Treat yourself to an entire century’s worth of epic gaming
Sega’s popular Total War strategy series has already spanned hundreds of years of history, from feudal Japan to the Roman era and medieval times.
The latest entry brings the franchise right up to the age of enlightenment.
For all its reason and sophistication, the 18th century also had more than its fair share of bloody empire building, political and industrial revolutions and general global unrest – all of which makes it the perfect setting for a combat-led strategy title.
If you’ve played a Total War game before you’ll recognise the familiar blend of turn-based strategy and real-time battles. This time around there are two types of campaign on offer: the story-led Road to Independence, which focuses on the American struggle against the British, and the ‘full’ Grand Campaign, which allows you to pick a nation of your choice and slowly build it up to be the biggest power on the planet. There are also one-off battles as well as online and multiplayer modes available. In short, there’s a whole lot of game here.
As with previous entries in the series, it’s the sense of scale that really sets Empire Total War apart. The game takes in more than 100 years of history and encompasses Europe, America and the Indian subcontinent. Some areas of Empire’s map are conspicuously blank, but you can expect these to be filled in at some later stage by an expansion pack or two, as is the Total War way.
Gameplay is satisfyingly sophisticated, and yet not overly complicated. Combat – including the all-new 3D naval warfare element – is clearly the main focus, but a surprising amount of progress can be made by employing less violent tactics, such as diplomacy, trade and technological achievement. Even religious evangelism and espionage get a look in.
Visually, this is the best-looking Total War yet and an overall high level of presentation polish helps to augment the sense of grandeur. All of which was somewhat hampered by a few technical flaws when we tested the game – we expect these to be fixed by the time you read this.
The occasional gremlin aside, Empire Total War is a classy, colossal instant classic.
PEGI age rating: 16+
The occasional gremlin aside, Empire Total War is a classy, colossal instant classic
Updating your subscription status