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Showing 1-10 of 229 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 503 reviews
on December 6, 2014
It is a real nice game. And a whole new learning curve as opposed to the original Total War games. This one is much slower pace, and great if you are more into the strategic side of the game as it is much more time intensive to manage that side.

But what really just burns me about this ( and all the other games in the new Total War series) is that you can not load it onto YOUR computer to play it. You HAVE to use a third party "hosting" web site (steam) to play the game, and I just flat don't like that for several reasons.
1. I have only had the game up and running for 3 days now, and I am CONSTANTLY having problems just getting on the steam website. I get a very regular "we're sorry, but steam is unavailable at this time. Please try again later" notice. And this goes on like this for anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes being the worst I have yet encountered. I had to load the "Empire Total War game 3 times before it finally loaded, and stayed.

2. I'm just not all that wild about having to give access to my computer, and allowing changes to be made to my computer by a third party website.

3. If the steam site is down for any reason, I don't get to play the game. If my internet is down, I don't get to play the game. And I really don't like that, no matter how much or how little I paid for the game. Unfortunately I purchased 3 of the Total War games (Shogun II, Medieval II, and Empire) all at once. If I knew about the steam website requirement, I probably wouldn't have spent the money on even one. And I certainly will NOT be buying any more of the games in the series because of it.
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on November 20, 2011
I've read a number of the Amazon reviews of this game, and they all pretty much capture what I'm going to say, which is namely that Empire: Total War is a great game that could be truly phenomenal if it weren't for the myriad of technical issues that one experiences while playing the game.

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.
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on February 17, 2017
I have been wanting this game for several years, but never bought it until the other day because the price was way down. I was introduced to TW games back in 2007 with the first Rome: Total War. I absolutely loved that game and its expansion, Barbarian Invasion. The main thing that I loved was the fact that you could edit game files and use the in game command browser to "cheat" in a way to have fun. Therefore you could play the campaign for real, or you could give yourself a major advantage just to have some fun. Also, in the custom battle feature you could use almost an infinite amount of money to create armies of your choosing and have them go at it and have a glorious time. Not in Empire you cant...

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.
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on August 28, 2016
Pretty awesome game. I am a huge revolutionary and colonial history buff. It's pretty fun, the battles are great though it can get a little repetitive if you play for long lengths of time. Naval battles are great though. 5 stars. I'll be ordering more Empire games.
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on February 24, 2014
The game is really fun and is very "life-like" in the way you have to run a country. The battles are fun, and the AI is great. I like how SEGA cared about the "little things by adding things like traderoutes. On the other hand, if you have an old computer or just an unsupportive one the game will more than likley, crash. it is very complex and needs a good computer to run it. The Grand Campaign gamemode is one of the best parts of the game, but you can only play as the major European, Middle Eastern, or Indian (like the continent) Nations. If you were to play as some of the minor nations, you would have to download a mod. Overall, the game is fun, but if you have the chance, Neopolean: Total War might be a better choice. It is around the same time period as Empire: Total War, but there were totally more improvements from it. I think there is a package that is a litte more expensive where you can get both games. Check it out!
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on February 13, 2015
Such a great game! Downloaded it well after its release so I didn't suffer the release woes. I love the combat, and this is actually the game that I got comfortable fight my own battles. The campaign size is huge, and it's great fighting in multiple theaters.I'm terrible at navy battles, but they look glorious.I downloaded Darthmod, and I would recommend that as well. It adds great sounds and music, as well as bigger unit sizes.
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on August 4, 2013
This game, though very good, lacks some things.
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.
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on March 27, 2009
Empire total war like all total war games require a hefty system to run at a great frame rate. Why ? Because of the massive scope the game attempts to tackle, so I went out and got some serious hardware together to run this and many other new generation games (but mainly this) and what a surprise the game runs like crap !!! And no I'm not talking about lack of effects or Steam required for playing (BTW I had NO problems installing with Steam from the retail DVDs, but I've heard problems downloading the game from Steam servers) I'm talking about some CTDs (Crash to Desktop) when certain things happen in-game, I'm talking about shadows flickering in the background when units move, path finding for my units is really bad but for the AI it's just awful sometimes battalions will get altogether and stay that way no matter how much artillery I throw at them I mean the bugs on this thing are mind-blowing, no matter what I order my spy to do he can never sabotage, infiltrate or kill anyone even if the chance of success is more than 50%.
Some times I win fights where my army has 1087 out of 1200 possible men left and the enemy has 0 left and yet they say close victory WTF? how can that be close ? of course that makes it really hard to improve veterancy or morale on my troops. Naval battles are awful most of the time you end up either autoresolving or just adding 5 ships against 2 and yet you get Close Victory c'mon !!
Don't even let me get started on the diplomacy, how can I establish relations with nations that I don't even see on the map ? Give me back my diplomats from MDII !!!
And why can't I just move my leaders from town to town ? If Jefferson is better at taxing than Washington why can't I send him to Maine so he can amend my economy ?
Well but most of this shortcomings are nothing compared to the ability to play the game, if I could play and not have my game CTD everytime I try to engage a British naval fleet I will rate this game 9.5/10 but I guess that happens to me for eagerly buying a game before a patch has been issued (have I not learned anything from Windows Vista ?).
I guess I'll let this one sit for some time or at least until I win Far Cry 2 and then replay Medieval II in all it's glory (finally, my previous rig barely played it).
I do have faith in CA to release patches and fix issues on this game I hope they don't let me down.
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on August 21, 2016
Creative Assembly players, you should want this one in your collection!
The graphics are absolutely stunning! When installing steam you will get a message that steam is currently unavailable, to try again later.
Go to the steam website and manually install steam yourself. Then run the installation. The game will automatically be updated during the install.
Game play is good, and options are exceptional. At this price the games is a steal!
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on March 5, 2017
My son loves playing this game! A must buy for any historian who loves game! Very lifelike! Good graphics!
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