Tobold's Blog
Friday, April 10, 2009
Can't recommend Empire: Total War

I would have liked to play Empire: Total War this long Easter weekend. But unfortunately it now crashes nearly every turn, forcing me to replay turns frequently. I guess I'll have to wait for the promised patch. It appears that lots of people have similar problems, although not everybody. In any case, the quality being as it is, I can not recommend Empire: Total War. You can't even test whether it runs on your machine, because the demo doesn't have the campaign map, which appears to be the crashing part. So you buy this at your own risk of having an unplayable piece of garbage on your drive. Better stay away!
I wonder how many less sales the game will have because of this post. I for once am not inclined to buy it for credibility is one of the reasons I follow this blog for 2 or 3 years now. Sorry about the ninjaing of the subject, but do you consider the impact of your posts or that's something you don't even think about? :)
I'm one of the happy few where the last patch solved all CTD's. While I now enjoy the game very much, I do hope they get a lot of bad press for releasing an unfinished and untested product. If there is noticeable protest when gaming companies decide to release an unfinished product maybe the quality of releases will start to improve.
I played it a few days before the technical issues "got to me". Frustrating, because Empire: Total war is a good game, if you are prepared to overlook all manner of technical problems.

Fingers will naturally point towards the fact this is the first PC game that Creative Assembly (the developers) have produced entirely under SEGA ownership. The corporate games industry crushes former-indie developer story. But Empire is also a very complex game. And I wonder if they were simply to ambitious?
Hahaha, Tobold, you grumpy old git!
I totaly understand your frustration....
I'm calling PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair). Works fine for me on Vista 64 bit and never any crashes. Granted, I am quite bored with it now, but it works. I have moved on to other games already.
Attention, please:

This is the best selling entry in the Total War Series ever.
It sold already more than MTW2 and RTW combined. (I wonder if this is a result of the Steam distribution)
According to Metacritic it has an universal acclaim of 90/100.

Actually, this game is the next best thing to sliced bread?

Thanks god for blogs, game reviewers and journalism in general seem to be at an all time low in the information age!
I would also like to point out, it also has severe gameplay issues besides the technical issues. Pretty crap is the best description for the strategic map, tactical land and naval battles.

Really, this game and the excellent ratings it got makes one wonder...
Doh April Fool on me!

I saw the image, thought my pc had an error and went into Task Manager and shut this page down

Owned by Tobold, sigh, what is the world coming to?
The joys of PC gaming. -.-
I kept getting that silly error on my brand new computer when I first tried playing WAR. I found out that it didn't like curse client add-on cause it treated it like spyware and kept causing a Data Execution Prevention error or something like that.
Persistent CTD during naval battles for me- back to Rome:TW then (in my opinion still their finest hour).
Gotta love games that need patches right behind the box release. I stopped buying without seeing online reviews first a long time ago. I've saved myself a lot of grief. Unfortunately, I feel like I'm still rolling dice when I buy a game. I had a run of game purchases a few years ago where I bought about 6-7 games within one month. Only two of them worked properly. At least one of them simply wouldn't play at all. Honestly, I'm not sure why I even stuck with computer games after that.
I had the same issue when Rome: TW came and since I was in Iraq I wasn't able to get a patch. That is where my distain for video game developers really grew. Everyone required internet connection to even play single player games and alot of the game boxes didn't say that.
I have not had any problems with the game so far, although i still think ROME was the best of the series especially if you got the mods people made like total realism.

This is the problem of PC gaming - when you buy an Xbox/PS/Wii you know the game will play on it while always a bit hit and miss on PC.
I now won't purchase E:TW thanks to this post, and I was considering it. Might want to make another on when the game becomes playable or I doubt I will ever purchase it.
I actually haven't had a single problem, but it's quite clear that this game was lacking in the playability department. Still, beyond these issues, a couple of AI bugs here and there, you have an extremely solid rts that plays nothing like previous total war installments.
The quality of game magazine reviews have deteriorated. The testers simply don't allow themselves enough time as the are in a competition frenzy to bring out the first review of a game. They also try to test games on many systems but nevertheless can't run them on all systems, of course. Therefore, take reviews and scores always with a grain of salt. Minor glitches commented on in a test review will become serious issues on some peoples systems or no issues at all on other peoples machines.

The comment from Stabs was great and made my day. Sorry for your misfortune!
@TEM I would think if a reviewer had problems like Tobalds with crashing every turn they would mention something like that in their review.

I would take everything with a pinch of salt, review scores - if you ever watch they seem to be massive fans of certain franchises, Halo Wars being a case in point - they brought up lots of negatives in the review but still it got a 8ish score. Maybe i am just mistrustful of scores in general but they rely upon developers for exclusives and unless it is utter rubbish reviewers must be tempted to keep the big names sweet.

Also with Blogs, Tobald has had a crap experience and told people about it on his blog - fair play - but don't let it make up your mind because one person has had crap experience. Even word of mouth and hype should always be mistrusted
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