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Top 10 Games of The Year 2009

Nine – Empire: Total War

Publisher: Sega
UK Price: £29.99 (incl. VAT)
US Price: $29.00 (excl. Tax)
Bit-tech Score: 8 out of 10

Empire: Total War was undoubtedly one of grandest games of the last twelve months, allowing desk-bound generals to wield more control than ever over their chosen nation. If how you judge a game is based on how epic a challenge it manages to present to players then Empire: Total War is without peer.

So, the fact that it isn’t #1 this year kind of indicates that most of you don’t think that way. Ah well, fair does.

Regardless, Empire: Total War is still a great game and the on-going support and expansion it’s been getting from Sega and Creative Assembly is nothing short of amazing, with DLC packs and patches coming regularly since the release earlier this year. Even as we speak a new multiplayer campaign mode is undergoing a closed beta, with all existing owners of the game invited to take part in testing it out!

*Top 10 Games of The Year 2009 Ninth Best Game of 2009
Empire: Total War - 9th Place

When looking back at what makes Empire: Total War so great no single feature really stands out though. The massive turn-based civilisation plotting, the democratic bickering and the colossal sieges you can bring to bear against your foes – all of it is superbly realised in this utterly gorgeous strategy game that lets you have a go at playing overlord in the Early Modern Period. It all blends into one beautiful mass that’s as extensive as it is brilliant.

Of course, the Total War games have always been comprehensive but Empire takes it to a whole new level with the introduction of a few new features, the biggest of which is the option to wage your wars on water as well as land. The ship combat was something we didn’t originally like the feel of all that much when we first reviewed the game at the time of release, but it’s been improved quite a bit since then, just like the rest of the game.

The last year has been a mixed bag when it comes to releases, especially compared to the bumper crop of AAA titles that landed in 2008. Strategy fans have been very well catered to though, with new Company of Heroes expansions and the release of Men of War to name but a few highpoints. The Creative Assembly’s Empire: Total War is definitely the cream of the crop though – and likely will be right until Napoleon: Total War is released in February next year.