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Thread: Empire: Total War Review

  1. #1
    the G-Diffuser Senior Member pevergreen's Avatar
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    Default Empire: Total War Review

    I'm back, selflessly giving up my time to do a short review. Short is my speciality!

    I've been playing Total War since Rome. I played a bit of MTW a few years ago, but never got into it. Empire, however could be a big one.

    Its a shameful secret I have...I've only ever finished one campaign. A short one in RTW before I knew how to unlock factions. A short campaign with the Scipii.

    This won't be the general review, since its on a total war forum, I'm going to presume you know what the game is about. I also took a blank sheet approach. I started a campaign with russia on VH/H (See the AAR thread) without reading the manual or playing the RtI campaign.

    Lets get into the issues people care about!

    Campaign:

    The campaign is just beautiful. I spent over two hours on about three turns, just looking at everything and discovering what there was to see. Its very easy to figure out, tooltips give all the explanation you need.

    The AI will always be the draw and the main factor. It is vastly superior to anything we've seen so far. It rejects offers that don't benefit it, it will attack you if you are weak, it raids you, it will use rakes and gentlemen. It will only fight you if it is cornered or if it is stronger. It is easy to do all the micromanagement from the last games. Siege battles still happen, but its on the outskirts of the town, so its still a field battle. The defender also gets armed citizens to help out.

    Battle AI:

    Here is the most noticeable improvement. It will beat you if you don't know what you are doing.

    It will flank you, it will respond to your movements, it will seek cover. It will send diversionary forces to distract you and then flank you again.

    Sea battles are hard, but you can win them.

    Thats all there is to it really. Ask questions if you've got 'em, otherwise, start playing!
    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
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  2. #2
    Member Member Ishmael's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    wow, sounds good. i dont know if i like AI kicking me when i'm down, but I suppose turn and turn about
    How does the some countries only having 1 province work? Can you give any more detail on that?
    Thanks for the review!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Very nice review, pevergreen. I agree, that the campaign is awesome and gives you a wealth of options to deal with.
    Life is full of surprises and you never know what you're going to get until you get it; always expect the unexpected.

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    Yorkist Senior Member NagatsukaShumi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    pevergreen, you missed out many important things, like a big list of things we can use to bash CA up to and after patches and expansion packs, poor review.

    (Obviously not, very informative and I look forward to playing it whenever I can go and buy it, just sat waiting for my new PC atm, seems to take forever).
    RIP TosaInu
    Ja Mata

  5. #5
    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Thanks pevergreen . Your review makes the fact that I don't have the game yet hurt slightly less.


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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Edit- never mind it just got here
    Last edited by Greyblades; 03-04-2009 at 11:58.
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    the G-Diffuser Senior Member pevergreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    wow, sounds good. i dont know if i like AI kicking me when i'm down, but I suppose turn and turn about
    How does the some countries only having 1 province work? Can you give any more detail on that?
    Thanks for the review!
    Well...think of it like this. The city in the province (Like Paris, in the france region) handles the upgrade of defences, barracks, governers residences and a few other buildings, whereas the port handles its own upgrades, lumber mills do theirs etc. Every so often (theres a max per region though) a town will appear, due to population growth. At that point, you get to choose what to turn it into.
    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    The org will be org until everyone calls it a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    but I joke. Some of my best friends are Vietnamese villages.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Anyone who wishes to refer to me as peverlemur is free to do so.

  8. #8
    Member Member Ishmael's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    thanks for the answer, also: how great a hinderance are militia? Are they actually any good, or can a decent sized army steamroll Paris without much resistance from the population?

  9. #9
    the G-Diffuser Senior Member pevergreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    They will break eventually, but sheer numbers and the amount of them you get mean that they are useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    The org will be org until everyone calls it a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    but I joke. Some of my best friends are Vietnamese villages.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Anyone who wishes to refer to me as peverlemur is free to do so.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    my first impressions are positive as well, i found little with the game to my dislike.

