The Total War series has always experienced pressure to create historically correct games. It is all too often difficult to create a turn-based grand strategy game that is on point with history. This is because the game must inevitably deviate from the historical timeline at some point in order to appease players' wishes for open-ended gameplay. That is, make that nation their own through conquest.
Well, Creative Assembly managed to hit the nail dead on with Napoleon: Total War. With Napoleon, there's great gameplay without sacrificing much of the beautiful graphic work or experience. You also get historical content mixed into your play. What I mean by this, Is that you will be required (or asked) to follow in the footsteps of the nation you choose to play as. Also, just as in Empire you will find snippets of Inventions or famous happenings from that time.
This installment to the TW series was very important in terms of what it added to the Total War family. The gameplay is incredible, but some do complain about that infamous Total War AI, which isn't too
bad in Napoleon, but is still a bit annoying sometimes. The battles are the best part about this game hands down. Playing single battles, online matches, or just enjoying the battles of the campaigns is what this game is about to me. Napoleon brings some of the most realistic combat to the battle maps. The guns and artillery effects will blast you away (pun intended) and you'll immedietaly notice the change in the beauty and accuracy of the battle maps.
Introduction of New Systems to Total War
Napoleon was the first game to add the now popular Attrition system, where your armies will take slow damage from extreme weather. It is simply a realistic thing as opposed to being able to march your army over the Alps in the dead of Winter and suffering no losses, as in the past. Attrition is now seen in all Total War games. The technology tree for this game is also more simplified than Empire's and the diplomatic features are more interesting. If it is one thing that I know gamers like to see out of a grand-strategy game, it's diplomatic options. The choice of "Liberating" a country and ruling over it, the choice to threaten your enemy and make them concede defeat, or the many, many others that Empire and other TW games are lacking in. The newest TW games include great diplomatic systems, but it wouldn't have happened without Napoleon: Total War.
I love the DLC options that are available for this game because it was at a point when games preferred quality DLC over quantity. There is a small amount of DLC for Napoleon and they are all worth the experience. These include The Peninsular Campaign
, an add-on featuring a British campaign against the French in the Iberian Peninsula. Playable factions include Britain, France, and Spain. There is also a great extra 'Propoghanda' element to this game, where you can win over populaces of territories simply with your nations' influence.
There are also three Special Unit packs which are all great to improve on your existing armies. These include the Coalition Battle pack, Imperial Eagle pack, and Heroes of the Napoleonic Wars pack.Pros:
- Historically accurate objectives, troop units, ship, maps, and battles.
- Inclusion of Napoleon's Italian and Egyptian campaigns and most famous battles. These are great
- Graphically breathtaking
- The best and most realistic gun/artillery work that I've seen in a Total War game (More realistic than even Fall of the Samurai)
- Introduces Attrition, new Diplomatic features, and new military management mechanics (i.e., auto-refresh troops, 'wounded' Important General such as Napoleon or Blucher, etc.)
- The AI, as in most of the Total War games, is a bit lacking. However, it's still a major improvement from Empire's AI.
- Vanilla game only allows you to play as Austria, Prussia, Russia, England, or France. With modding you can play about a dozen other small nations.
- The scale of the theatre covers Europe and the mid-Mediterranean, but still feels a bit cramped. Also, the edges of the ocean are treated as Trade Posts to other areas of the world.
- Regional Online Play (as with many of the Total War games)Verdict?8/10
I can't not recommend this game. It is a pillar in the Total War series, whether you love it or hate it. Napoleon satisfies a battle-map junkie's dream while also giving the player a rewarding experience in the campaign theatre. While the game tends to be historically correct and a great learning experience as well, it almost forces your nation in the footsteps of that country with objectives. You don't have to perform these objectives, but you are rewarded greatly for doing them. The battles are the best experience in Napoleon, hands down. The gun and artillery mechanics are finally done justice and the battlefield in general just has a more realistic feel to it than Empire or previous games. The feature 'Napoleon's Campaigns' also gives you access playing the Italian, Egyptian, and European campaigns which are incredible fun.
All around I would recommend this game to anyone interested in the Total War series. If not simply for the realism of the battles and the fantastic graphics/effects. The features of this game are pretty great and represent to me a game-changer in the Total War series.