Empire: Total War is a turn-based strategy and real-time tactics computer game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. The fifth installment in the Total War series, the game was released in 2009. The game, which focuses on the early modern period of the 18th century, was announced at the Leipzig Games Convention in August 2007. The Mac OS X version of the game was released by Feral Interactive on 10 June 2014. The Linux version was released, also by Feral Interactive, on 8 December 2014.
Players choose an 18th-century faction and set out to achieve domination over the known world through military force, diplomacy, espionage and economics. The interface and play are similar to earlier Total War titles: although the campaign element of the game is turn-based, players can direct battles in real-time. Empire: Total War is the first game in the series to allow naval battles to be conducted in real-time. In addition to the standard campaign mode, a special campaign follows the development of the United States from the settlement of Jamestown to the American War of Independence. Players may also recreate several historical battles from the early modern era, such as the Battle of Fontenoy, Battle of Rossbach, Battle of Brandywine Creek and Battle of Lagos.
Empire: Total War was met with universal acclaim; several critics commended it as one of the foremost strategy titles of recent times. Praise was bestowed upon the extensive strategic breadth, accurate historical challenges and visual effects. The real-time land battles, with a far greater focus on gunpowder weaponry than earlier Total War titles, were considered successful. Criticisms focused on shortcomings with the game’s artificial intelligence and on the real-time naval battles being difficult to control and co-ordinate. The game was a commercial success, topping sales charts within a week of release; nevertheless, several Creative Assembly employees later commented on various issues caused by a perceived early release.