Author Topic: About Empire: Total War  (Read 1828 times)

Jubal

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About Empire: Total War
« on: June 04, 2010, 02:40:22 PM »
Empire: Total War

Following a similar style of interface and play to earlier Total War titles, players choose a contemporary 18th century faction and set out to ensure that faction's domination over the known world through military force, politics, diplomacy, espionage and economics. Although the campaign element of the game is turn-based, players can direct battles in real-time. Empire: Total War is the first game in the series to allow naval battles to be conducted in real-time. In addition to the standard campaign mode, the game includes a special campaign that follows the development of the United States from the settlement of Jamestown to the American War of Independence. Players may also engage in recreations of several historical battles from the early modern era.

Gameplay
Empire: Total War is focused on exploration, economics, politics, religion, the founding of colonies and, ultimately, conquest. The game is set in the early modern period, spanning from 1700 to 1799, allowing players to lead a variety of contemporary factions to dominate Europe, North Africa, the Americas and the Indies. The player will use both complex strategies on the campaign map as well as command military forces in battles on both land and sea. As with previous Total War games, Empire: Total War consists of two broad areas of gameplay: a turn-based campaign map that allows the user to move armies across the globe, conduct diplomacy, trade and other tasks needed to run their faction, and a real-time battle mode that enables players to direct the course of any battles that take place .

Campaign
The campaign mode features a similar approach to those in Rome: Total War and Medieval II: Total War, but includes several enhancements. The game features three main theatres of play: Europe, the Americas and India, and four minor trade theatres in the East Indies, the Ivory Coast, the Mozambique Channel and South America. The way provinces work has been decentralised; although a central settlement is still used, other locations within a province can deal with trade and military recruitment, allowing factions to disrupt a province's productivity without assaulting the main settlement.Diplomacy, taxation, and trade have been streamlined with the aim of reducing the need for micromanagement. Part of this streamlining allows players to appoint ministers to allow them to better govern aspects of their kingdom. The wandering scholars, emissaries and assassins used in previous titles to deal with the diplomatic, trade and espionage aspects of the game have been replaced with just two units: gentlemen and rakes. The former handles research and can challenge other characters to a duel to dispose of them honourably, while the latter performs clandestine tasks such as spying, assassination and burglary. The way armies are produced also differs: rather than being produced by settlements and then moved to generals by the player, generals build their armies directly by recruiting from nearby settlements. Players can now research technologies along a technology tree, leading to advances and new discoveries in areas such as infrastructure, politics, agriculture or the military.

Changes in government may occur during the campaign as the rise of republicanism over the traditional rule by monarchy becomes an issue in the early modern time period. For instance, the United States may only come into existence if the ruling British Empire is unable to maintain social order. Another example is that the French Revolution may occur if the people of France are no longer satisfied with their sovereign. Factions will also have a varying number of objectives such as establishing successful colonies, trade routes and dominance in certain regions as victory conditions. Rebellions and revolutions will occur, and are influenced by the form of government in place. When a revolution occurs, the player can opt to side with the rebellious forces or the loyalist troops. The type of government installed by the player in their faction will determine how other factions view the player and will influence their diplomatic relations. While religion no longer plays a central role as in Medieval II: Total War, it is still important in helping bring under control newly captured regions and in defining to some degree diplomatic relations between nations.

The main campaign of Empire: Total War involves a player choosing a faction and moving to forge an empire across the 18th century world. Each faction controls various historical provinces, each with a central town and a port if they are coastal settlements. The player can produce armies and navies to take and defend provinces by military means, or adopt diplomacy and politics to make advances in the game. In addition, players can use economics and religion to their advantage, as well as clandestine means such as espionage and assassination.The campaign mode is turn-based, allowing the player to attend to all needs of their faction before ending their turn and allowing the artificial intelligence to make all other factions' moves. Each turn represents six months.

Warfare
The second major area of gameplay is the battle system. Unlike the campaign part of the game, players control battles in real-time. As with all titles in the series after Shogun: Total War, battles in Empire: Total War can take place on both land and water. However, Empire is the first Total War title to allow naval battles as well as land-based engagements to be fought in real-time; previously, when a naval battle was fought it would be automatically resolved by the game's artificial intelligence, taking into account factors such as number of ships and crew, and armament types to decide the victor. Automatic resolution of battles during a campaign is an option for both land and sea battles. Outside of the main campaign mode, players can participate in recreations of historical battles in the 18th century and early 19th century.

In land engagements, players are given access to an 18th century army consisting of a variety of units, such as cavalry, musketeers, riflemen and artillery. Each unit has its own intrinsic advantages, disadvantages, cost, and overall level of effectiveness. Players must use 18th century tactics and formations with the units they have available to defeat their enemies. The terrain of the battlefield and the weather also impact on how a battle is fought. Factions can lay siege to settlements, replacing open land battles with street fighting and close-quarters combat. Each unit has morale, which can increase if the battle goes well for their faction, or decrease in cases such as heavy casualties, loss of regimental colours or the death of the general. When a unit's morale is sufficiently depleted, they will rout and attempt to flee the battlefield. Depending on whether the unit's morale is merely broken or entirely shattered, the player may be able to rally the men in the unit and regroup. Victory in battle is achieved by causing every enemy unit to rout, or by killing or capturing the opposing army. In addition, siege battles can be won if the attacker manages to take control of the settlement's central square for a set amount of time. Empire: Total War also introduces several new battlefield elements to the Total War series. Units can take cover behind walls or in buildings, allowing increased interactivity with the terrain and making some buildings points of strategic interest. Field defences may be set up in real-time on the battlefield, to adjust for given situations. Infantry units can also scale small obstacles in the field, such as walls and fences. Weapons based on gunpowder are prone to accidents, and can even malfunction and kill their users.

In naval battles, players can control a fleet of up to twenty ships, varying in class, size, armament and crew. As in land-based conflicts, players must make use of 18th century tactics to overcome enemy fleets. As with army units, each ship's crew has a set amount of morale that changes as a battle progresses; a crew may attempt to withdraw their vessel from the battle if their morale is broken, or in extreme cases may surrender without further enemy action. A battle is won when all of the hostile ships have been sunk or captured or have left the map. Individual ships can be adjusted to allow for a maximum field of fire while attempting to maintain a minimalised target, all whilst remaining within an overall formation with the rest of the fleet. Players can designate which parts of a hostile ship they want a crew to target, making ships prone to sustaining authentic damage during a battle: masts can be toppled, sails and gun ports can be destroyed and various other damage can entirely disable a ship's ability to maneuver or eventually sink it. Various types of ammunition can be used during a battle, such as grapeshot, chain-shot and round shot. As battles progress, crews can attempt to board enemy vessels and fight hand-to-hand in an attempt to capture the ship. Lastly, the weather in a naval battle can impact how it is fought; bad weather can result in effects from poor visibility to endangering a ship's safety.

Multiplayer
Multiplayer comes in two forms in Empire: Total War. As with previous Total War titles, players can engage in real-time battles against each other either by creating the composition of their armies themselves, or reenacting historical battles. However, following a one-month delay of Empire: Total War in January 2009, the addition of a full campaign multiplayer mode was unveiled. The technology to create a multiplayer campaign game was not available in previous Total War games, and the extended development time allowed The Creative Assembly to implement the underlying technology for such a mode in Empire: Total War. The campaign multiplayer mode will first be tested in a two-player beta build, before eventually being made available in a post-release patch.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 02:45:11 PM by Jubal »
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