Napoleon: Total War

Napoleon: Total War
Napoleon: Total War
Napoleon Total War.jpg
Developer(s) The Creative Assembly
Publisher(s) Sega, Typhoon Games
Distributor(s) Sega (retail)
Steam (online)
Designer(s) Ian Roxburgh
Composer(s) Richard Beddow
Series Total War
Engine Warscape
Version 1.3.0 (21 June 2010)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA 23 February 2010
  • EU 26 February 2010
Genre(s) Turn-based strategy,
Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media/distribution DVD
System requirements


OS: Windows Vista/XP/7 Processor: 2.3 GHz CPU with SSE2 Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 2 GB RAM (Vista/Windows 7) Graphics: 256 MB DirectX 9.0c shader model 2b compatible GPU DirectX: DirectX 9.0c Hard Drive: 21 GB free space


OS: Windows Vista/XP/7 Processor: 2.6 GHz Dual Core CPU Memory: 2 GB RAM (XP), 4 GB RAM (Vista/Windows 7) Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c shader model 3 compatible GPU DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c Hard Drive: 21 GB free space[1]

Napoleon: Total War (abbreviated as NTW) is a turn-based strategy and real-time tactics video game developed by The Creative Assembly (CA) and published by Sega for the PC. Napoleon was released in North America on 23 February 2010, and in Europe on February 26. The game is the sixth stand-alone instalment in the Total War series. The game is set in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Players assume the role of Napoleon Bonaparte, or one of his major rivals, on a turn-based campaign map and engage in the subsequent battles in real-time. As with its predecessor, Empire: Total War, which included a special United States storyline, Napoleon features two special campaigns that follow the general's early career.

Napoleon received generally favourable reviews from video game critics. Reviews praised the game's stunning visuals, story driven campaigns, and new gameplay features. Some reviewers were critical of the game's weak AI, high system requirements, and its limited scope - while others considered Napoleon overly similar to Empire, its immediate predecessor in the series.

French actor Stephane Cornicard provided voice-acting for Napoleon Bonaparte in the original English, German, French, and Spanish editions.



As with all other games in the Total War series, Napoleon consists of two gameplay types: a turn-based geopolitical campaign - which requires players to build structures in a faction's territories to produce units and create a source of income, research new technologies, deal with other in-game factions through diplomacy, trade and war, sending agents on missions, creating and commanding armies, and eventually become the world's dominant faction - and real-time tactical battles where players command huge armies to direct the course of any battles that take place.

Napoleon contains four campaigns, two of which follow Napoleon's early military career. The first career event is the Italian campaign of 1796, while the second is the French invasion of Egypt in 1798. Both feature smaller, optional missions that help drive the story forward. The major French campaign, however, is the so called "The Mastery of Europe," which resembles the holistic modes of previous Total War games. Conversely, the "Campaigns of the Coalition" allows players to govern Great Britain, Russia, Prussia or the Austrian Empire and attempt to defeat Napoleonic France in Europe. Each major campaign requires players to obtain a certain number of territories, although the latter also demands that the French are defeated. Many of Napoleon's major battles such as Austerlitz, Trafalgar, Battle of the Pyramids, and Waterloo are available as historical scenarios, separate from the campaign.

A new physics system had been implemented for the real-time battles, so that when cannon balls hit the ground, for instance, they leave impact craters. Gunpowder smoke lingers and reduces visibility in protracted engagements. Mike Simpson, CA's studio director, reported that there are a number of environmental factors that affect battlefield tactics: gunpowder backfires when it rains, and the elevation of landscape affects the range of munitions. Individuals within a unit now vary to a greater degree, and are no longer as generic as in previous titles in the series.[2] The campaign map is narrower in focus, but more detailed than Empire's campaign map. Turns in Napoleon: Total War represent two weeks, while previous titles sported turns that were the equivalent of at least six months. Additionally the game's artificial intelligence system had been modified.[3] There is also a new uniform system that includes approximately 355 non-editable uniforms.[4]

In addition, Napoleon: Total War contains several new multiplayer features and a voice command utility to speak to other players via Steam. Unlike previous Total War titles, there is now the option for a "drop-in" multiplayer campaign mode: when playing a campaign against the computer, it is possible to allow another user to join via a lobby and take control.


