Empire: Total War is set in the 18th century, a turbulent era that is the most requested by Total War's loyal fan base and a period alive with global conflict, revolutionary fervour and technological advances. With themes such as the Industrial Revolution, America's struggle for independence, the race to control Eastern trade routes and the globalisation of war on land and sea, Empire: Total War promises to be amongst the richest and most dynamic PC RTS games of all time.
The game is set in the years 1700 to the early 1800's, a turbulent age of gunpowder, revolution, discovery and Empire Building. This period has all the ingredients for a great Total War title: fascinating changes in warfare and its technology, a large number of competing factions hungry for power, and gloriously exciting and colourful battles. This is a time when an old world is being swept away at a tremendous rate by the juggernaut of the industrial age. Revolutionary ideas are in the air, and at least one monarch meets a bloody end!
Steamworks will support both the retail and electronic versions of the Empire: Total War game giving players game updates, downloadable content, friend-list support and achievements. To play single-player Empire: Total War, players need only to connect to the internet once via the Steam client after installing the game.
Steamworks will serve as Empire: Total War’s multiplayer backend, providing server browsing and match-making functionality, bolstering Total War’s new level of commitment to multiplayer game modes and features. Further details on multiplayer will be announced soon.
SEGA is also pleased to announce the Special Forces Edition of Empire: Total War. This premium-packaged edition of the title offers true aficionados of the series the chance to build their empire with the help of a range of exclusive elite units and plot their next move on a detailed print of the globe-spanning Campaign Map.
”We are delighted to be working with an infrastructure as effective as Steam” said Mike Simpson, Studio Director at the Creative Assembly. “Having their matchmaking and support systems on board for Empire; Total War makes a huge difference both for players and for the development team. It not only helps make multiplayer slick and sizzling, it also frees up a huge chunk of the team's time which helps make the whole game better.”
“Total War has become one of the most successful franchises in PC strategy gaming, one of the industry’s mainstay genres,” said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. “We’re honored Sega selected Steamworks as they expand the franchise with leading-edge online services.”
Along with the revolutionary introduction of Naval Combat, Empire: Total War will see further enhancements to the Total War series signature 3D battles and turn based campaign map. Real time battles will pose new challenges with the addition of cannon and musket, challenging players to master new formations and tactics as a result of the increasing role of gunpowder within warfare.
Empire: Total War contains a revolutionised Total War campaign spanning 3 continents and featuring new, enhanced systems for Trade, Diplomacy, Missions and Espionage. There will be an all-new fully animated campaign map with all buildings and upgrades visible. The campaign will also feature a huge cast of historical figures including Peter The Great, Malborough and Charles XII of Sweden. The game will include 10 playable factions including Britain, Prussia, France, Spain, America and the massive Ottoman Empire.
Enhanced auto management, revolutionized UI, improved advice system and tutorials all combine to introduce new players to the concepts of Total War, quickly and easily. Empire: Total War will boast a full re-write of the AI with a wider range of strategies and tactics, providing a formidable opponent on land, sea and on the campaign map.
New Real-Time 3D Naval Warfare takes Total War's unparalleled battle action to the high seas with players commanding single ships or vast fleets. These will be the most exciting and realistic sea battles ever seen in a PC game. They will feature a realistic sailing model, cannon and musket fire, boarding actions, fully destructible sails, rigging and hulls and a full range of weather effects to influence battles. These will play out on stunning, ultra-realistic seascapes, as cannons and muskets blaze away, cutting through the smoke and fog to splinter, pierce and shatter hulls, sails and masts, laying waste to crew members and sending them to Davy Jones' Locker.
Empire: Total War's revolutionised graphics engine will be put to work on land battles that will feature heavy artillery in the form of cannons, mortar and early rocket launchers, with bouncing cannonballs slicing through drifting gunsmoke to tear up lines of infantry. Bagpipes, drummers, flautists and trumpeters will fill the air with play out over the crack of musket fire, the boom of artillery and the thunderous charge of cavalry. Generals will bark out orders to their regiments as the player orchestrates the battle utilizing formations, unit abilities and drills. Weapons will jam and misfire, cannons will seize up and explode as the field of conflict becomes strewn with the bodies of wounded and dying men, lacerated and dismembered by pike, bayonet and shot.
A brand new multiplayer component will include player rankings, leagues and ladders and completely new gameplay modes.
Empire: Total War has already been secretly in development at The Creative Assembly's Horsham studio for over a year and is priming its forces for a release in 2008.
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