PC napoleon-total-war-preview

Published on February 9th, 2010 | by prime


Napoleon: Total War – Preview

From the very moment you boot up Napoleon: Total War you realize that this is something different. This isn’t another Empire or Rome, oh no. instead The Creative Assembly have been brave and focused the game entirely on history’s most well-known Frenchmen, Napoleon Bonaparte. Even the video intro is dripping with enough nationalist sentiment to rival Bastille Day, as you see the genius military strategist conquer Egypt, venture into Russia, and admire the smote ruin of HMS Victory. No punches are being pulled with this one, and having a chance to reshape the major battles of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is fantastically implemented.

Campaign map features geographical dangers which affect troop numbers and morale.

Being able to fill the boots of enemy Generals is also included, so if you need to get some French-hating aggression out of your system, then you’ll find that Wellington and even Nelson are sure to have you back.

Despite only having three campaigns, the strategy feels much tighter with less time between turns. Units are no longer churned out at an expendable rate, instead everyone is vital. Taking care of troops is also a major priority – erecting camps and settlements along long marching routes enable more of them to survive in hostile terrain, thus consolidating your force for a future assault – after all, any General is only as powerful as the soldiers he controls.

Battles themselves seem much more alive, with more particle effects via enhanced smoke formations, foggy landscapes and dust being thrown up from the cavalry charges. All without any hit in the specifications department. How this has been pulled off is unclear but needlessly to say the results aren’t any less impressive.

Featuring over 322 units, no faction’s classes will act the same, and all will specialize in different areas. French cavalry charges may be more effective than the British, or perhaps Russian Rifleman are more accurate than their Prussian rivals. It’s good to know that the differences between the factions are considerably more than just a few choice units and Generals.

Saving the best till last, this will be the first Total War game which will feature a multiplayer campaign, allowing friends to work together or enemies to crush one another in a fully enabled strategic experience. Also featured are drop-in battles, so if you check the appropriate box in a single-player campaign then any battle can be hijacked by a real player. So instead of fighting a predictable AI enemy, you may be faced with either the world’s best Total War tactician or a first-time player, adding a level of unpredictability. These features are something fans have been demanding since the earliest games in this franchise, and from the Beta we’ve played, they both work well.

Adding a more personal narrative to the Total War series is something that The Creative Assembly have wanted to do for so long time now, and from what we’ve played of Napoleon: Total War so far, this is their most playable game yet. Who knew being French could be so fun?

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