Medieval II: Total War
"We always prefer war that pay tribute whatsoever and anyone"
Contrary to what they had done on Medieval II: Total War developer Creative Assembly has this time decided to embark on a new historical period. However, contrary to what the title might we suggest to us French, it does not address the question of the Napoleonic Wars in Empire: Total War. In reality, the studio stopped just before, preferring to ignore the revolutionary France to this opus focused on the eighteenth century. So, it is mainly question of conquest of the subcontinent of India and development of the American colonies against a background of Anglo-French competition.
Empire: Total War: an overview of the campaign mode
Before entering the heart of the matter, he should lay the groundwork so that newcomers know what Total War is a fact. For almost ten years, the series designed by the English Creative Assembly intends therefore to mix the genre of tactical strategy and the management in order, somehow, to make the player completely in control. Thus, the country's development is ensured by a party that can bring Civilization as fighting game are more real-time strategy, resource collection / database management excepted.
Eleven nations in the Great Campaign
This duality is of course the heart of Empire: Total War allows us to apprehend through two campaigns. The road to independence is by far the most accessible and, because of its script pushed, the more dynamic. It puts us in the skin of the Founding Fathers before going on the development of the Thirteen Colonies and the War of Independence. In reality, this is mostly a kind of very large tutorial designed to go over all the elements that characterize Empire: Total War. In doing so, it is of course a must for all beginners, but interest still the familiar.
First of course because it helps to review the news, but also because the use of multiple triggers and the presence of multiple kinematic give it a little later "immersive" not unpleasant. Note that two other tutorials have been designed by developers to return to the land battles and confrontations at sea The goal of course being that the player is ready before attacking the various battle scenarios, but also and especially it could start to attack the big chunk of the game: Great Campaign.
From the shores of the Channel in the heart of Germany through Ceylon ...
It has never so aptly named. It begins in 1700 and offers four different situations depending on whether you want some "short" long, with a victory in the prestige or "domination". Among these modes, especially the final objective changes and most important is the choice of the nation and difficulty level. The regulars will miss being limited to key nations that Portugal is not selectable by example, but the eleven available already offer quite a variety as their starting point is of course quite different.
Foundation of Bordeaux!
While France can count on the wealth of its national territory and population as abundant and dynamic nations like Britain or the United Provinces (Netherlands) need to think "world." Empire: Total War is the first of the series has truly offer this possibility through the three theaters of operations and later its development in Europe, the player can move to America, of course, but also in India. These areas operate on the same model in parallel to each other which gives a lot more work to the player who wants "in its empire, the sun never sets."
In itself the management of the country does not change fundamentally from that proposed Medieval II, the studio has mainly been in the idea of seeing his copy to make the experience more complete. It is therefore to take control of a nation and decide scientific guidance, economic, social, military and diplomatic. However, options are both more numerous and richer than what was proposed in Medieval II. This is particularly true of the diplomatic side of things now enjoying improvements that include developers have tapped into Europa Universalis.
Information diplomatic / economic are also numerous and interesting
At any time, it is now possible to see the attitude of nations towards each other and develop plans based on the enmity of everyone. The diplomatic options are more numerous, but we regret that artificial intelligence (AI) is not more interesting: it is nice to offer trade agreements and technological exchanges, but the AI makes no cons - proposal and negotiations quickly turn short. The science of things evidently benefited from the acceleration of discoveries at that time and the tree of technology is therefore much more dense.
"Those who are willing to sacrifice essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither the one nor the other"
An overview of available research
What we call "science" actually includes all the progress they are military, agricultural, industrial or social. The research is available through schools and universities across the country that can be seen on the campaign map, Creative Assembly has decided to make it much "talking". While the provincial division is still "special" (one province for all France, for example), each region has a capital (including the control determines the control of the province) and various secondary locations. They are the ones that leverage the opportunities of the campaign.
These sites can accommodate a school, a military shipyard, a farm, mine, a commercial port ... Once built, these buildings increase the potential of the region and give rights to various bonuses. It must however protect them, because to take the example of France, an enemy may well occupy the port of Marseilles without needing to control Paris! So, defense is much larger than in previous episodes and marketing opportunities are numerous: it becomes possible to bend an enemy by destroying its infrastructure and avoiding major battles.
