Napoleon Total War: PC Game Review
Napoleon Total War is a turn-based and real-time strategy (RTS) game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by SEGA in 2010. Though similar in nature to its prequel, Empire Total War, the game is vastly overhauled in terms of visuals, gameplay, and of course, the newly hyped multiplayer system.
The biggest change-up in Napoleon Total War, in comparison to previous games of the Total War series, is the single-player campaign. It takes the interesting concept of a fixed campaign, in which one must accomplish historically-fixed goals, and expanding it to three linear campaigns which follow the Napoleonic Era. These cover Napoleon's earlier years with the Army of the Republic in Italy and Austria, Napoleon's forays into Egypt, and finally the main wars in Europe conducted by Napoleon. This takes the focus away from free-play, in which one plays in a historically accurate period, but may achieve results that never actually happened, to a more goal-oriented game. This kind of makes sense, given the focus of the game on Napoleon's life. Going along with this theme, Napoleon Total War has a greater number of historical battles than any previous Total War game. Though focusing on Napoleon's life, as I previously mentioned, the game also allows play as Great Britain, Prussia, Austria, and Russia.
Fans of the Total War series should rejoice, as the campaign map has been radically overhauled. Game turn time has been reduced to something more accurate. While Medieval II Total War's and Empire Total War's turns lasted six months, turns now last only two weeks. This prevents Napoleon from dying of old age before you've even reached the Battle of Waterloo, which would severely diminish the whole point of the game. The campaign map has also become much more focused on real-world conditions and the realistic consequences of protracted warfare. Weather conditions should always be taken into consideration, as armies can be easily crippled by desertion or sickness. A new unit in the form of Spies has been created, which replaced the previous Rakes. Spies also have a chance to build Spy networks within enemy cities, a whole new concept of its own. Depleted units are now replenished when in friendly territory, removing the need to "retrain" the entire unit in cities.
If you've played Empire Total War, you know how beautiful and impressive the naval battles can be. Each ship is a digital work of art, with an accompaniment of individually rendered sailours ready to do your bidding. With one turn of the mouse-wheel, you instantly zoom onto the deck of your first-rate ship-of-the-line, seeing your sailours loading the cannons and officers giving orders. As soon as you make the order to give battle, choosing between such options as a devastating broadside or a chain-shot, you can turn back your mouse-wheel to see cannonballs tear apart an enemy ship's masts and rigging. Whereas Empire focused more on the mechanics of digital naval warfare, with one designer working on the water mechanics for about a year, Napoleon focuses more on micro managing the battles for you, for which gamers everywhere should be grateful - a few ships is OK, but trust me, when you have an entire fleet to handle, it gets kind of tough and time-consuming.
Creative Assembly has stated that they used 64 different character models for Napoleon Total War. They were being serious. The game is truly something to behold. Armies are brought back right in front of you, and you can literally see every fiber in a uniform! There are a wide variety of faces and features, such as mutton-chops, beards, moustaches, etc. Tactics have also changed to reflect the period, and can be manipulated within-game. Units will react as they should in real life, acting as real soldiers would in combat situations.
And now, for a discussion of the new multiplayer system. I could go on and on and talk about how great and wonderful it is, but I can't really say that. In short, it's just one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. It is brilliant, though, that friends or random players can now drop into campaign battles, if you happen to be playing the single-player campaign, but that's about it. The Multiplayer is as ever filled with trolls, but if you like the game, that is easy to deal with - trust me. Apart from this, I'll let you try out the Multiplayer for yourself.
Overall, this game is a must-buy for those interested in the Age of Napoleon and series veterans.
PIV 2.3 GHz processor or equivalent, 2 GB RAM, 256 MB 3D Card with Vertex and Pixel Shader (2b) support, DirectX 9.0c compatible, 21 GB HD Space
Dual-Core 2.6 GHz processor or higher, 4 GB RAM, 512 MB 3D Card with Vertex and Pixel Shader (3) support
© 2011 Gregory Markov