"Basically broken-"on by kwofi
Pros BIG, broad, deep and potentially amazing...
Cons Buggy, unstable, unpolished, unfinished. Basically a beta.
Summary Expanded Cons and Pros
I'm going cons first because after a few hours they really start to detract from the overall experience. While I have no doubt CA will eventually iron out a lot of the issuesm the state of this game out of the box is a stinging disappointment.
Most unfinished, unpolished, unstable TW release CA has ever subjected its customers to. Its broken, untested and you are the beta tester. bugged, bugged, bugged.
1. For many the game crashed to desktop constantly -ETW's forums bear this out-.
2. save files get corrupted constantly
3. AI is as bad or worse than previous TW games.
-AI troops make very odd decisions
-Campaign AI is terribly passive
4. pathing is as bad or worse than previous TW games
5. sieges are particularly riddled with bugs, makes the whole scenario/situation unplayable
6. custom battle options are unnecessarily restrictive...
7. in battle cover doesn't really work
8. occupyable buildings compound the bad ai and pathing issues
9. naval battles formations and pathing is also bad. Ships require a lot of micro management making big battles a real chore.
10. Trade routes and specially created trade zones are also bugged.
When it works the game is fantastically broad, and deep. I've bought all the total war game and a couple of the expansions, and this game is by far the most ambitious...
1. the era is awesome
2. battle graphics are spectacular
3. the naval battles look simply amazing
4. the interface is simplified, providing more options with more subtle campaign effects with fewer clicks once you really get into it. Vastly improved IMHO
5. The game is beyond HUGE! A lot of potential gameplay packed into one release
Pros Great Graphics and Naval Battles.
Cons Dont watch Avertisments on product, most things seen in them are not in the game. Game has more bugs, flaws, and just dumb AI.
Summary This game ETW is the worst TW game so far. Its lacking so much content then other TW games that have came before. This game can not even be called a stratigy game, do to the stupid AI. The only way the AI will win is if you set the game to VH/VH and you just sleep through the game. This game is great if you are the type of person who does not like to lose. You can win easily aginst the AI even if out numbered 5 to 1. So it takes a lot mistakes on the player to lose a game. I would say wait in tell the game is like $9.99 or less before buying. Plus this game uses steam and for a lot of users, it is all so causing problems to just load the game up. Buy at own risk and dont be upset if you find it is one of those games that keep you intrested in it for a few weeks. Not much replay value in it. All factions have pretty much have the same type of soldiers in them, with a few eceptions.
Pros The graphics, and the concept.
Cons The fact that it's a halfassed unfinished product doesn't help much. Steam certainly doesn't help There is no manual. No customer service. Can't play single player offline.
Summary This is a joke. I cannot even talk to a representative about getting a refund. I specifically remember reading At total war that you could play this game without an internet connection. That is a flat out lie. There is no Manual available. The game works about 70% of the time. Bugs bugs bugs. I want a refund but Steam is hard to contact. Also the special forces edition is exactly they same as the regular except they rename a few units is all, and I haven't seen any yet after three days of playing.
Pros Creative Assembly has constantly striven to release improved products. This effort represents their best work to date. It is extremely detailed, beautifully colored, massive in scope, and devious in strategy.
Cons Unfortunately, Creative Assembly sold themselves to SEGA, who chose to use Steam. You must install Steam, a P2P connection, to play the game. Also, Creative Assembly began with a day one patch. The game can be slow to get into. The tutorial is poor.
Summary It is ridiculous that you must install additional 3rd person software prior to installing/using the program. P2P connections, like Steam, are easily penetrated; which is an exceptional way of letting other people read your mail (see any article regarding P2P connections and, say, the president's current helicopter). In addition, if the Empire program crashes for any reason (as it has several times), you will have to log back in to steam to fix it, even if you activated the offline mode. Want to close out a few memory eating programs? You may have to restart steam and connect online to re-set the program. Want to update the program? Log into Steam. Because I had the demo for Empire installed, I had to completely remove all of Steam and start over to get it to take the install correctly. SEGA doesn't really care, and for this exact reason, they have made feedback a nightmare. It's clear that PC games are way down their on their concern list. It's still worth it to go through the motions to let them know you don't appreciate their crap, however. As for Creative Assembly: a day one patch is a huge no-no in my book, because it says that you are very well aware that you released a buggy product. It also says that you knew what the bug was, indicating that it could have been fixed prior to release. I had to wait while steam looked for the patch, and then informed me that it would be some time before I could view my game. A game should work OUT OF THE BOX! Once you get the game loaded (which takes an excessively long time) you will discover a beautifully rendered world with a decent interface familiar to most Total War fans. As I said before, this is their best game to date in appearance and depth of strategy. That said, the manual that comes in the box is a joke, the in-game help is complicated, and the game can be very, very slow at times, with the turn button being clicked over and over to make progress, even if you are expanding as rapidly as possible. It may be difficult for first time Total War players or those unfamiliar with the mix of turn and real time used in Empires to get into the game. That is, if they have the patience to make it past the Steam gauntlet. Excellent game, but it loses 2 stars because of SEGA's publishing foolishness.Well, it's now July, and I am once again looking back on my review. It has been four months and several patches, and yet a whole host of issues have come forcefully to my attention. I have had a never ending string of CTDs (crash to desktop). I am not alone in this: most users have experienced this issue. In addition, I have looked at the amount of RAM that Steam uses during game play, and it's ridiculous. I will never again purchase any game that requires Steam to run. The game itself has to many units that look like twins; after MTW, it's a huge letdown. Then there are the units, like cannons that keep shouting out that they are "Highlanders!" . Native Americans fight in straight lines and with cavalry formations. Or that the water flows into the gun ports of the ships to such an extent that the ships would SINK, unless the ports were kept closed. Then the boring progression of turns and mouse clicks. Do yourself a favor: if you resisted buying this at the start, don't give in now!
Updated on Jul 5, 2009
Pros The game seems to combine some of the better ideas from the Europa Universalis historical simulation game (diplomacy, missionaries, advisors/ministers) and the Cossacks series from Strategy First.
Cons (1) I am not interested in updating Steam or logging on when I want to play this game. Offline mode is by no means reliable. This is a firewall security issue for me.
(2) Traffic jams among friendly units can make the game unplayable: endless loop.
Summary The frequent need to connect to Steam, log on with a password, and update Steam is a disqualifier for purchase of other Total War games as far as I am concerned; it is in fact a security issue because it forces me to set my hardware firewall to Low. I also had to do this to install the game in the first place; I thought that was what high-capacity DVDs were for.
In addition, I have had more than one game ended by a traffic jam ("Path blocked," except the AI-controlled countries can't resolve it) that required me to use Task Manager to shut the game down.
This is not to say that there are not excellent concepts in this game but the path finding issue needs to be resolved, and the same goes for the problems caused by Steam. The game designers did an excellent job with the graphics and computer animations. The game-ending "Path blocked" problem and the Steam issues, however, mean it cannot be recommended.
Documentation also is minimal, either hard copy or (as far as I know) online.