War series. I started with Rome, continued with the Barbarian Invasion, segueyed into Medieval II and the subsequent Kingdoms expansion. Needless to say, I was eagerly anticipating this game. I even bought a top of the line Mach V rig with all the bells and whistles and a 30in monitor to take in the beauty of it all. My machine has no problem handing the graphics settings on Ultra and I can tell you that visually, this game has the potential to be stunning (provided your computer is up to the task).

Now the negative. The game comes with Steam software which introduces its own complications to the process of enjoying ones game. Granted that the auto-patching feature is pretty sweet, but almost everything else about this system is not (See other reviews here for more details). But thats not even the meat of my beef.

Creative Assembly (CA) released this much anticipated game KNOWING that it was a beta version. After reading countless posts on various message boards, it is more than apparent that this game was not ready for release but for some reason they went ahead with it anyway. This in effect made everyone who bought it an unwitting beta tester (with all the frustrations and none of the salary). As I see it, Creative Assembly has spent all of its credibility capital from the prior installments on this piss-poor shell of a game. Thats not fair, it is 90% of a game but that missing 10% makes it unplayable (frequent crashes to desktop, white screens of death, and corrupted save files are the major issues with a few minor issues sprinkled in for good measure).

This will be the last time I purchase a game from Creative Assembly within the first six months of launch and I would advise others to do the same. Not to send a message to CA (though they deserve a swift kick to the junk for this scam), but to save yourself the money and the frustration.

5/21/09 UPDATE: Two and a half months after release, CA is still frantically attempting to patch this game to make it playable. However with every step forward, it seems like they are taking two steps back. The Battlefield AI has gone from acceptably bad to unacceptably bad. Lingering issues related to crashes still persist though the White screen of death and save corruptions seem to have been resolved. The economy system has been tweaked to make the game more difficult, some prefer the change, some do not. Modders are doing their best to put a polish on this game but some fundamentals still remain broken. My original advice to wait for fixes before purchasing still stands, this game is still in post-market Beta testing but should be fun once its completed (probably 3 months from now).

7/01/09 UPDATE: A week after the 1.3 patch, it is time for an update. Personally, the game works much better now than before. This is subjective since some people have had new CTD issues with the latest patch that were not there before. CA released a hotfix tonight to address the CTDs introduced with their latest patch. While the game is generally more fun and playable now, there are still some elements of the game that will likely require an expansion pack-sized update to address (these issues include siege battles being totally broken and unrealistic still, no cross-theater naval invasions, crap diplomacy, and Campaign AI that never retreats EVER even when outnumbered 10 to 1, just to name a few). Adding to my concern is that patch 1.4 will seek to introduce a multi-player campaign (which, if you were paying attention, was supposed to come with the game 4 months ago). That's like building a house on a unfinished foundation, bound for more Failure. Additionally, CA has decided to tweak naval units so that the biggest/tallest ships with the biggest guns and best crews will have a shorter range, lower accuracy, and slower reload times than the smallest/shortest ships with the smallest guns, despite the overwhelmingly negative response from the hardcore community that would like at least some adherence to the laws of physics. CA hears but does not listen to its most dedicated fans.
Despite all of this (which is really just most of the negative points), If you cannot wait any longer, I think its worth the current price.

If I had to rate this game again, I would give it 4 stars for fun, and three stars overall. Too bad it took four months to achieve mediocrity. Oh well, new engine, new problems, I bet future installments will have much smoother releases. Still, I advocate hesitation when it comes to purchasing future CA/SEGA collaborations.

My next update will come a week after the release of patch 1.4.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2009
February 7, 2010 UPDATE: Darth Mod is soon to be 6.9 or 7.0 version and I can freely say that ETW should have been Vanilla 1.6 + Darth 6.9 at release. Again to re-affirm my opinion: now that the game can be had for a bargain, I believe it is one of the best RTS/Turn based hybrids ever to exist. We will see how Shogun 2 will do ;-)

April 9, 2010 UPDATE: Great day for ETW community. CA has released 1.6 patch which fixes most of Battle AI problems like instant melee charge, inability to form battle line or constant priority switching. I tested several campaign battles and AI behaves much more sensible and presents nice challenge on Hard/Very Hard settings.

