Empire: Total War – The Creative Assembly gets all Imperial

Lurking just outside Brighton is one of the rare jewels in the PC gaming crown: The Creative Assembly. For all the continual gloom and nay-saying surrounding PC games development, CA has resolutely stuck to its jezails and focused on what it does best: making the most immersive and broad-ranging period war games, and making them on the PC.

It’s comforting listening to Studio Director Mike Simpson talk of its dedication to cater to different PC specs after hearing about so many homogenous console ports. ‘All the designers have crap machines anyway…’ comments Lead Artist, Kevin McDowell.


Cool Stuff

The latest in the Total War series covers a far tighter time period than before; where Medieval II stretched over around five hundred years. Empire covers only the eighteenth century, but is no less ambitious for this. ‘Some of our previous games have been so long and broad that the detail sometimes got lost,’ says Designer Jamie Ferguson.’By concentrating that same level of experience in to a shorter time span, the likelihood of exposure to all the cool stuff is increased and the flavor and richness of the game is improved.’

And there’s a lot of cool stuff in there, the most obvious, and the part that CA is clearly very proud of, is the new naval combat system. ‘The eighteenth century was a very colorful time, with lots of new tactics in warfare – it was clearly the natural point to include naval battles into the game’ explains Lead Designer, James Russell. ‘It’s been on the ‘would-like-to-do’ list for some time’.