    the campaign is beautiful, but it seems like a lot of information when u start up, when i started a martha camp, i had about 15 possible improvements i could make, although i could only afford 2-4 depending on which i choose. its pretty easy to manage. the trade theaters look interesting, while i had heard it all b4 actually seeing it makes it easier to understand basically for those who dont understand theres the 3 theaters of war and also 4 trade theaters. theaters of war are just the map area's so america, india and europe. the trade theaters are between these where u can send fleets to generate money but watch out for those pirates :)

    the RTI campaign was imo a little too dumbed down, i know its spose to be a tutorial camp, but i got very bored very fast with it. but then its very linear. u get a objective to say go capture a fort, u go capture said fort, then u get a mission to build a fleet and go capture another town, etc etc.

    the battles look great, no much to complain about im running with everything on high and no chug at all :) the ai seems improved i got ambushed in the RTI camp, and they wiped out my general and my 2 units of cav b4 i realised half the army was behind me :P

    cant say too much for the campaign AI cos ive only played like 2 turns as marthara i was a bit shocked and worried when mysore declared on me on the first turn tho.


    so summing up great game really like it not too much to complain about.

    best moments - getting ambushed in RTI and losing my gen and 2 units of cav b4 realising it :D
    - taking a french fort in RTI and garrisoning my men inside the buildings inside the fort and mowing down the french general :)


    pros - beautiful, improved, deep

    cons - i dont like the camp. mouse scroll, u have to push a couple of times at the edge to scroll, or use the buttons
    - sometimes units can be unresponsive. i had a unit of men in the RTI just stand there and be shot instead of turning to attack the thing i told them too.

    - RTI too easy quickly boring for vets??

    Cheers Knoddy

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Sounds great- can't wait to play!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Quote Originally Posted by knoddy View Post
    cons - i dont like the camp. mouse scroll, u have to push a couple of times at the edge to scroll, or use the buttons
    It's now WASD to scroll the map, they changed it. Forget to read the manual? ;)
    Last edited by GFX707; 03-04-2009 at 14:19.

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    Member Member Dogfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    pevergreen, thanks for the info! you might not have an answer for this (I'm not sure anybody outside of CA does at this early stage), but you're playing with the campaign AI at VH, right? Can you tell if the AI gets a huge gold bonus every turn? Like in M2TW the AI would get 5000/florins per turn. I would play as Scotland in the Britannia campaign, have Norway down to just the Isle of Man, yet they could still afford to field more full stacks then I could.

    It's been like that in the past and it's something that usually pushes me to put the campaign difficulty at a lower level (Battle AI definitely at VH though). I hope it's not like that in ETW.

  14. #14
    Member Member Sol Invictus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    I'm torn on whether to run through the RtI Campaign first or tear into the GC immediately. From the sounds of it, I will dive into the GC. Game should arrive at any hour.
    "The fruit of too much liberty is slavery", Cicero

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    Member Member Polemists's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Firstly I am eager to hear about the game on m and ve, from unobjective players, players who do not think VH is the be all end all of society.

    That said, a good review. (Since this entire forum is die hard vets, you can expect me to be the only one to write a ve review )

    RTI to easy for vets? Uhm..that's the point. It's not made for you. CA specifically stated it is made for people brand new to Empire total war. I know they said and vets, but they always say that. It's just a new marketing tool.

    It's a tutorial though, just like Rome, just like MTW2. I think you give it to much flak. It sounds fine for what it is.

  16. #16
    the G-Diffuser Senior Member pevergreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogfish View Post
    pevergreen, thanks for the info! you might not have an answer for this (I'm not sure anybody outside of CA does at this early stage), but you're playing with the campaign AI at VH, right? Can you tell if the AI gets a huge gold bonus every turn? Like in M2TW the AI would get 5000/florins per turn. I would play as Scotland in the Britannia campaign, have Norway down to just the Isle of Man, yet they could still afford to field more full stacks then I could.

    It's been like that in the past and it's something that usually pushes me to put the campaign difficulty at a lower level (Battle AI definitely at VH though). I hope it's not like that in ETW.
    I have seen no in game evidence of it, but I am unable to look at the code as of yet, so they may be getting a bonus. However, in my Russian game, I was close to broke every turn, and everyone else was trading.

    You get a lot of money if you trade properly. The world market is important.
    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    The org will be org until everyone calls it a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    but I joke. Some of my best friends are Vietnamese villages.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Anyone who wishes to refer to me as peverlemur is free to do so.