It is always necessary to gauge the enemy failing to return the bill ... in the water!
Since we are speaking of battles, now turn to the second major component of Total War: the battle. Above all, it is important to note that the automatic resolution of battles is always available to offload small skirmishes without interest, but when the battle was decisive, it is better to occupy oneself to enjoy innovations devised by Creative Assembly ... starting with the clashes at sea very impressive visually, they unfortunately seem less attractive to practice their terrestrial counterparts.
The naval battles are awesome
After only a dozen battles, fatigue already pointed to the fact that strategies were not being repeated enough. The fighting at sea have seemed a bit repetitive, although the side of Creative Assembly's work is done, and done well. The modeling of ships, from plans supplied by the National Maritime Museum in London, is splendid as the work done on the rendering of water. The vessels are responsive to the demands of the player and taking into account the wind is perfect. Regrettably, however, a few wolves in the management of training and travel groups, a defect that is found elsewhere on earth.
Indeed, it is not always easy to maintain properly trained several units during a trip together and fast units (cavalry or aviso) sometimes find themselves at the forefront. Training is also much abused since the displacements are carried out on land "complex" (cities, forests), which is not necessarily illogical and even the best of us will soon find its flaws the AI intelligently manages more lines: it example not hesitate to retreat when danger is present too and even manages to put some loads quite effective.
Charges and collisions have a role to play, but remain in the background
In this regard, if the charges can still be very difficult, it is important to clarify that requires the eighteenth century, the fight in melee is less and less fashionable as the campaign ahead. The grenades, infantry and more guns are becoming masters of the battlefield is also in the seats that we realize the importance of these documents which can completely disorient enemy troops in just a few well placed shots. Note, however, that a party demoralized definitely not leaving the fight and after a little rest, she can resume the assault.
Delicate diplomatic exchanges
It must then be careful not to be taken back by troops "forgotten" and thus lose all of his precious artillery, as was done brilliantly with your humble servant! The fight in melee should not be completely ruled out and, depending on terrain, it will be possible to achieve some good ambushes or find refuge in a building to arise at the most appropriate. Despite many hours of gameplay and testing in every sense, we probably touched upon the possibilities of Empire: Total War in ground combat while fighting for the Marine we are more circumspect.
Each new battle ground is the opportunity to try new things while maritime clashes seem less clear. So, it is not always the mistakes and missed opportunities. We bet that when fighting against other people, things will be much clearer result. Multi question, it is noted that the main innovation has not yet been tested: Creative Assembly promised to make the single player campaign quickly playable vs. 1. 1, but it will still wait a bit and just for the moment battle scenario for a maximum of eight players.
Empire: Total War: an excerpt "official" of famous battles
This last point is a new opportunity to regret because in reality, there is currently only one card to play 4 vs. 4 out of 27 maps available. Since we are mentioning the last regret, speaking quickly to lack of interest in theaters called "commercial". Four in number, they complement the theater of operations and can run its fleet of Commerce for Brazil, the Gulf of Guinea and Mozambique and Indonesia. If their financial interest is obvious, they do not bring anything to the gameplay of the game outside of many naval onslaught that is solved automatically.
Glasgow on the west coast? To balance
One such defect is unlikely, however, to disturb the enjoyment of players as the Grand Campaign is a monument. It requires some investment, but the player is amply rewarded: the life is impossible to assess where the parties are constantly renewed. In fact, we see only one obstacle to the lovers: the hardware requirements. If the level of retail units, modeling of ships or the campaign map are simply magnificent, it is paid and it takes a good dual-core processor (2 GHz minimum), 2GB or 3GB of RAM and type card GeForce 9800GTX or higher to enjoy.
If the wait (two years) was long, we can say that Creative Assembly did not entirely miss its rendezvous with the fans of the series. The English Studio offers us a marvel to consume without moderation. Of course, perfection is not of this world and be done with few defects. We would have hoped that such naval battles are a bit less repetitive or artificial intelligence that we do not fall over when it grows a little. Similarly, we would rather not encounter any return to the Windows desktop and the hardware requirements are not as high ... But there are signs that do not deceive. When a game is able to keep us awake for hours. When the tragic culmination of a battle with us even in our dreams and the eternal refrain "a last round" haunts us ... is that we have here a major title.