Empire: Total War

One could argue that there are two significantly different periods in the history of the Total War series, as created by Creative Assembly: there are the first two games, Shogun and Medieval, where the strategic map is more of an excuse for players to get into the innovative (at that time) and beautiful tactical battles
, and then there are the last three, Rome, Medieval 2 and the recently released Empire, where the tactical battles and strategic map are equally important, leading some players to even ignore the previous releases altogether, playing the entire game as some sort of period-themed empire builder.

Empire is a fine balancing act between the overall strategy and the tactical battles, with a better Artificial Intelligence than its predecessors and with a diplomatic system that works just a little better. There are some significant changes to the way the game is played and there are some good ways in which the series has progressed. If you look at Medieval 2: Total War like the high school years of the franchise, where finesse was necessary but brute force could still win the day, then Empire is where Total War really goes to college. It manages to juggle a lot more stuff, the complexity factor has been taken up and the whole philosophy behind tactical battles has been changed. Get ready to build your empire, if you can get over the lack of stability of the title and if you have the gaming machine to run this hog of a game.

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