  17. #17
    Slixpoitation Member A Very Super Market's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Sounds like the majority of us are appeased.....
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Do you like the new map system that has outskirts with towns and other notable buildings? Does it encourage more open field battles than previous titles, instead of a "fort to fort" line of battles?

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    Member Member MD2020's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    So how is the diplomacy this time? I hope that it is better than m2tw, rtw, etc. I hear that the ai will attack you if youre weaker, but will an ally back stab you stupidly now?

  20. #20
    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    How many rakes and gentlemen do you use, and how many do you see the AI using?

  21. #21
    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Empire: Total War Review

    The fact there's little siege battles is a bit annoying, given that this era saw some of the most gigantic fortification lines ever built, but heh. Can't say I liked to siege a city every new turn in RTW/M2TW.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    It's now WASD to scroll the map, they changed it. Forget to read the manual? ;)
    yes i know i said or use buttons :)

    Polemists - i wasnt trying to be critical, just stating my experience, i got bored very quickly with the RTI, it limits what u can do, understandably, but just seems to do enough to keep you interested. This could be different, for and introduction to new TW players its prob quite good :)

    more insights - AI seems good on teh campaign. i sent a small force to reinforce my southern province in my marathra (sp?) camp and they had to go through mysore, who quickly sent out a force to intercept and i had to leg it :)

    the murghals (sp?) also began pirating my trade route to europe and blockading my port, till i destroyed their fleet :D they also made a move on my town and got wtf pwned by my tactics :D but the battle was even in terms of numbers and unit skill.

    i forgot to add in my first review, that i like it when u see dudes on boats with muskets firing into other boats at close range :D

    also forgot to add that while load times are better they are still a bit long for me. but ill live with it. load times with steam not offline was like 2 mintues for the game 1-2 minutes for battles/campaign. with steam offline load times are like 30 secs for everything. also the computer turn takes a while especially when u can see your whole trade fleet but just press space and it all goes faster :)

    neway off to uni, ill post more this arvo, ima try and send a small fleet into a trade theater :D


    oh and with the agents, i started with 1 scholar, 1 rake and 1 missionary, let the missionary preach cos i was only like 90% hindu, been skilling up the rake by infiltrating mysores small towns and farms etc. and put the scholar in my town with a school to speed up research but thinking bout changing that to send him to steal some :D

    edit: havnt seen any sign of AI agents although my gates of my fort did magically open in a battle against the murghals lol ;)

    CheerS Knoddy
    Last edited by knoddy; 03-04-2009 at 21:44.
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  23. #23
    Mercury Member Thermal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    woo i just so just imitated this thread!

  24. #24
    the G-Diffuser Senior Member pevergreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    Yup, you did.

    Most cities dont have walls built, they cost 4000 level 1 and 8000 for level 2.

    "Siege" battles are a lot of fun, you can tell that you are going to be taking the town if you win.

    I use a lot of gentlemen to speed up my research, and ive seen a LOT of enemy gentlemen and rakes fiddling with my stuff.

    I've only had one ally break, and that was because i tried to draw them into a war, which they didnt want any part of.

    Even so, we are sitting as neighbours at peace.
    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    The org will be org until everyone calls it a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    but I joke. Some of my best friends are Vietnamese villages.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Anyone who wishes to refer to me as peverlemur is free to do so.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    i think my problem is that im playing as marthra and nobody likes me :D so everyone is happy to declare on me :D i dunno i had portugal declare for no real reason then someone else killed them off :D

    also ive now had a couple of people die to assassins :) my scholar who was on his way to steal tech and another rake.

    Cheers Knoddy
    "How come i cant make friends like that"
    "You need to get out more"
    "Im in another galaxy, how much more out can i get"

  26. #26
    Slixpoitation Member A Very Super Market's Avatar
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    Default Re: Empire: Total War Review

    The Europeans probably dislike you because they are predispositioned to dislike non-european powers.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    WELCOME TO AVSM
    Cool store, bro! I want some ham.
    No ham, pepsi.
    They make deli slices of frozen pepsi now? Awesome!
    You also need to purchase a small freezer for storage of your pepsi.
    It runs on batteries. You'll need a few.
    Uhh, I guess I won't have pepsi then. Do you have change for a twenty?
    You can sift through the penny jar
    ALL WILL BE CONTINUED

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