Empire: Total War is the fifth instalment of the hugely popular Total War series of games. The game is set in the early part of the eighteenth century and is very similar in style and game play to the previous titles in the series.
When playing Empire, players must choose an 18th century faction which they wish to belong to. The player must then try to maintain power and lead the strongest faction through several methods including military force, economics, espionage and politics. Players are even able to direct their battles in real time, whilst the campaigning element of the game is based on players’ turns. Empire: Total War is the first game in the Total War series to have naval battles which can be conducted in real time. This is a nice feature and certainly improves on the game play from the previous titles in the series. The game also has an extra campaign mode which allows the player to keep track of any developments happening in the United States. Players can also take part in many other historical recreations from several different time periods whilst playing Empire: Total War. They can even partake in battles which were very recent in history.
The main objectives when playing Empire: Total War are to explore and found colonies. Economics, politics and religion are also vitally important to the game. The players main aim in the game is to conquer all they see. There are many factions spanning the 18th century just waiting to be conquered. They are spread in many areas including Europe, the Indies, North Africa and the Americas giving the player a wide variety of situations and factions to explore and conquer. The player must use some very complicated and complex strategies when in battle. They must also work hard to command armies whether on land or at sea to achieve their ultimate aim of conquest and domination.
Empire has a very similar game play strategy to other Total War games. The player must use a turn based campaign map to control their armies across land and using diplomacy and trade to help them achieve their goals and run their faction successfully and they must also use a real time battle mode to direct and control their battles as they arise.
There are around fifty different factions featured in Empire: Total War, however, when you first start out on the game, there are only eleven active factions which you can play with. Empire: Total War includes a story based mode which is called ‘Road To Independence’ and this allows the player to guide the British as they colonise America in three separate and enthralling missions. In the first mission, the player must establish and help develop an English colony in Jamestown. The second mission is centred around fighting which is taking place between Britain and France who are being helped by their Native American allies from the Indian war. The third and final mission in the mode allows the player to direct the American Continental Army as they fight against the British in the War of Independence. If you can successfully complete all three missions in this mode, you will be rewarded by unlocking extra features which you may need at a later stage in the game.
The main campaign in Empire: Total War centres around the player picking a faction and attempting to forge an empire spanning across the world in the 18th century. Each faction has their own provinces and towns which they control along with at least one port if they are based in a coastal area of their country. They player can gather both armies and navies in order to advance their power and conquer new territories. They can use their armies to both defend themselves and for military takeovers if that is what is needed. They can also use politics and diplomacy, rather than military means, to achieve their goals and advance in their game. Economics and religion can also be used as part of the strategy to conquer and the player may even resort to assassination and espionage if necessary to them.
The campaign mode is similar to the campaign modes in other Total War games but has some enhancements and adjustments which were not found in its predecessors. The main thrust of the game is played in India, Europe and the Americas. Provinces in this game are now decentralised and other areas of a province can be used for military and economic purposes rather than just one. The game features a multiplayer mode and allows players to battle each other in real time. This makes for a very exciting game which is probably the best game in the Total war series so far.