Lets get this out of the way first, I love Total War so I'm probably a little biased but so what. The last game in the series Mediviel II was insane. You could manage taxes for cities, instrument economic brake downs of nations, of just plow the fuck over them. This leavel of complexity certinly turned most of to the games. Which is understandable considering big battles could last up to three hours. But for Rts wierdos like my self who wish to run every aspect of a nation down to the smallest tweak in diplomatic policy, it's the exact opposite.
Empire seems to be a game where the developers listened to the people, for worst or better. Personaly I loved controlling individual taxes for cities but now that you can only controll a nation tax is a little bummer. In fact most of the changes seem to be a bummer. In making the game more exsesible to the unwashed masses they've lost most of what made Total war different. Sure they kept the big battles and in fact made them substantuly bigger and navel battles are ok... I guess. But what I think really set it apart from Age of empires and the like was the shere size of the maps. My brain hurt just handling Europe, but now depending on which empire you choose you could have steaks in Europe, the Americas' and part of asia and india.
Another thing that bugs me, which is maybe just a price of the setting. Battles and turns are now twice if not three times as long. Which means if you don't play for six stright hours as I don't, you have to choose wheither you want to advance your empire of spend your time on one battle. The AI is as dumb as ever even on the hardest settings which is a bummer, pathfinding, bugs and glitches are as promanite as ever. But enough hate for know.
Empire is a game that falls in the catagory of games that make you feel smart. I get a sense of accomplosihment from crippling the dutch ecommomy. Sure it took me seven real days but I did it... Don't judge me you bastards. You get the same feeling from a successful campaign as you do from beating a leval in braid. Surley one of the best feelings in the game is your troops getting a perfect volley or the artillary scoring devistating hits on the enemy. Speaking of artilliry and infantary the tables have turned. Artilliry no longer have limited ammo but the troops do and making the deision to exhaust your supply early on is a tochy one.
Land battles are sweet but long but the new addition the Navy is more a bittersweet victory at best. There very tedious and boring. I find this ironic because I really wanted Navy battles but now that I have them I realisie that it gets old quick.
Easily the best thing that Empire does is set of memories of past expeariances I find myself more than egear to discribe every detail of battles to anyone who askes. I get the school girl giggle every time I pull a underdog victory out of my ass. This is diffenitly a one more turn game I just can't put it down, there's always crap that needs doing. BUY THIS GAME!! Oh and the multiplayers pretty bombass too.