Imperial Glory

Surprise! Well, not really – though Medieval II: Total War was yer bona fide critical and commercial smash hit, most of the flak it did take was for being too similar to its forerunners and being a bit crap at boats. The smart money, then, was on the next Total War including fully-realised naval combat and gunpowder. And it does – Empire: Total War is its name, and magazines across the globe will currently be trying to think up gags abut Napoleon for their preview features on it. Us? Not tonight.

Click above for stupidly large, ISP-upsetting full version.

We’ve actually known about this for a little while, but we’re supposed to be a fun blog, not one that mercilessly stabs our friends in the back, as we would have been had we chosen to scoop PC Gamer’s exclusive feature on it. Perhaps in time we’ll grow that cold, but for now RPS is everyone’s chum. Yes, even you, you rude man.

Interestingly, in some ways Empire (its suprisingly hefty slice of history covering the likes of the American War of Independence and the Industrial Revolution) is creeping thematically closer towards the sort of RTS convention that Total War made such a clean break from with Shogun all those years ago. Guns and colonies and soldiers in red coats and tricorner hats – this we know intimately already, yes? That’s exactly why it’s so exciting – it’ll apply new ways of thinking to the over-familiar.

The naval combat looks very fruity indeed, by the sound of it intending to make fine use of the deadly physicality of water and weather. The Campaign Map’s had a beef up, its promise of refined trade, diplomacy and espionage treading it deeper in Civilization’s footsteps than ever. Of the land combat, little has been revealed as yet, so we can’t gauge how the addition of gunpowder will change the -aheh – rock, paper, scissors dynamic of traditional Total War scuffles.

More once we’ve seen Empire, which goes on sale sometime next year, in action, anyway. The official site is still largely banging on about Medieval II for now, but you can repeatedly click this link until it starts spilling over with fresh information if you so wish.


  1. James says:

    Naval combat? Very yes.

  2. Feet says:

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

  3. Acosta says:

    Naval combat? yes please.

    Anyone knows a game that has realistic and well designed naval combat (not inside a submarine)?. Would like to play some really epic naval battles with canons reducing to ashes the enemy boats. It´s a nice change of setting for Total War, hope they nail it.

  4. Dan Trott says:

    When I spotted this on eurogamer, I think I cried a little.

    Little tears of joy!

  5. Turin Turambar says:

    I hope this time they will improve the tactical AI. It’s a shame how this saga began with a fantastic AI in Shogun TW, but sequel after sequel it’s not an aspect they have improved, it’s still the same AI or even worse. A friend of mine, expert in the Total War series made a test with Shogun vs Medieval 2, in both cases he put his army composed of the same type of troops in a line, waiting for the enemy to attack. The attacking AI was much more smart in Shogun TW :S.

  6. H says:

    Oooh, now this set my Napoleonic juices flowing. Looks like it will be worth playing for the naval combat alone.

  7. Troy Goodfellow says:

    I have very low expectations for the naval combat.

    Nice to see them move beyond the stabby-stabby battle stuff and into horse and musket warfare. I’m mostly curious about how they will work the imperialism stuff in.

  8. Jonty says:

    Note to sub – *this* is Imperial Glory: link to

  9. Sesterii says:

    Great series, reaching its peak with rome total war. Medieval two was a yawn, gunpowder units and elephants with cannons mounted on their heads (timurid.), very slow multiplayer action.. moving on to crap, dull napoleonic era action which no-one is particularly interested in.

  10. napoleonic empire says:

    […] of the empire since at least Napoleonic times and by the turn of the century the Ottomans were …Imperial Glory | Rock, Paper, ShotgunSurprise! Well, not really – though Medieval II: Total War was yer bona fide critical and commercial […]