February 17, 2009 UPDATE: With Napoleon Total War release five days away, community learned couple of sad news about new game:
a) It will not integrate with ETW, so any fixes to engine and AI will not apply to ETW.
b) There will be no mod tools. Modders might get some supporting documentation, but CA confirmed that game design will remain closed.
c) Theatre is limited to Europe (no Mid-East and North Africa).

OK, I'm late with my review, that no one will probably read. Oh, well...

Empire Total War (ETW), the game we love to hate. To summarize my review - I recommend this game to anyone, go ahead and buy it, download one of the free mods I mention below and enjoy hours and hours of fun gameplay. Let me begin by saying that I tried going back to Medieval II Kingdoms after all 1.0, 1.2, 1.3 mess and I got bored instantly. Main reason I came back to ETW was that prior series had too much of siege battles and I am tired of them. The game overall has more positives, however it is in human nature to have stronger emotions about negatives. But I felt like it was important to note the issues still present in un-modded game.

The good about ETW:
++++++++++++++++++
+ Campaign map is finally pretty accurate geographically, no more need for Stainless Steel (SS) or Deus Lo Vult (DLV) mods from Medieval II Kingdoms
+ New regions added: India, South (Northern part) and North Americas
+ Naval combat could be fun with mods as long as fleets are small (see mod recommendations below)
+ Economic/industrial buildings are in separate settlements now, which adds more strategic depth
+ 18 century period
+ No need for diplomats to open negotiations
+ Much better graphics, 3D combat runs very fluid (see my PC specs below)
+ Expansion to colonies
+ Trade nodes and pirates
+ You can change government type by setting off actions that lead to revolution
+ Technology research is done in schools and universities
+ Very few siege battles, which is plus in my opinion
+ Cross theater and naval invasions by AI are finally working

Now about the bad:
------------------
- The game was released unfinished, which was confirmed by several developers on their blogs. It took over 9 months to bring it to 1.5, the last patch, and many things are nowhere near fixed. New patches had tendency to break things that older patches fixed. It was nightmare. Most disheartening news was the fact that sometime during late stages of development Creative Assembly (CA) lead Artificial Intelligence (AI) programmer had to leave the team, and what I could gather from CA's blogs, it was very hard to pick up for others and AI was doomed from the get-go. Google "Battle AI - By Mike Simpson".

- Steam required for retail boxed game to install and play even in single play mode. More and more games are following this suite. It sucks, period. If you were not careful Steam would patch your game automatically and mess things up for you big time. My biggest problem with Steam is that I had to pay the same amount for rental game as what I'd have paid for the game I owned and could have sold. Rental PC games should not cost $50, $25 is more reasonable price.

- Battle AI (BAI) in un-modded game is simply abysmal. You will face staggering zombie clusters roaming the battlefield in front of your artillery batteries while they shred them to pieces, they will often cross the lines and fall victims of their own fire. They will always choose melee even if they outclass your infantry in accuracy and reloading skill. Decision making is bad as well it's like AI has ADD - they seem to commit to one plan of attack just within second to switch their priorities, break formations and chase after CA knows what.

- Severely lacking ability to force fire. Your infantry will only commence firing when every single one of the soldiers fall in. They can't save their lives if Johnny Smith stuck while climbing fence and his company is charged by cavalry. Cossacks had this functionality decade ago.

- No mod tools. It was evident when first downloadable content (DLC) was released, that SEGA and CA will milk this thing for what's it worth by making silly new units and selling them $5 a pop. THIS IS MAJOR problem for community, because CA dropped further post-release development, modding community can not improve the game, and it still needs a lot of work. I'm amazed that modders could accomplish what they did without proper support from CA (TROM, DarthMod, APE:TI and others). I went straight to mods, because I could not tolerate vanilla game for four turns. But modders' hands are tied, there is only so much they can get done on the surface. What infuriates me is the fact that mod tools WERE BETA TESTED SOMETIME IN EARLY SUMMER, so they exist but solely for making DLC content. My only hope is that when Napoleon Total War (NTW) is released, CA and SEGA will come to their senses and give community that supported them for over decade what it deserves.

- Since strategic map has so many 3D bells and whistles it tends to run very choppy (see my PC specs below).

- Siege/fort battles are ridiculously broken. To sum it up: Enemy will either try to attack your fort with mounted units only, in which case you just let them come close to the walls and pulverize with cannons and musket fire, or if they are blessed with infantry, those lads will use Batman's grappling hooks and climb the walls Spiderman style. It is so easy to fool AI attacking your fort that modders came out with the mod that removes all forts from the game altogether.

