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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Wot I Think: Empire: Total War

Having dabbled with Empire: Total War for the best part of a week, I reckon I’ve slain enough redcoats, sunk enough sloops, and lost enough rakes to sit in judgement. After the jump, the thoughts of a man who’s now so enthusiastic about 18th Century warfare, he’s bought himself a tricorn hat, a bicorn hat, and a unicorn hat. Read the rest of this entry »

Empire Total War EuroChat At 4pm

Man, I need some more screenshots.

Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell of Eurogamer messages me to ask if I can mention the Creative Assembly Live Interview they’re doing at 4pm GMT today (i.e. 11am EST). I say yes, because I like the money Tom gives me. My loyalty is only bought by cold hard cash. That’s right – you heard. It’s a free for all. Whoever sends the largest wedge gets a 10/10 no question asked.

Anyway, while we wait for my SHIELD-strike-squad-esque retirement fund to arrive, you should consider trundling along to EG to quiz Creative Assembly’s Kieran Brigden on all things Total War. Be mean. It’s for their own good. Or alternatively, ask him about terrain.

Bangalore Galore – An Empire: Total War AAR

bang01

My thoughts on Empire: Total War are still a bit jumbled. While I unjumble them (in readiness for a Wot I Think) I thought I’d share a short battle narrative with you. The following heavily illustrated After Action Report is a True and Accurate Account of the Bloody Battle of Bangalore,1714, the latest scrap from my current grand campaign. The glorious Maratha Confederacy (that’s me) has been distracted from its subjugation of the northern Mughals by an unprovoked attack by the cowardly Mysorians. A couple of territories were lost before I was able to assemble a scratch expeditionary force in Hyderabad and march out to meet the new foe. Just outside Bangalore my general-less rabble faced their first test…

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Empire: Partial War

February is, it seems, the official month of killing tiny soldiers, and today in particular is St. Man-Squisher’s Day. This fine Friday has already seen the launch of Dawn of War II – which I’m alt-tabbed from right now, excitingly – and now we also get to behold the majesty of the new Total War game. The 2 gigabyte (lawks, lummee, won’t somebody please think of the children etc) Empire demo’s just gone live on Steam, ahead of the launch of the whole epic shebang on March 4th. We shall, of course, be sharing some sort of opinion on ETW cometh the hour, but let’s be honest, the odds of it being anything less than spectacular are tinier than a vole’s pinkie finger.

Beneath the magical clicky words, details on exactly what’s in this here demo.
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Empire: Road To Independence


More and more Empire news is turning up. Earlier in the week we heard that the multiplayer would feature a campaign mode for the first time, but there’s also a trailer for a secondary, introductory single player game mode called Road To Independence. It’s something like the the Alexander campaign, a limited scope campaign allowing players to play through the War Of Independence in the US, and fight off the dastardly British. Aiming for the US market, eh chaps? The trailer for said mode is after the jump.
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Empire “Multiplayer Campaign” After Launch


A post over on the Sega UK site reveals that the multiplayer for Empire: Total War will be released after the main game, free to purchasers of the main game. There will be a testing period and “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.”

A multiplayer campaign mode. Interesting. This might well be related to the one month delay of the game: it will now appear in March.

Total War: The Campaign Map


This latest trailer for Creative Assembly’s 18th-century strategise ’em up shows off the fancy new campaign map, where your turn-based exploits are now even more intricate that ever. The footage shows off the increased depth of empire-building, with trade-routes, politicking, resource-controls, and your murderous agent fellows. If intrigued, why not read our interview with the lead designer chap?
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Empire: Total War, An Interview


Not all empires are built in intergalactic space, you know. Some are built in history, and that’s the subject of this latest interview: matters pertaining to the latest strategic behemoth from the British studio, Creative Assembly. We chart some of the major differences between this and previous games, with particular attention paid to the turn-based campaign map and the radical changes brought about by the new game’s battle engine. Crucially, Empire: Total War drags the Total War series a couple of centuries closer to the modern age. The 18th century setting is one of ranked, musket-heavy land armies, rip-roaring sea battles, complex revolutionary politics, and colonial ambition. It’s these two elements, as well as a desire to reflect some of the social changes (hiring generals rather than relying on hereditary feudal heirs, for example) of the 18th century, that motivate the designs implemented by Creative Assembly’s lead on the project, James Russell. We were lucky enough to be able to put some questions to Russell. You can read his rather detailed responses below.
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Empire: Total War: Land Battles Trailer


Oh boy, this is the big one for strategy types. The land battles trailer for Empire: Total War shows those 18th century musketeers in action, with the ultra-detailed new battle maps that allow proper use of terrain, and of buildings. The game is coming up in February 2009 and I’m already writing off most of the month’s potential productivity… We should have more detailed info on the game for you soon.

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I See No Ships (trad)

Sexy Boats. I'm using this one a lot. I'm sorry.
Actually, for the first time, you do (also trad). Sega have released some actual in-game footage of the much-anticipated Empire: Total War. On any other day, it’d be the most exciting naval-vessel news of day, except for the story Jim’s just posted of a similar nautical bent. But we’re still pretty excited. Video and commentary beneath the cut…
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RPS-ish At-ish E3: Day 3 – Sega


I’ve just passed the mid-point of E3, and by this point, no matter how hard I try, it’s all starting to blend together. It’s at this point that you might start to hallucinate that everything you’ve seen was actually all just the same game – a music title set in a decaying city that featured instrument peripherals with hundreds of buttons.

Thankfully I’ve kept it together a little more than that. Though perhaps not enough! Because when I was showed Alpha Protocol, Obsidian Entertainment new action RPG set in the world of espionage, I was positive I was just being shown Mass Effect. Positive!
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Empire Total War: It’s Got Boats In It

Quite literally some boats.

I quite passionately believe that the game should be named as above. I’m assuming CA have read that and are redesigning the packaging accordingly. Point being, there’s a cinematic trailer for it (read: no in-game footage), suggesting quite strongly that you’ll be able to end ship battles by a planet-sized giant crushing them all with a map.

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