Sept 26, 2007
Empire: Total War takes place during the period from the 1700s to the early 1800s, a turbulent era in history when technology was being fuelled by a new industrial age and for the first time various powers were fighting for control of the Old and New Worlds on a global scale. This is the age of the French Revolution, Voltaire, the American War of Independence, Mozart, Wellington, the British Empire, and of course, Guybrush Threepwood, Captain Jack Sparrow and Blackadder the Third.
Empire’s big-ticket attraction - its unique, ahem, sailing point - is the introduction of proper naval combat to the Total War series. As with the complex land battles, the sea warfare will involve real-time 3D action, but instead of troops, you’ll command single ships or fleets of up to 20 craft, which vary in size, speed and maneuverability, ranging from small brigs to powerful ships of the line.
Vessels will be able to let fly with chain shot, grapeshot, musket fire and cannonballs, which you can aim at your foes’ destructible sails, decks and/or hulls so they sink faster than Britney Spears’ comeback. You can also opt to grapple and board enemy ships for exciting fights on-deck with muskets and sabers; and any captured ships become part of your fleet, so you can use them in subsequent battles. Also boasting real-time weather effects such as fog and ever-changing sea conditions, Empire: Total War promises to deliver some of the most realistic and visceral sea battles ever seen in a PC game - with everything except the smell of salt, gangrene and fish in your nostrils.
As well as taking part in the all-new offshore encounters, you will of course be commanding your armies over land, in a campaign that spans Europe, North America, the Caribbean and India; plus features like revamped trade, diplomacy, mission and espionage systems. New tactics have evolved on the battlefield, so you’ll be able to destroy buildings and walls or use them as cover, deploy defenses and employ a variety of new unit firing drills and formations - such as the classic hollow square that’s effective against a single target but very vulnerable to cannon fire.