Napoleon: Total Trailer

We’ve barely mentioned that the Empire: Total War expandalone Napoleon is almost upon us – but it is! The new campaign will feature three theatres of war, as Mr Napoleon does war in Europe and Egypt as he attempts to expand the French empire. The footage explains that Napoleon is essential to your control of the battlefield, and as a general he boosts the effectiveness of troops on the field. There’s a;sp a look at the other factions – Prussia, Great Britain, and Austria – and some fancy glimpses of the game in motion. It’s looking pretty interesting, assuming you want more in the Empire vein. The game is due out on the 26th of February.


  1. Metalfish says:

    Fix the AI and all is forgiven.

    • mrmud says:


    • Fumarole says:

      Allowing humans to play as the AI opponent in campaign mode should go a long way in this direction.

    • Vinraith says:


      MP is never, ever the solution to problems with SP.

  2. kedaha says:

    I don’t want more in the E:TW vein, I want a better E:TW :/

  3. Binni says:

    Where’s Shogun 2: Total War? :'(

    I would also love to get a Three Kingdoms: Total War.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Both of those would be awesome; I’m tired of the globe-spanning maps, and a return to smaller countries with more detailed maps would be welcome.

      Also, the Three Kingdoms era is ace (although maybe a bit too mythological for Total War), and a total lack of Western factions would also be awesome.

      (I also wouldn’t mind an pre-Christianity Middle East Total War with only a hint or two of the “Western” nations for the same reasons.)

    • Fumarole says:

      Tired of the globe-spanning maps? What, after one whole game?

      I too would love a return to the Far East for the Total War series.

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      A Three Kingdoms: Total War would be excellent. But I’m thinking of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in the 17th century, most of famous of which being the English Civil War. A proper pike and shot TW game would be lovely.

      Really looking forward to Napoleon, though.

    • Rich says:

      Ask and ye shall receive.
      link to
      Sort of.

      It’s a mod for Medieval 2: TW. It’s huge.

    • Warth0g says:

      I hate those long strung-together URLS.. I read it as Forking or which I was actually quite intrigued by…

  4. Rich says:


    Of the people I know who like Total War, I’m the only one who’s been actually looking forward to it covering this era.

    Still, it’ll be a while until I actually play this. I haven’t even started Empire yet.
    Also, wish my computer was faster. As it is, I’m going to have to turn a lot of the shininess off to run Empire properly. Sad face.

  5. SAVBUT says:

    They really should focus on finishing a Total War for the first time ever before dreaming up new ones. Or useless expansions like this one.

  6. Sub-Actuality says:

    I loved the sudden switch in tone at the end of the trailer. “No invader from the west can comprehend the emptiness of the Steppes… deal with the vast distances of Russia… or survive its cruel winters. Thank you for watching!”

  7. Saito says:

    Has anyone played the newest, fully-patched up version of E:TW? I feel like a lot of its critics saw the (admittedly wretched) initial build and simply walked away because it simply wasn’t worth the pain and effort.

    If you did, though, you missed out on the real potential in the engine and the game itself. It now works pretty smoothly, most of the kinks have been ironed out and, TBH, it’s the game I play the most often.

    The AI still leaves some things to be desired, but I’m not sure that it’s any worse than any other major strategy game; it’s just that there are so many more moving pieces than basically any other game out there, and the battles are so much more free-form; since every encounter is different men, with different equipment, on different terrain, you can’t script as heavily as, say, a Starcraft or Dawn of War map.

    But I’ve seen stranded artillery get flanked, cavalry sent to assassinate my generals and ambushes sprung in the tall grass of the plains. It’s been pretty cool, all in all.

    • MWoody says:

      I bought the game because they promised co-op was in the works within 30 days of release; my brother did the same. Instead, we got a beta over nine months later, intended to iron out the defects so they can sell us ANOTHER full-price game with the feature included.

      They’ve used up their good will. I’ll get my strategy fix elsewhere.

  8. Hentzau says:

    More in the E:TW vein? You mean a plethora of bugs and crashes that make the game unplayable on release, an AI that’s braindead even after a year of patching and promised multiplayer features that have mysteriously failed to materialise? I’ll pass on that one, thanks.

    (I like that they’re saying the AI has been improved for Napoleon. They say that about every Total War AI just before release, and then it turns out that the campaign AI can’t do naval invasions and the battle map AI has a tendency to glue itself to walls.)

  9. Dain says:

    I got ETW on release, had no bugs and am still enjoying it today.

    Curse me for my lack of crazy hatred!