- Unfortunately after several real time naval battles you will choose to autoresolve instead. AI can't hold battle formations for long even if their ships have range accuracy advantage. Battle after battle degrades into furball mess. You will find it interesting that sloops and brigs can transport huge armies across the oceans. Latest patch brought in really senile changes to naval combat. Somehow Campaign Artificial Intelligence (CAI) is unable to produce expensive high quality ships of the line and instead it spams dozens of sloops and brigs. CA can not fix this directly so instead they rebalanced navy by gimping ships of the line and giving extra range and accuracy to sloops and brigs. WHAAAAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Again thanks to modding community that knows how to revert this arcadish approach to things.

- There are no more missions that your government assigns to you.

- From diplomatic screen you don't know the intentions of the counter party. If you share a border with the nation it will automatically declare war on you. If war is declared on you, you don't know what the heck they want especially if you had very friendly relationship.

- Game no longer has grid on the campaign map (which developers hyped a lot), so AI armies often do stupid things and get stuck.

- You can't change the monarch.

- Regime change via revolution is convoluted and does not always work as planned.

- You can not recruit agents yourself anymore, they are spawned automatically based on the number and level of the buildings (school, church, bawdy house).

- If enemy army is severely outnumbered it will not try to retreat neither on campaign map nor on battle field. I understand this makes it easy on casual player, you simply don't have to chase marauding army engaged in guerrilla warfare. But it is simply stupid.

- I sure hope that CA/SEGA will release proper American Revolution campaign. They may also give us Civil War at some point (may be after Napoleon expansion?). Road To Independence (American Revolution) campaign is simply a joke in vanilla. I love that period of US History and I think it was neglected. I will see what folks at American Revolution Mod could accomplish without mod tools.

What gets most folks pissed off about this game is CA/SEGA attitude and buried potential in tangled mess of code and patches. This game also took several steps back from great concepts developed in prior series. Would I buy it again when it came out in March of 2009 knowing all the problems? Probably yes. There is simply no other game out there that almost well combines Real Time Combat with Turn Based Strategy. I'm not going to be so eager with NTW. I sure hope that Paradox Interactive would some day come out with worthy competitor. They have very solid strategic AI track record, now they need to venture into 3D real time combat.

Regards, and Happy Holidays!
- Skeptic.

MOD RECOMMENDATIONS: (generally go to twcenter dot net, then forums, empire total war, hosted modifications)
1. DarthMod. This is mega mod of mods and it incorporates many other submods. Without Darth, ETW would be bland and boring.
2. APE: TI, or fully A Proper Empire: Terra Incognita
3. American Revolution Mod

P.S. My PC configuration: Spectre x32BV-Full HD // GA-EP45-UD3P F10e // C2D E8400 stock // Buffalo Micron D9 DDR2 4x1Gb // HD5850 1GB // Intel Pro 1000PT PCIe // Creative X-Fi // Intel x-18M 2x80Gb RAID-0 // WD1001FALS // TRUE-120 // Antec Quattro 850W // Win7 64bit
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2009
This game is perfectly fine in most respects, although it doesn't seem to alter the underlying principles of the prior games. It basically updates the same package for a different era in time (18th century) and better processing power in the market.

Despite the "replicant" aspect, most people would be pretty happy with this game I think. I would be, I'm sure, but for one small sticking point: it doesn't work all that well. Played on a brand new gaming rig, the game inexplicably crashes repeatedly after the game year of 1750. Particularly, but not only, during the use and movement of naval units. Since it happens often, and has been widely reported in just the short period since the game was released, it reflects very poor beta testing and quality control prior to release.

I hope an update is coming soon; I'd hate to see this game permanently tank because the features weren't tested appropriately ahead of market.
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44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Bugged up to the point of unplayable. And it is clear after reading several HUNDRED posts at the Total War fan site that this game was never finished in development much less Beta tested. I am just afraid that it may never be done and will end up like Medieval II: never really finished and several major features left in the air.

