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About the product
- New Real-time 3D Naval Warfare. Players control single ships or vast fleets with fully destructible sails as well as cannon and musket action, boarding raids and more. This is the complete naval combat experience.
- All-new Game Engine. With a newly created Windows XP-compatible DirectX 9 graphics engine, players will experience real-time seascapes, dynamic weather and a new advanced landscape and flora system.
- Episodic Campaign. Improves accessibility to the game by gradually introducing advanced features over time.
- Massive Scope. Over 30 in-game factions encompass all of the World's major powers including the United States of America.and dodge pursuers using the stylus.
- Brand New Multiplayer Modes. Players vie for a place at the top of the rankings and join leagues and ladders for even more gameplay challenges.
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Control the sea, command great armies, forge a new nation and conquer the globe. Empire: Total War takes the Total War franchise to the 18th Century and the Age of Imperialism—a time of near perpetual war. This latest installation in the award-winning, multi-million unit selling Total War franchise introduces a host of revolutionary new features, including true 3D naval combat. Players will be able to command single ships or vast fleets upon seascapes rich with extraordinary effects. After pummeling enemies with cannon fire, players will close in to grapple enemy ships and prepare to board, taking control of men as they fight hand-to-hand. With an entirely new game engine, Empire will see further enhancements to the 3D battles and turn-based campaign maps. Empire lets players experience combat on the high seas, India, Europe, and, for the first time, the United States of America.
Call the shots in epic battles all over the world and expand your realm of influence throughout the tumultuous eighteenth century with Empire: Total War for your PC. Set against the bold intellectual landscape of the Enlightenment, this extension of the Total War franchise brings you out of the middle ages and into a realm where guns, gunpowder, and naval warfare have a dramatic influence on the face of combat.
Historic Factions, Expanded Horizons, and an Updated Campaign Map
Total War's detailed, turn-based battle system has received some serious upgrades that will have an impact on both seasoned commanders and newly minted combatants. The UI has been streamlined, and the systems for handling trade and diplomacy have been updated. You have improved advisors at your disposal, and realistic espionage techniques can be carried out using agents.
Empire puts a variety of major political factions into your hands, including France, Spain, Great Britain, Sweden, the United Provinces in northern Europe, Prussia, the Ottoman Empire, and Russia. Detailed strategic elements come into play, whether you're fighting in the heart of Europe, warding off Mamluk horsemen in the middle east, or working to capture the wealth of India. Beyond all this, for the first time in Total War history, the continent of North America is an open field of play that portrays the unique strategic problems encountered by the founding fathers during the revolutionary war.
Dynamic 3D Naval Battles and Forces of Nature
Total War's signature 3D battle scenes are paired with a new graphics engine and improved technology, allowing war and conquest to take on an even more realistic feel. Advanced landscape and flora systems add both realism and depth to the world stage, while dynamic weather consistently threatens to throw a wrench in your attack plans.
Whether you're coordinating platoon firing or supporting a defensive square formation, the musket and the cannon take center stage as newly developed implements of war. And they're not just for use on land. Real-time naval battle set on dramatic seascapes help shape the balance of power and determine the scope of your Empire, and they're rendered in the same impressive 3D as battles on land. You may find yourself directing a vast fleet through intricate maneuvers, controlling the helm of a single tall ship, or grappling to the enemy's boat and dictating the course of hand-to-hand combat on deck.
New Multiplayer Action
Additional updates to the Total War model include a multiplayer component that provides player rankings for competitive commanders, leagues and ladders, and a selection of entirely new modes of game play.
Top customer reviews
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Overall impression: I would give this game a "B+" grade, but I must add that this could easily be an "A+" game. The problem is that there are a number of technical faults hamper this game from realizing its true potential, which makes it all the more difficult for me to give it a lower grade.
Here is a summary of some of the issues that you will encounter:
1. Fort/siege battles: Laying siege to a city is a staple of Total War games, and generally amongst the funnest parts of these games. Unfortunately in Empire siege battles can be a massive drain to slug through. Even in moderately sized battles (~1000 soldiers on each side), there comes a point when the enemy AI gives so many commands to its own armies that the game starts to lag so badly that before long you are basically watching your battle progress in photographs/slideshows with a two to three second delay between each frame. This is NOT a performance issue--my current PC specs: AMD Phenom 965 BE 3.4 GHz quad core CPU, 8GB DDR3 RAM, Nvidia GeForce 560Ti video card. The issue in Empire is that the AI gives out so many automatic commands that it overloads the cpu, which eventually slows the game to an unbearable lag. Fortunately, this only happens during siege battles: I've played massive field battles and this lag never occurs, even with the biggest of armies. This seriously takes away from the game, and I have chosen "automatic resolve" during a number of siege battles later in my game out of sheer fatigue of not wanting to deal with a choppy city siege. It is easily the worst bug in the game, and as of 2011 the updates/patches have not fixed this problem.
