Posts Tagged ‘empire-total-war’

The Best And Worst Total War Games

At its best, the Total War series casts a spell over you. Your empire rises from nothing, surrounded by enemies who are poised to trample it into the dust. Each decision on the strategic level is a gamble on the immediate future, where “one more turn” isn’t just a stepping-stone to a new upgrade, but a perilous step onto thin ice. Each time you take to the battlefield is another do-or-die moment, a possible Hastings or Austerlitz that can open the road to conquest or plunge you into a desperate fight for survival.

But the Total War series has also been defined by massive, abrupt swings in quality. While the series has been on a linear trajectory in terms of graphics, the quality of the games underlying those vivid battlefield vistas has varied wildly. Total War at its best is interactive Kurosawa and Kubrick. At its worst, it’s a middle-school history textbook as told by Drunk History and filmed by the cast and crew of The Patriot.

So before the series (temporarily) leaves history behind for the grimdark faux-history of Warhammer fantasy, let’s put into order the times that Total War was at its best… and why sometimes its lows were so very low. We’ll save the worst for last, because if there’s one thing that every Total War fan loves, it’s an argument over which games were the biggest disappointments.

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To Battle! Empire & Napoleon Made Moddable

Now you can make those hats any colour you fancy

A source of what could gently be called discontent amongst the Total War community of late has been the lack of modding tools for the most recent games. Empire, Napoleon and Total War have all been bereft of official utilities to alter and add units, maps et al, which was partly a result of the relevant files being compressed and thus tricky to edit. At last, the Creative Assembly have found a way to open things up a little more – releasing the complete, original, unpacked raw database XML (data from tables) and XSD (table structure and field properties) files for both Empire and Napoleon.
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Empire: Total War MP Beta Sign Up

The man they call SAeN brought this to our attention. We bring it to yours. Sign up for the Empire: Total War beta is now open. Options apparently include playing the entire campaign with another player, co-operating and backstabbing at will and fighting the real-time battles against the AI, or have your friend take the place of the AI. Oh – and a AI faction nations improved too. Though we’ve heard that one before. [Visit Bobsy’s lonely thread of love to find yourself a multiplayer partner, should you need one – Jim]

Empire: Total War Campaign Multiplayer


Sega says that the 1 vs 1 Campaign Multiplayer Open Beta of Empire: Total War will be available to all Empire: Total War consumers globally on December 7th, via Steam. This will apparently allow two players to enter into turn-based conflicts with each other, or cooperative against the AI nations on the full grand campaign map of Empire. Thanks, Mr Sega! You will, however, have to sign up to the beta program, because Creative Assembly want lots of feedback, and we don’t seem to have a link for that at present. I’ll update this post when it turns up.

Empire “Warpath” Announced For Steam


UPDATE: Trailer posted south of here.
Sega send word that they will be releasing a new mini-expansion for Empire: Total War, which should allow you to forge an entertaining alternative history for the US, to be delivered on Steam. It’s a North American campaign that will feature some new native North American playable factions. Sega tell us that a new “Campaign Map expands the Empire: Total War experience, with 5 brand new American Indian factions, new units and technologies.” And that means Shaman and Scout agents to fill out the NPC ranks, and support for multiplayer with these armies. Warpath will cost £5.99/ €6.99 and be out some time in October. There’s also a new patch for the game tomorrow, 1.4, which “fixes some minor issues” and delivers two new historical battles: the Battle of Rossbach and the Battle of Fontenoy.
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Empire: Total War DLC And 1.3 Patch


Empire’s new 1.3 patch is out, and will update via internet fairy dust when you relaunch Steam. The fairly chunky list of changes and fixes can be read here. The patch includes fourteen new units to replace generic unit types for specific factions in the game. There’s also DLC up on Steam, the details of which are here. The micro-expansion unlocks fourteen elite units, including US Marines and Russian Gardes à cheval, whom, it is noted, “were selected not for their soldiering ability but more for their relative attractiveness to Catherine the Great.”

They’re bringing sexy (horse)back.

A Tale of Two Empires

As if more proof were needed that Febrooairy and Marrtch were months made of strategy, we hear glad tidings of little army men achieving great commercial success. Across the world (including the US, UK and Oz) last week, Dawn of War II hit the top of the PC charts like a, er, Space Marine hitting a pile of Orks with a powerfist. Or something. God, it’s too early for tortorous similes.

However, come this week in the UK, DOWII’s down to number 3 in the PC charts, below the latest instalment of perennial UK man-magnet Football Manager. In the all-formats chart, it places a mere 29th. DOOM! PC GAMING, DEAD! DEAD LIKE MY ABILITY TO DEVISE FUNNY SIMILES! Except… we have a new champion. One that achieves even greater success.
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