I have been thinking about this now for a few weeks and at first I thought, well these guys just do not have the resources and money to finish building the game and must wait until after they have sold a few tens of thousands of copies before they have the cash to pay to get the job done. But now I think that they have moved on to other things and will finish a few of the most severe problems and just let the game go. I don;t know if this influence of almost criminal fraud comes from the Saga people or from some 'new' management ...but in my state ( California, USA ) a vendor who knowingly sells defective product is considered a criminal. If they don't like the game, as they seem to almost have a hatred for the game's fans, or at least contempt, perhaps they will sell off the engine to some of the folks that I see spending hundreds of hours doing the great mods. At least with the mod chaps, you know their hearts are in the right place.

Again the more I think about this issue, the darker my understanding of those behind this sad fiasco becomes. And what a great and sad waist of the best, most beautiful engine in the RTS world...by far.

If I didn't love it, I would just chuck it in the trash and consider it a lesson well-learned about the SEGA brand. I do intend to write cojent reviews to Amazon, Game Spot, and every other sire where I can post to let as many people know about this as I can.

BTW I have thought for a week or so that I would not even post this comment. But the longer I wait for them to get it right and the deeper I think about what has transpired, the angrier I get. I am rather forgiving about PC gaming and have watched it develop for some twenty years. It is more difficult than platform game design because of the variance in PC power and configuration. But this matter and issue is far beyond the pale.
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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2009
I bought this game for [...] bucks at [...] after reading many favorable reviews and seeing pictures of the beautiful graphics. After moving all of my music, Word docs, doing several rounds of disk cleanup, and deleting other games and applications on my computer to make room for the massive amount of space that Empire Total War requires, I finally installed the game. This took me about a day to get to this point. But once done, I was excited; the game looked well worth the money and the space. I hope that one day, I will be able to know whether it is worth the money and space that I used. I get to the main menu, click on any of the game modes, be it Grand Campaign, Road to Independence, or quick battle; and wait for it to load. Problem is, the load bar gets to about 40% and then jumps rapidly back and forth. The sounds of the game are audible; yells of charge, gunfire, noises of a town. I have downloaded both patches, and they have done nothing. I can't return this useless garbage because of STEAM. I feel ripped off, and after reading many nerd site message boards, I know that my problem is very common. I hope this severe bug will be fixed, but I doubt it. I have yet to even be able to experience a bugged out version of gameplay that others describe. The ship pathfinding may indeed be screwy, and the AI may occasionally run aimlessly, and the campaign map may lag at some points; but, alas, I will never know.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed the previous Total War titles from Creative assembly, even if I found Rome a bit of a tired entry in the series, but this horse is dead now, time to move on and do something... creative.

The whole game feels like a bit of a retread with the same interface, strategy and tactical mix of previous titles. I was surprised at how little the game graphics seemed to be updated, although this could be because like many who bought the game, I cannot come close to the requirements needed to play on the "medium" graphics settings with my 2-year old desktop. This seems a bit ludicrous since most people won't have a brand-new system, and even with a decent machine and all the settings turned off/low, the game runs sloooow.

The AI can take upwards of 5-7 minutes to complete its turn(s) once you get past turn 100 and nations start to splinter off into smaller factions. 7 minutes a turn with 200 turns means you'll be auto-resolving many combats instead of fighting them out on the tactical map, which is traditionally the most fun part of this game. Also, when you "win" the game, you actually have to play the whole thing out, even if you've managed to bring off a win in lightening fashion. I found myself meeting my victory objectives (capturing key territories or amassing prestige points) by 1730 or so on most games and then having to essentially hit end turn for the next 70 years, or 140 turns (Times 5-7 minutes... ugh). I've taken to just restarting once I get a win countdown notice, but that is not very satisfying.

The AI is also incredibly dense, especially for a strategy game. Here's a quick rundown of what it can't seem to do:

-Build a sizable fleet.
-Build a decent size army.
-Take and hold key objectives.
-Fix its damaged ports.
-Move over bridges, or use terrain effectively in tactical fights.
-Load an army onto a fleet and take it overseas.

That last one is a real game-ender when you are playing as Britain, and you realize that you'll never be invaded, no matter how defenseless you leave yourself. In one game I played I managed to get myself into a war with France, Netherlands and Spain simultaneously and thought "Oh man, I'm in for it now." But, no. No one invaded me, and once I destroyed the navies of the three most powerful nations in the game, I invaded them at my leisure. That was accomplished playing on the "Difficult" setting.

There's no fun in a game with no challenge, and the main challenge in Empire seems to be keeping yourself awake while you click past eventless turns, long after you've "won" this broken game.

