The introduction of gunpowder caused a paradigm shift in the world of journalism – felt most gropingly in the distance from which news can be launched. Though the announcement of a demo for Empire: Total War was explosively propelled from Shacknews’ battery yesterday, the impact has only just been felt at The Reticule – with some of us literally reduced to bloody stumps, such is the extent of our excitement. The title for Shacknews’ shed sharing was Empire: Total War Demo Coming Tomorrow, so it is with caddish grins that we can announce Empire: Total War Demo Coming Today At 4PM GMT OMG! We’ll aim to update this story once the top brass become aware of a structurally sound pontoon bridge linking us to the download. Report back here after tea time with affixed bayonets.
TR’s resident cleverclogs Sebastiaan provided us with more details:
Giving you a taste of the epic engagements that you’ll be experiencing from 3rd March, the demo will take you through the basics of land and naval command and then unleash you in two historical battles!
You will get to play as the mighty British Empire as they do battle against the Americans in the ‘Battle of Brandywine Creek’ and then take on the French Navy in the ‘Battle of Lagos’…
Battle of Brandywine Creek
After landing from his transport ships on the American coast, Major-General Sir William Howe led the British troops eastwards, with the intention of capturing Philadelphia.
In preparation, American General George Washington readied most of his units to defend from this frontal assault around the narrow crossing of Chad’s Ford on the Brandywine. The Creek flows through the countryside of Pennsylvania, enveloped by sheer cliffs and heavily wooded hills on both sides. Safe in the knowledge the fast flowing creek could not easily be crossed; Washington was confident of holding his position.
However, more detailed surveillance of the terrain would suggest that alternative routes could turn the battle in the favour of the British.
Battle of Lagos
As so often in 18th Century warfare, French plans to invade England during the Seven Years War were reliant on ships from the naval base at Toulouse joining ships from Brest. The British had both ports blockaded, and the French had to wait for one of the blockading fleets to withdraw for re-supply before attempting any rendezvous.
The opportunity came when the British fleet under Admiral Boscawen at Toulon withdrew to Gibraltar. The French under Jean-François de la Clue-Sabran left Toulon, and began to make their way towards Brest. Passing the Straits of Gibraltar, the French were spotted by Boscawen’s lookout ships.
Giving chase, Boscawen’s fleet was only slightly larger than the French force, and caught up with them off the coast of Portugal where battle was joined. Take control of the British and defeat the French to end the invasion threat to Britain.
We hope that you enjoy playing our demo, which will give you a small taste of Empire: Total War action in preparation to leading your own empire to victory in March!
Rather odd that we’ll play as the British in both engagements – especially since The Creative Assembly are aiming at an American audience. I wonder why the land map didn’t place us in the monumental boots of Washington. We’ll find out, no doubt, the next time Sebastiaan graces us with a comment.
Edit: The demo is live. Time to give Steam’s servers a beating chaps. For England!