I was as Moderator of a big German TW forum at SEGA in Munich / Germany when Napoleon TW was shown by Creative Assembly to the folks 2 weeks before release.
The game brought many features and improvements which were missing at Empire and which ... what I know for sure because confirmed later by a member of Creative Assembly ... were planned to give with Empire too. I'm not talking about the Multiplayer Campaign alone, but about things like the craters in batllefield, improved AI behavior in battle (slightly better as at Empire), more provinces as for example "Meckelnburg" north of Prussia or "Oldenburg" north of the Netherlands or "Hessen-Kassel" ... as well splitting France and Spain into more provinces. People asking why this was not done in Empire too get the correct answer that the game machine has problems to handle more provinces and factions as given ... and that's for example the reason why in North America is huge area with no province Between the East and the Plain Indians. Here in Napoleon the focus is only on Europe and so the map could be splitted into these further provinces and factions.
Also, other things like the Arsenals were in origin planned to give with Emipre too as well things which were introduced / changed by the Darth Mod in Empire were here at Napoleon given by Creative Assembly.
The game makes fun, no doubts ... as well it is again much improved by playing with Darth Mod. It is always interesting that the Greek modder Darth Vader and his team are no wizards here, but as still done at Empire, they change and improve existing things in the game "only" ... something what developers of Creative Assembly had to do by their own with proper testing in my opinion.
The historic battles and the way of Napoleon with Italian and Egypt campain are a good thing and well done as small level campain feature.
One change in the game done at battles is the sort of infantry fire with no fire by ranks etc. Take a closer look and scroll down in a battle to a unit and count who is only fires and make comparison to Empire. Another change is the splitting into 2 types of howitzers with different ammuniution, which I can't really understand why done with historic view on it, but also with gamers view.
In general Napoleon is an improved Empire on Europe map only, officially justified by Creative Assembly that this war was on land only in Europe. This is histocally true, but the map of the main campaign should be something bigger by including the same area as Europe in Empire ... means complete Turkey, Palestine / Jordan / Syria, North Africa and in the west the sea area up (and including) Iceland ... as well complete Scandinavia. Pure by number of provinces and factions it ia fact that the game machine could handle without problems and so it is for me not understand able why Creative Assembly did not include.
The game itself wasn't so bugged as Empire at release and worked very good.
One point I can't forgive is some type of lie done by Creative Assembly here:
As part of the promotion of the game and clearly written in promotion text it was told that "modding tools" will be given. Sure, most players are casuals and so lesser interested in modding a game, no doubts, but when a company tells it in promotion to give, then it is to rate as promise. People who asked them after release when these "modding tools" will come and what they are able to change in game was not told much and if any official answer came it was only a short consoling. Some month later, the promotion text was over night changed and the part with the "modding tools" wassimply deleted without any comment or reaction when people like me asked them about it. Result: Which modding tools should be given can people ask now and CA could answer we never told! Fortunatelly I have a screenshot of the original text and even if these tools are not much worth in practice, this behavior of CA is not acceptable!
Posted: December 29th, 2013