I also missed being able to start at different time-periods in the era, a feature that kept me re-playing previous Total War titles. You always begin this game in 1700 AD with the same setup for every nation (except for one mini-campaign you play as America). I would have liked to start in 1550, 1600 etc, with Portugal or Venice still a major power, and only a few settlements in America. I don't see why it would have been so hard to just have some different starting scenarios once you have all the other work done, the game just feels incomplete, which makes me wonder why it's 12 gigs unpacked (?!?!).

In short, give this one a pass.
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52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
I have been a loyal follower of the Total War series since Shogun. I purchased Rome: Total War, the expansions and I repeated the purchasing with the following game as well. When this game was announced in 2007 I was extremely excited.

That excitement faded today. I purchased Empire: Total War in a hard-disk format from Fred Meyer in Medford, Oregon for 44 bucks. Upon checking my system requirements, which were more than the minimums, as I normally check with ALL PC games, I purchased it. In VERY small print the games box does say:
"Requires internet connection and free Steam account to activate". This is a outright deception. Folks, it FORCES Steam down your throat, with absolutely NO OPTION to opt out and manually activate the game and download the patches outside of the Steam system.
Now, some gamers already have Steam from playing the Half Life games, but I have chosen to NOT play those games because of Steam. I purchased Empire: Total War thinking I had the option to opt out of Steam as in the previous title. I was wrong. Steam is required, and you must accept it if you want to play the game.
The install is flawed, excessively long and Steam obsessively tries to download the game from Steam, even though you HAVE the hard copies of the game. You can try to circumvent the process but Steam then claims "Steam servers are too busy to handle your request", excuse me? I just threw down over 40 dollars of my hard earned money, and you say you're too busy?

After waiting for *7 hours* for the game to install and patch, I was greeted with a buggy, flawed and corrupted install. The game was unplayable and crashed hard to the desk top several times. After suspecting a bad install, I uninstalled the game and elected to wait on another 7 hour install. I was wrong, now the flipping game WONT INSTALL AT ALL.

Folks, spend your money on something other than this TRASH. If you have purchased it via Amazon, send it back. DONT INSTALL IT, DONT ACTIVATE IT, you wont be able to sell it or let ANYONE ELSE PLAY IT.

Let my lost money be a warning, dont buy this game.
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66 of 82 people found the following review helpful
I started with TotalWar back with Shogun, did Medevil 1, Rome, and the new Medevil. I look forward to the new TotalWar Game every few years and I always buy a new computer at that time just to play the game. I did this for Shogun, Rome and recently for Medevil. This should tell you that I am a rabid fan.

I have been looking forward to Empire TotalWar for a few years. As much or more than I was waiting for Rome. BUT..........I hate to say this, and I can't believe I am going to write this, DO NOT BUY this game!!!!!!!!!!!

It is terrible. The worst part is, I do not have internet except at work. I do not want it at home. But if you do not have internet, you cannot play this game! You cannot even start the game. I like TotalWar game as I can take it with me anywhere, and play it on my laptop at my leisure. On a plane, train, or other. To download the damn game took me 9 hours!

Creative Assembly what the heck is wrong with you? Do not realize that a large portion of your audience is not the online gaming type? Many of us are old fashioned wargammer types that just want to buy the game and never see you again? I am 39 and not at all unfamiliar with technology but this is terrible.

The next issue....the bugs! The AI is terrible! How hard is it to beat an opponent that shoots its cannons into the backs of its own troops, or in a seige fires cannons to knock down its own walls? The thing that makes a game boring is when it is easy to win.

Creative Assembly, I am sad to say, but my 6+ year relationship, and automatic loyalty with you, to where I would buy every new TW game you release has now ended. It is sad, as I was hoping you would follow up this effort with a TW based on the Victorian Age. But I have no confidence you can pull off any new endeavors and that I won't have wasted $[...] on a game that will not work.

What is wrong with you? How can you destroy such a loyal fan base?

Richard
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2009
Honestly, I've owned this game since the first day of its release. It is a trainwreck. A disaster. Absolute garbage. I have waited six months for the various issues this game has to be fixed.... and its gotten worse.

Sound: Horrendous, I have a top of the line build and the sound decides when it wants to match up correctly. Hell 10% of the time it goes off during a battle and doesn't come back on

Glitches: horrendous stuff, dragons and horse drawn artillery don't work. In fact you will lose them as they get stuck on everything. Ships don't move. Fleets/Armies disappear, diplomacy is a mess.... It's a horrendous game. All units are the same except for France, Brits, and Prussia-everyone else uses the same basic builds.