    • Rich says:

      That kind of childish good humour doesn’t belong on the internet.
      Get out!

  10. J.P says:

    If CA kept its premisses i would not mind buying, but after the mess that was E: TW at launch, the slow patching, the issues that still bug the campaign (which continuous to be almost unplayable at the late game).

    But the worst thing in my view was the complete miss-management of the communities expectations regarding the mp component. A MP campaign which was promised well before launch and that never made it out of beta, and even then…

  11. Dain says:

    Hey kids, let’s look at the original MP campaign announcement!

    link to

    What’s that Sooty?

    “an opportunity to participate in the 1 versus 1 multiplayer campaign mode beta will be made available to all Empire Total War buyers post release.”

    No that can’t be right Sooty. Everyone knows CA are pure evil and breakers of a million tiny kitten’s hearts! They must have said:

    “A super duper MP campaign to be launched with the game!”

    because everyone knows they can’t tell the truth.

    • Saito says:

      Creative Assembly has one of the weirdest fan bases ever. They are insanely, almost monomaniacally obsessed with the TW series, have some of the ambitious modding communities ever(Europa Barbarorum has to be one of the most monumental achievements in gaming history), and spend hours debating every fine point of strategy, tactics and game design for the Total War Series….

      But they all appear to hate the game and its creators with a fiery passion. It’s like if Christians hated Jesus and the Bible.

    • Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

      Love-hate relationships are so interesting.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      @ Saito:

      This is down to the CA producing two almost flawlessly excellent strategy games with SHOGUN and MEDIEVAL. ROME was problematic on release but after a few patches and the two expansions became just as good. MEDIEVAL II then had significant problems, many of which CA never bothered to address (mods have solved most of them though, and made the game superb), and EMPIRE was released in an unfinished and borderline-unplayable state with key features promised repeatedly before release missing.

      This is why people get annoyed by CA. It’s not that they are bad developers incapable of making a good game. Their history shows that this is clearly not the case. It’s that they are resting on their laurels and repeatedly shipping games in incomplete states with missing features and then refusing to fix them whilst promising they will. They know the game is going to be a big seller regardless so why bother? It’s this attitude which is increasingly annoying the fanbase, particularly the old-schoolers who have been around for a few years.

    • dadioflex says:

      Christians may not HATE Jesus and the bible, but they sure don’t pay a lot of attention to either the loved up hippy or the New Testament he was promoting.

      Much like TW fans they prefer the visceral blood and violence of the older works.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:


    • Fumarole says:

      So what exactly is still left out of Empire that was promised?

  12. GetOutOfHereStalker says:

    I wish my copy of E:TW worked :(

  13. Alistair says:

    A good alternative to Creative’s ceaseless reattempts of the same game is King Arthur – the RP Wargame. Some similarities, a lot of its own systems and atmosphere. I’m loving it, and will pass on Mr Napoleon, despite having had an ok time with Empire.

  14. Torgen says:

    Trying to decide between this and HistWar: Les Grognards as the vehicle to bring back the fun I had playing tabletop Napoleonics in the 1980s

  15. Torgen says:

    Was that the British shooting Congreve rockets in the trailer? I have the sound off.

  16. parker says:

    There’s still one last major patch (v1.6) coming for Empire: Total War that intends to shore up whatever remaining AI problems are left. E:TW is only $10 on Steam right now and by all accounts the game is much improved over release with path 1.5, let alone the upcoming 1.6.

    link to

  17. Heliocentric says:

    I hold ca no ill will and would have grabbed empire at the nice price it was on steam before they realised they screwed it up. But, mod support or gtfo.

    • Vinraith says:


      mod support or gtfo.

      Which is literally the only thing that needs to be said on the subject of Empire: TW or this new “expandalone” game.

  18. egg says:

    Hmm. How about mods? Aren’t they enough to fix E:TW?

    I just played the vanilla version just after the launch. It was really buggy and never allowed me to play as Persians iirc. Which made me a sad Totar Warrer.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      EMPIRE is hardcoded not to allow significant mods. Whilst there’s some mods that fiddle around with unit stats and some elements, the AI cannot be touched, and full modifications like the brilliant ones available for MEDIEVAL II and ROME are not possible.