2. AI path-finding issues: I decided to separate AI issues from the "siege battles" section above, even though the vast majority of AI issues are related to how the AI acts during siege battles. When attacking a fort, your AI is somewhat incompetent at assaulting walls (unlike in Rome: Total War). If you choose not to destroy a wall with artillery, your only other option is to assault the wall with troops by having them throw grappling hooks onto the wall and scaling the wall themselves. Oftentimes when one unit gets their hooks/ropes in place, all other units--despite being ordered specifically to other sections of the wall--will all funnel towards one set of ropes. Additionally, within one unit and one set of ropes (4 or 5 ropes), all the men in a given unit will eventually gather around just ONE rope and slowly funnel themselves upward towards the enemy where they can be killed one at a time. There is no way to fix this, unlike having separate units come to a single set of ropes (they can be ordered back to another section of wall). Additionally, assuming that they can successfully get onto the walls, your units will have a difficult time fighting enemy AI in melee while on the walls. Assuming your units are winning a melee battle, they will often get an enemy unit down to two to three men, only to continually "knock down" enemy units without actually killing them. Since enemy units don't generally rout in Empire while in the walls in their own fort, this makes killing enemy units on walls an extremely difficult task. Of course, if you can get beyond the walls then the AI works fine like in field battles, but assaulting walls without artillery is not recommended. Another problem: blowing down walls with cannons/mortars to bypass the problems associated with having your units scale the walls precipitates the problem of enemy AI overloading the program with the "command loop" that I described above, causing significant lag.
Now for the positives:
-Field battles are insanely fun, and the graphics/battle detail are truly outstanding. Watching units fight in melee is a real treat, especially since some of the unit battle animations are extremely detailed/complex.
-I love the technology/research system, and taxes are way easier to manage in Empire than in Rome.
-Diplomacy is much more intricate, and I think it's a major improvement over Rome (some disagree with me on this).
-Agents like gentlemen (researchers, duelers), rakes (spies/assassins), and priests are extremely fun to use, and the fact that you don't have to train them (they spawn automatically) actually is a welcome development in my mind.
-The economics system is also much more advanced and fun: no longer are all of your major economic buildings confined to a single city, but rather spread out throughout each region. This makes campaign movements even more tactical than they were in Rome, and you have MANY options when it comes to deciding what type of economic buildings to construct.
-The government system is great, and adds even more layers of complexity (fun complexity) to the game. If you're clever enough, you can change your government willingly by engineering revolutions based on playing with taxes and various buildings.
-Naval battles are extremely detailed and fun, although managing larger fleets during a battle (I'd say >5-6 ships) is very difficult.
-Trade is much more important, and it's fun to steal from enemy trade routes (on land or sea).
-Damaging an enemy's economy also has a much more noticeable effect on Empire. In Rome I felt like blocking an enemy's trade ports had basically no effect, but in Empire you can almost completely cripple enemies by continually raiding their valuable cities (farms, industrial buildings, etc.) and blocking/stealing their trade income. I have bankrupted nations by doing this, and it produces very satisfying results in addition to noticeably depleting their ability to train armies.
Overall it's somewhat frustrating that this game turned out the way it did. Empire has the makings of a top-notch Total War game, but Creative Assembly just couldn't wait a little longer to release it and work out the bugs, so they basically churned out a half-finished product. What's more irritating is that they won't (or can't) fix the current bugs.
Bottom line: if you are a Total War fan, I think you owe it to yourself to get this game, but just be warned that it may frustrate the living hell out of you at times.
In ETW, the custom battle feature is capped by a very low budget, meaning that your custom battles are going to be very hard or very boring. Second, you cannot open the command console on the campaign map, so there is no editing of money, creating extra units, etc. Lastly, you cannot edit any games files so you cannot change any of the stats of the units or anything else. Leaving you at the mercy of the basic game.
I understand why the game is the way it is, but that's not what I wanted in my TW game. I like being able to edit files so that I can customize the fun for myself. If I wanted to extremely limited in a strategy game I would have just bought the board game Risk and not wasted the room on my hard drive. I love 1700-1800's warfare, so the musket and cannon fire is awesome. The graphics and details are amazing, even for a game that came out back in 2009. But if you are a looking for the traditional feel that the TW games brought, don't get ETW. Buy one of the older series and have fun. Otherwise, you will just be getting into a headache.
I'll compare it a bit to the previous TW game I own, Rome: Total War.
Empire's campaign is well thought-out and very fun to play. The map in general is amazing. I love being able to garrison houses. Cavalry are useless, which is a bit sad, but I adapted. Sea battles are insane, but groups as well as most large-scale tactics disappear in an instant when battle is joined. In addition, my ships seem to have no concept of how to attack an enemy ship, simply charging full-bore into their full broadsides. I LOVE the rocket ships however, they can send anything the enemy throws at them to a watery grave.
Single player is lacking, compared to Rome and other titles. You can't have uneven matches, and the inability to set your own funds beyond two versions makes "elite" armies impossible.