Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Real Time Strategy (Games) Games

Early Praise For Empire: Total War 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-nutritious-than-17-bowls-of-generic-brand-war dept.
CVG had a chance to preview Empire: Total War, the latest in Creative Assembly's popular strategy series. This installment focuses on a time period which includes the Industrial Revolution and the struggle for US independence. CVG praises the intuitive interface and the improved AI, as well as the level of detail shown in large-scale battles. Quoting: "With a single mouse click I changed my troops' attack orders to melee and sent a sea of blue uniforms sweeping down the hill at the enemy. Zooming into the action revealed a previously unmatched level of battlefield realism and detail, with each motion captured soldier actively seeking out an opponent before engaging in a mortal shoving and stabbing match. Men toppled into the mud, squirming with terror before receiving a deft bayonet jab to the windpipe. After a titanic, 20-minute struggle the tide turned my way with the enemy hightailing it thanks in no small part to a bullet to the British general's head that broke his men's morale."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Early Praise For Empire: Total War

Comments Filter:
  • by SupremoMan (912191) on Monday December 29, 2008 @01:54AM (#26255173)

    I hope they finally improved empire management. That's the thing that was most lacking in the whole series, and it only deteriorated with each succession.

    For example: Rome Total War became unplayable to me once I realized I have to stage rebellions in my own cities, then conquer them in order to remain profitable.

  • Lovely, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by routerl (976394) on Monday December 29, 2008 @02:12AM (#26255281)
    ...are they making an effort to be historically accurate?

    I've always liked the Total War series (since Shogun) but must admit to having been caught referring to some of the "history" I learned from the games. Rome:TW is particularly bad in this regard. Granted that the player can drastically alter the outcome of history, for instance by having a massive Portuguese empire take over all of Europe by 1250 A.D., but it would still be nice to be playing with actual historically significant events and persons.

    And I have a lot of hope for this one, since a good chunk of it will deal with American history which many of the developers probably know a bit more about than Roman, Japanese, or medieval European history.

    Also, I wonder whether we can now start looking forward to, say, Normandy: Total Way, which would be terrifyingly awesome. As the technology has gotten better, the series has tended to move forwards in time, with the exception of Medieval 2 which revisited a time period that had already been covered.
  • Re:Lovely, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun (899105) on Monday December 29, 2008 @02:39AM (#26255377)

    ...are they making an effort to be historically accurate?

    I've always liked the Total War series (since Shogun) but must admit to having been caught referring to some of the "history" I learned from the games. Rome:TW is particularly bad in this regard. Granted that the player can drastically alter the outcome of history, for instance by having a massive Portuguese empire take over all of Europe by 1250 A.D., but it would still be nice to be playing with actual historically significant events and persons.

    And I have a lot of hope for this one, since a good chunk of it will deal with American history which many of the developers probably know a bit more about than Roman, Japanese, or medieval European history.

    Also, I wonder whether we can now start looking forward to, say, Normandy: Total Way, which would be terrifyingly awesome. As the technology has gotten better, the series has tended to move forwards in time, with the exception of Medieval 2 which revisited a time period that had already been covered.

    I haven't played the games myself. But... aren't they giving you control over an entire campaign? I'm not sure how they can give you any significant freedom while still retaining historical accuracy, other than in a fairly broad sense regarding period tactics, strategies, and military technologies.

    Maybe a separate historical mode that sets up battles and results in a campaign that mirrors actual history? But in that sort of mode, you'd be limited to working within the framework of a single battle, of course, to try to achieve results similar to a historical counterpart.

  • Re:Lovely, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Monday December 29, 2008 @04:32AM (#26255791) Homepage

    I haven't played the games myself. But... aren't they giving you control over an entire campaign? I'm not sure how they can give you any significant freedom while still retaining historical accuracy, other than in a fairly broad sense regarding period tactics, strategies, and military technologies.

    Imagine, for the moment, being given complete control over the American Civil War. You would play the North under Douglas MacArthur and start with a division of Panzer tanks and two battalions of chariots from Pennsylvania. The South is split up into three different kingdoms, each headed by its own Pope, and you will need to capture their three holy cities of Pensacola, Columbus and Houston in order to win. Fortunately, swashbuckling pirates from Antigua show up every few turns to offer their services as mercenaries in your Grande Armée.

    That's about what playing Rome: Total War is like. It's entertaining, but has very little to do with actual history. It's not that the events of the campaign are wrong, it's more that the armies and people involved have all been picked from different time periods or fantasy novels and thrown together into a blender set to "purée". The end result is a reasonably enjoyable, somewhat balanced game, but it is filled with bizarre inaccuracies like the Roman legions fielding companies of archers, and Julius Caesar riding around the battlefield at the head of his own band of Teutonic knights. Don't even start with the crazy armies that come out of Briton.

    I personally enjoyed R:TW, and am willing to forgive a lot of the changes having been made in the name of game balance, but it looks like the Creative Assembly team skipped doing some of their homework there. Fans of the Total War series have been hoping for some time that the development team would have an unpleasant encounter with a ruler-wielding nun who would remind them to take their research a little more seriously with their next game.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:31AM (#26256019)

    It is quite possible to make a certain battle or a small campaign historically accurate, but you can't just make something like the rise and fall of the roman empire accurate. Else you'd win. Simply and plainly. You would already have won before the whole thing starts.

    First of all, you know the geography of Europe. If you don't, there's accurate maps available, something that the Romans would have sold their firstborn and a few more things for. You wouldn't just go and waste a sizable amount of your resources by trying to "bring peace" to the Germania because you think the world ends where Poland is today. You wouldn't go and listen to some augur telling you you're gonna fall off the world by sailing through the street of Gibraltar.

    Another important aspect of Rome's success was that most of the empires they conquered were anything but organized. Rome had a pretty strong bureaucracy behind it that could support vast armies of professional soldiers, something no other empire of the time could. Most of their enemies were smaller, badly organized tribes and empires that didn't really have the same centralized structure of the Roman Empire.

    And this goes on throughout all the ages and games you could make out of them. People, great people, all made great mistakes in the way they waged war and led their countries. Spain wasted insane amounts of money trying to find a way to the far east, as did Portugal (one trying to find a way towards the west, the other trying to sail around Africa), and both just realized that it's unprofitable to do that. You know that, and you would most likely not waste your gold on such endeavours. Instead you'll invest in gunpowder and research the weapons behind it because you know that's where the future of warfare is. You would probably not search for the philosopher's stone, though, or try to turn shit into gold.

    And so on.

    You cannot create an accurate game of this scope and be true to history. You have to sacrifice at least part of it to make the game balanced and playable.

  • by OglinTatas (710589) on Monday December 29, 2008 @01:09PM (#26259095)

    "...once I realized I have to stage rebellions in my own cities, then conquer them in order to remain profitable."

    That, sir, is what we call "a deep insight into the Tragedy of the Human Condition"(TM)

  • by shadowarmy75 (1411273) on Monday December 29, 2008 @02:05PM (#26259751)
    If your talking about the negative income form cities, then that is incorrect as your costs are distributed around your empire according to the population of the cities. While it may look better on the cities individual balance sheet, you income would go down if you did that.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

Working...