      I believe this is down to CA being embarrassed by the fact they cannot create good AI routines any more (they could up to MEDIEVAL I though) but the modding community still manages to produce something that craps all over their attempts within weeks of the new game coming out.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      @ Adam Whitehead ; Which is exactly why i never bought E:TW.
      Its been a slippery slope since the first medievil. & mods have, in my opinion, always been the keystone of the series: building up what CA had acheived and pushing it to entirly new levels. The fact that CA seems blind to this fact either shows (as you pointed out) a pathetic attempt to make themselves feel better or simply a shocking degree of stupidity, an ignorance of what it was that made the series so great in the annals of videogame history. Rather tragic really

  19. Xander77 says:

    I’m waiting for the day CA actually hires someone competent to code their diplomatic and battlefield AI, before I buy any of their new games.

    Unfortunately, it seems as though they’re making quite the profit even if single-player feels as though you’re the only adult in a sandbox full of glue-eaters, so competent AI won’t be a priority for a long time.

  20. Scundoo says:

    Next expansion: “Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids”

    And DLC, with half-assed reskins of existing units at 5$ a pop.


    At least games like Histwar try to make something new.

  21. HexagonalBolts says:

    Quite a few games in recent years seem to come out with massively overrated reviews. Empire’s reviews were often around 9/10 (I’m looking at you, Mr. Gillen!). There were (initially) so many bugs that it was frustrating beyond playable. The fort battles were broken (the popular overhaul mod I use simply disables them), the AI could not do over-water invasions, very few playable teams by comparison to previous games, little or no unit differentiation, the infamous broken battle AI, and dreadful path-finding. I can sympathise because there is so much depth to the game, and it must have been hard to review without keeping future patches in mind. But it’s strange when so many reviewers fail to find the flaws that scream in everyone else’s face… I mean, spore got 91% in PC Gamer, It was sodding awful!

    I’m sorry, the internet has blackened my heart and made me bitter.

    • archonsod says:

      I never had a problem with E:TW until the second patch. In fact, the more patches CA release, the more frequently the thing tends to crash, die or just plain fail to work.

      Unfortunately, Steam won’t let me return it to a working version :(

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      I had no crashes with ETW until the second patch when it started crashing regularly, but the next patch fixed it and I was still having too much fun to get more than momentarily frustrated when I got a crash.

      Can’t disagree that there were bugs/flaws in the game on release, pretty much all of which (bar fort pathfinding) have been fixed/improved since, particularly unit variety which has improved massively with both free additions and the DLC which is some of the most reasonably-priced DLC I’ve seen for any game. I do take issue with Empire having fewer playable factions than previous Total War games, though. Empire has 12 playable major factions (counting the United States, which you should, since they have their own tailored Grand Campaign). They’re all playable from the beginning. Medieval 2 had 5 factions playable from the beginning, for a total of 17 – by far the most playable factions in a Total War game, and the most varied. Rome had only 3 factions playable from the beginning, all identical except for a single unit that varied for each, plus 10 other factions that you could unlock.

      In terms of total faction numbers that can be unlocked with a little modding, Empire wins hand down since it has a LOT of minor factions, plus even more that can only appear through rebellions or the like.

  22. Langman says:

    PCG’s N:TW score of 82% is clearly the score E:TW *should* have got from them last year. I sense that this latest review, and their decision to make a point of not including E:TW in their recent top 100, is them sheepishly admitting they royally screwed up with their opinion of the game (reading between the lines).

    I’ve never been able to work out how something in that release condition received a score like that in a publication as respected as PCG anyway. I mean, the game was fundamentally broken.

    One of life’s great mysteries.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      Big games with massive marketing spends are not permitted to get bad reviews. If they do get bad reviews, the games publisher pulls all advertising from the mag, and the mag suffers. It is that simple. The computer games review magazine market has been compromised for a long time, ever since magazines started selling in such low quantities that they no longer have the power to survive without major advertising support from the main publishers. The days of AMIGA POWER giving a massive-profile game 40% and then getting into a years-long vendetta with the publishers over it are sadly long gone.

      This is why a game as troubled as OBLIVION – a game which pretty much needs mods to become fully playable on PC – gets a ridiculous 94% in magazines, or why EMPIRE or the PC version of GTA4, both of which were functionally broken on release, also scored highly despite a very large proportion of players not actually even being able to run the games on high-spec systems.

    • Tim Ward says:

      Empire wasn’t worth 82% on release. 82% is a good score. The critical attitude Tim Stone took to Napoleon to give it 82% would have resulted in a score in the 40s for Empire V1.0

    • Fumarole says:

      Clearly someone does not remember the Kane and Lynch incident.

  23. myname says:

    When do they learn to just unlock all the factions out of the box!?? :-(

  24. Carra says:

    Asking almost full price, around €40 seems excessive for an expansion pack. You can now pick up all Total War games for €15 on steam…

    But we’ll see if it’s any good.

