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LONG BLOG

Empire Total War,open up your history books.

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Dont you love turn based strategy videogames? You start small and then expand, money is little and everything needs turns to grow. Is a vicious cycle, how many "one more turn and thats it for tonight" because you want to take that last city or get that technology? Once you get them you want more.

Empire Total War takes on what its probably the best Total War to date. I played Rome Total War which was a great title, but Empire is somewhat different. For start you can choose to play campaign with the british, Spain, France, Sweden, a lot of european nations and some India ones... and then you have a set of minnor nations that I dont believe you can play campaign with, but they are a lot (like some indian states in america, Venice, States of Italy, etc). And thats the beauty of it, you have access for regions like the middle east, Europe, Rusia, India, North and Central America.
And you will allways have oportunities for military alliances, to become trade partners and even to force a nation to become a protectorate of your nation. Technology exchange is hard, the other nations wont be willing to give you any knowledge for less than a lot. Trading can make you win big money, but in case of war the enemy can block a port and your economy will suffer.

So I picked the british... At first I was amazed because of the many options and all the information a single building has, is incredible. Is not like other turn based strategy games (even Rome Total War or Civ4 which is terrible for city managment), here when you spend money on a building you know why you are doing it. Some buildings give you an agent, for example a priest, the priest can go into your cities or even enemy cities and eventually change the religion of a city so they become happier. This is very usefull specially with the arab nation I conquered. Agents also come like scientists, but you have to move them into university cities like Oxford. Other dubious agents like rake┤s carry missions of sabotage and murderer, they can also infiltrate into an enemy city.
Soon I realised that you dont have the option to make a settlements that eventually will grown into a city. The cities are allready there, if you want one you will have to take it by force. Then, as the city grows and you add some buildings and with time some villages that you can barely see on the map will become other cities. This is a good idea... in games like Civ4 I was allways trying trying to have a new city, and then found out that it was too close to another city and that resources were not nearly enough for it as the city grew.

Like cities the managment of the army is a hard task. If you think you can just go and start creating multiple armies across your regions you will soon be bankrupt. The upkeep cost for the army and the navy are huge. I found that out in a rather difficult time, I had to raise taxes at one point and sacrifice growth so I could carry on a rather expensive war on the Cherokee nation. It was useless, the war was lost because my access to the cities I was trying to take was terrible. So I negotiated an expensive peace and took my loses only to keep a city (Florida, future home of Destructoid). So I had to disband armies accross my regions and get some militia (less expensive for upkeep), for city defense. But I learned, and though I hate upkeep I admit that it made me think more and use a better strategy. If you gather expensive combat units inside cities the upkeep costs are going to kill you. When you manage to avoid that and have a couple of good supplied armies allways mobile to conquer regions then you treasury is going to allow you to make investments into the cities you own for future growth and more revenues.

It may sound complicated, but really, you will have to pay attention to just a couple of things for managinf taxes and buildings. And if you hate that kind of stuff just put everything on auto and play just to make war.

Besides the typical ground battle now you have the option of ship battles. They are fun, maybe a little bit slow because they are on water, but all the strategy in the Total War series is to be patient and dont waste your units (kind of like dont attack a city suddenly, keep it under siege for a couple of turns). That has not changed in water combat with ships. You have to watch for pirates, but thats hardly a problem since every other nation is at war with the pirates.
Same as every unit they all get experience points with combat and they eventually have a rank, if the numbers of a squad is low after a battle you can allways pay for a replenish that will hold you back a couple of points... the thing is allways to pick your battles when you have the advantage.
Something that was rather annoying on Rome was the fact that Generals were not available to recruit, they were made. Now paying you can recruit one for your army, of course he will win rank with battles and experience and he may even die of natural causes, but is good to know that you have a guy that has a +1 to morale in combat.

This game looks awesome but you need some CPU and graphic power behind it (is the first Core i7 logo I see on a PC game). The engine that powered that TV program that used the RomeTotal War game to recreate battles now looks better than ever with the new graphics, a much needed improvement. The strategic map also looks neat with the new graphical additions to it, with everything turned on the level of detail is impressive.

It has some minnor issues, a patch is allready out, but in my machine the issue is that a couple of times my savegame got corrupted to the point that when I ended the turn the game crashed. So I had to go back to a previous savegame and then make a new one. But I havent found any other problems with the title.

You can get Empire Total War on STEAM for 50usd. And you should get it.
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About Veltone of us since 11:54 PM on 05.31.2007

Iam a gammer from the harsh uruguayan jungle (we dont even have a jungle down here, too cold, go and do some wikipedia of Uruguay). I used to do a podcast in spanish about videogames at Radio LevelUp but I dont do it anymore... anyway those guys are there still making it so you can give it a try if you understand spanish
And i can say "´┐Żaca ´┐Żaca ´┐Żaca" and i know how to pronoaunce it well since im a spanish speaker, so Im a superior race.
A couple of idiots may find funny that I dont have good english grammar, but again, they are probably idiots since they only speak/write one language...

Most of my time in the internet is because of games. I love videogames so much that i sleep with my girlfriend and my ds, at the same time... i call that a "threesome" and my humor doesnt get anything better than that.
Mostly im a PC gamer, i was going to buy a 360 but faulty crappy hardware told me not to since if it goes RRoD here I would have lost my money, and as a man Im entitled to the sweat of my brow. I want to fuck the Wii and I believe the PS3 is going to be the first console in space.

In the "real" life (come on, internet now is part of our lives anyway...), I study medicine (takes a lot of time and I cant spend enough of my time playing videogames). Is not what you would call a marriage made in heaven, if I wanted to game more I should have sutdy something related to pc´┐Żs, but I grown surrounded by computers and stuff so I chose the bio stuff instead. Anyway, little time to play video games if you dont want my biographical shit.

And the main reasson I play games for the story behind them. I love well written stories like Half Life series, of course Portal (kind of a Valve fan). Other great games include World Of Warcraft (not currently playing, actually I was never hardcore, but I enjoyed the experience a lot), and of course the classics like System Shock 2. Other great titles had stuck with me over the years, classics adventure games like Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and Grim Fandango.

So, best game experiences:
Half Life 2 (and the original Half Life of course).
System Shock 2
Grim Fandango
Indiana Jones and the Fate Of Atlantis
Monkey Island

Links:
My Picasa Web Album.
My videogame blog in spanish
Mii code:[email protected]


 

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