In Empire, the power of
gunpowder means that almost every effective unit is a ranged one. Fields of
fire need to be considered, cover should be hid behind, and buildings can even
be garrisoned and fired from. And while bayonets may have been standard issue
for most soldiers, committing troops to melee combat isn’t a decision to take
lightly as it’ll bog troops down.
The developer, Creative Assembly, promises that the Grand Campaign victory conditions for Empire will be tighter and more relevant to the faction you’re playing. This will be especially true of the smaller factions which will have more manageable goals than having to conquer half of the known world as was the case in so many previous Total War games.
For a more narrative campaign, there’s the new Road to Independence mode, which chronicles the founding of the British colony in Jamestown through to the French-Indian war and finally the American War of Independence.
CA wouldn’t say much about this beyond it not being a cynical inclusion to boost US sales, but the campaign will ‘introduce newcomers to the series to the incredible size of the Total War experience, as well as give Total War veterans a new way to experience the game.’ Yep, it sounds like an extended tutorial mission to us too.
The developer has also introduced the notion of a Prestige win, where a faction wins because it’s just too awesome for any other to compete, much like the mechanism in Civ. CA has also teamed up with Valve to distribute Empire via Steam as well in the shops. This has the knock-on bonus of letting Steam handle multiplayer matches - a much better system than Total War games had previously - while freeing up CA’s time to actually develop the game. @ bit-tech