  25. Skyvik says:

    Surely an inability to launch naval invasions is an essential part of any historically authentic Napoleon game?

    • Rich says:

      Old Boney did OK in Egypt, it’s just that Nelson managed to sink all his ships while he was ashore.

    • Pema says:

      ETW AI launches successfully naval invasions since patch 1.4.

  26. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    heres a handy quote for you:

    Kieran: The units that we’ve given Napoleon mean that the Napoleonic tactics are the most advantageous on the battlefield. Because the units are all historically researched and the armies are composed of units that were actually available in the period, with their associated abilities, the AI uses these in sets, so in that sense it will use Napoleonic tactics because they emerge from these unit combinations, essentially.

    In terms of the AI beating you, this is one of those interesting questions where we have kind of a Venn Diagram set of different types of players. You’ve got really, really casual players, who play and like a bit of a challenge but generally like to win all their battles. You’ve got your strategy fans who like to play with a challenge, sometimes win, sometimes lose. Then you’ve got your hardcore RTS/TW fan, who wants to be really pushed every time they play a battle, so it’s almost impossible to win. The AI has to be balanced amongst all of those different crowds and essentially what we do is we aim for the most competitive and fun gameplay experience, whilst allowing you to tailor that with the difficulty sliders. That’s how we approach this problem. ‘

    – somemay call this farce economical game design. I call it a slackers paridise.
    And as to comments on the bitterness in the hardcore community: How would you feel itf the hen that was laying golden eggs just for you started spraying you with liquid shite and laughing all the while? A sellfish notion no-doubt but no less true for it.

  27. Frye says:

    You’re not really figting with armies, but with blobs of men with a flag stuck in them. They get stuck to anything, so you cant walk through a narrow street or run away because there’s always some bit of the group lagging behind. It doesnt have individual AI, just group behavior with flocking behavior. I know games are all smoke and mirrors but in this case the smoke AND the mirrors AND the wires are all showing and they’re just hoping we don’t notice. After ten years of releasing the same game i have given up, they would have fixed it if they could.

  28. Pema says:

    The last two patches really sort out most of the bugs.

    But the word that ETW is bad had already spread in the interwebs.

  29. battles_atlas says:

    @ Parker – “There’s still one last major patch (v1.6) coming for Empire: Total War that intends to shore up whatever remaining AI problems are left.”

    The patch, which CA are going out of their way to downplay expectations for, is supposed to simply stop the constant schizophrenic formation adjustments by the battle AI, and prevent it from constantly sending its ranged units charging into melee encounters. In other words, to fix the very dumbest, most common failing of an epically failed AI. Don’t get your hopes up for a challenging adversary emerging from it.

    This comment thread has cheered me right up. Went back to Empires recently, having dropped it disgustedly about 3 months after release. Whilst 1.5 removes the worst excesses of retardation, its still the case that essentially every mechanic in the game – battle AI, campaign AI, fort seiges, diplomacy – is broken to some degree. And though the naval side isn’t technically broken, it is technically as fun to play as watching land battles crash is.

    I don’t care where the next TW is set, I just want CA to spend the development cycle making all the shit that they’ve shoehorned in there since Medieval 1 to actually work.

  30. tigershuffle says:

    Total War……..broken since 2008

    reading the review in PC Gamer has already convinced me to wait another year before looking.

    If they let the community loose on either Empire or Napoleon … probably be buying and then downloading a decent modded version within 6 months.

    I will give Empire another look though cos I aint played since December………more downloading joy

  31. luckystriker says:

    I played E:TW at release, and like every else, was thoroughly disappointed at the poor state it was in. I played it for a month or so and gave up. However, I’ve recently returned to the game armed with new patches and new mods. I’ve played it non-stop now for the last 2 months or so.

    I haven’t had a single crash and it’s damn fun to play. Superb mods such as A Proper Empire: Terra Incognita, the Rights of Man and cosmetic mods such as Smoke, Blood and Sound mods complete an absorbing and challenging experience. While it is disappointing that the game doesnt allow ‘total’ conversions the hate for this game, almost a year after release, is no longer justified.

    Especially when it’s currently $10.19 on Steam.

  32. Spinoza says:

    Napoleon unlocked in 1 hour. In UK . And other places. Not that I care.

  33. Spinoza says:

    sacrebleu .. I was wrong . sorry

  34. Oak says:

    Not allowing pre-loads for a 20GB game. Go banana!