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Empire: Total War Review

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Like Medieval II with the volume cranked to 11

★★★★★

Like 2006’s sublime Medieval II with the volume cranked to 11, Empire is destined to become a new way of life for existing Total War fans, but is still friendly and engaging enough to seduce newbies normally turned off by hardcore strategy.

Shifting the action to the 18th and 19th centuries, the most notable change is the addition of naval battles, allowing armchair generals to hone their tactical skills as they battle rival ships on the high seas, and introducing a new layer of strategy as you struggle to maintain trade routes to fund your burgeoning empire. As for the land battles, the advent of gunpowder also adds a new dimension to the battles, allowing players to use ranged combat and fire cannons to break enemy ranks, but with plenty of the visceral hand-to-hand scuffles that helped make the Total War series an evergreen favourite.

A sleeker interface that makes the game easier to get to grips with, luscious presentation and a variety of scenarios that allow for a quick blast of action also help make Empire irresistible, but it’s the chance to rewrite history and make your chosen nation the dominant world power that makes this a genuine classic.

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