AI: what AI? It sucks. Enjoy such breathtaking tactics as having 50 one man armies, leaving its men in reinforcement limbo, thus causing you an automatic loss if you have no battle time limit, breaking every treaty, declaring war on you when they have 1/30th of your power. It's a mess. The battle AI.... What battle AI?

DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. THIS IS NOT A COMPLETED GAME AND NOW THEY ARE WORKING ON THE EXPANSION INSTEAD OF CORRECTING THIS DISASTER.

Stay away.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2010
I have played previous Total War titles and this one was not really what i expected. It has some good features but its mostly overshadowed by the bad.

The good( some may be in previous more recent total war titles as well):

*The best thing i noticed is the nice graphics both for the campaign map and the battle maps.The sea battle maps and ships are stunning to look at.The normal battle maps have a lot of detail.

*Naval Battles now are actually naval battles. You can control the ships on a sea map just like the armies on a land map.

* More Theaters of action. 3 theaters is a nice addition.

* Various other minor enhancements

Cons:

* My biggest problem is probably with Steam. It is required to play the game regardless of if you buy the digital or retail box. After the 15 GB install which is still rather slow on even my high end pc i had to wait about 5 hours(@100 kb/s average speed) for manadatory patching through Steam, rather than including a simple autopatcher with the game like most decent game publishers do. I could not play it without this lengthy patching. Also i dislike Steam for a couple of reasons: A) i consider it to be malware. I am forced to use it to play the game and it does gather info from your pc. I am not for sure exactly all what it gathers but considering i am forced to have it on my pc to use the game it makes me not trust steam at all on their data gathering. And B) off a retail box game at full price ( usually $50) their is 15% profit for the developer/publisher. Off a Steam Download which charges the same full retail price, that profit margin is 60%!. So by using steam these publishers get mega profits and we customers get mega ripped off.

* Playing medieval total war then this, the game land battles seem harder to control. Both on the camera( i have changed my camera settings several times to try to correct the feel) and the units themselves.

* The Sea battles are not that easy to control. Sometimes the ships wont do what they are told the first time. Also wind plays a major factor in manuevering and it seems to be working against you and for the AI most of the time. Overall the sea battles are ok and still a nice addition though.

* Many things are simplified from MTW such as city building, research, and various details that use to be available on your "leaders" from the king down to the leader of a group of units. Much of this has been done away with.

* Modders had to create mods to make up for the developers lack of putting out a complete game. even after the patches the game wasnt all it should of been. Modders fixed the AI, made various things more realistic, and added some enhancements. things the developer should of done. I highly recommend Darthmod if you play empire total war.

* some of the text is hard to read and blurry. Changing my resolution or settings does not seem to effect this.

Neutral:

*It is reported that the game is buggy and crashes a lot. I have never had it crash in 20 hours of play. I dont notice any major bugs so far though it does sometimes feel a bit unfinished and rushed out the door.

* This game can be a resource hog. So on lower end pcs you may have some performance issues.

*the city building is more simpilified. Now your focus is the region capital and various little settlements pop up and grow in a region as you progress. You actually watch the land in the game "grow up". While this is interesting it leaves less to manage( and to alter your income) early in the game. So its really a trade off. What you build in the cities now seems more simple. Their is not actually a lot of building and at various points you have choices of following different "trees" of buildings(ie: shipyards or trade port?). It adds a twist but does take other elements away from the game.

* their are some nice "defensive" features but they dont seem to work well. they had great potentional but kind of fell short. They are still playable and whatnot but could of been better.

Overall: If you player previous total war games you are probably going to be a bit disappointed. the graphics and sea battles are going to be the biggest change( besides the forced steam use). Its alright but nothing like the TWs you have played as far as gameplay.

If you are new to the TW series i recommend starting with earlier and better versions. This title really doesnt do the series justice and is a poor example of a game from the series.

For reference my pc specs: Intel i7 -8xx series, 8 GB DDR 3 Ram, 1 GB nvidia GT220 video card, 7.1 surround sound, 1 TB raid 0 HDD. I can play the game on ultra settings without darthmod and on high settings with darthmod though large battles are a bit laggy using darthmod in large battles on very high settings. Also i am using 1600x900 resolution.
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