Napoleon: Total War includes approximately thirty factions throughout the game, though only the following are playable in campaigns:

  •  Austrian Empire - Campaigns of the Coalition and multiplayer (Europe and Italy)
  • France First French Empire - Story mode and multiplayer (Europe, Egypt and Italy)
  • United Kingdom British Empire - Campaigns of the Coalition and multiplayer (Europe and Egypt)
  •  Prussia - Campaigns of the Coalition and multiplayer (Europe only)
  •  Russian Empire - Campaigns of the Coalition and multiplayer (Europe only)
  •  Ottoman Empire - Multiplayer (Europe and Egypt)
  • Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Spain - Expansion Pack and Multiplayer (Europe and The Peninsula Campaign).

Some non-playable factions in the campaign include:


The game also included the following features:

  • Multiplayer Campaign Mode
  • Multiplayer drop-in battles, where you can face human opponents in your single player campaign battles [5]
  • Steam achievements, game play bonuses and voice communications.

Marketing and release

On March 10, 2010, a demo was released via Steam featuring a playable version of the Battle of Ligny.

Retail versions

Features Standard Limited Imperial Emperor's
Game disc and manual Yes Yes Yes Yes
Elite Regiment unit pack Yes Yes Yes Yes
Heroes of the Napoleonic Wars unit pack No Yes Yes Yes
Collector's packaging No No Yes Yes
Illustrated A3 wallchart poster No No Yes Yes
Napoleon’s Field Journal No No No Yes
8” Statuette of Napoleon No No No Yes

Napoleon was released in four different retail versions: Standard edition, Limited edition, Imperial edition, and the Emperor's edition. All boxed versions include the "Elite Regiment" pack, a collection of five extra units; any edition bought on Steam does not include this unit pack.

  • Standard - comes with only the game disc and manual in a standard plastic case like most other retail game editions.
  • Limited - offers the full game and manual, as well as ten exclusive units in the "Heroes of the Napoleonic Wars" pack.
  • Imperial - includes all the contents of the Limited Edition, but has special premium packaging and an illustrated wallchart timeline of the important events in Napoleon's life.[6]
  • Emperor's - includes all contents of the Imperial Edition, and is the only edition to include a 200mm statuette of Napoleon and a field journal. This edition was released only in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Empire and Napoleon Total War Collection - Game of the Year (PC DVD) - This version contains the full two games, "Empire: Total War" and "Napoleon: Total War" including all of the available downloadable content for both titles. Empire and Napoleon Total War Collection - Game of the Year

Pre-orders made via the Steam content delivery system included another special unit: the Royal Scots Greys.[7] Orders made via certain retailers likewise included various special units: HMS Elephant, Towarczys, and the Grand Battery of the Convention[8]

Downloadable Content

The first downloadable content for Napoleon, the Imperial Guard Pack, was released on March 26, 2010 for free. It added to the game several new units such as Napoleon's Polish Guard Lancers and an alternate version of the Battle of Waterloo scenario, with the British as the playable faction. CA released the Coalition Battle Pack on May 6, 2010. It contains six new units: Lifeguard Hussars, Coldstream Guards, Archduke Charles' Legion, Luetzow's Freikorps, Life Hussars, and the Semenovski Lifeguard. Additionally, it also includes a scenario featuring the Battle of Friedland.

A downloadable campaign, The Peninsular Campaign was released on June 25, 2010. Featuring an enlarged map of the Iberian peninsula, new units (such as Guerrilla units that can be placed outside a player's deployment zone before a battle), agents, and gameplay mechanics, this new campaign, as its name implies, focuses on the Peninsular War.

One of the features advertised for Napoleon was a uniform editor. Upon release CA announced that the uniform editor would be delayed; while it was not advertised "on the box", it was advertised as a feature by all online retailers (including Steam) and the official game website. Five months after Napoleon: Total War's release, mention of the uniform editor was removed from the game's list of features on its official website; it is, however, still being advertised on most online retailers selling the game. Almost eight months after the game's release, Mike Simpson stated that the original uniform editor was never meant for public use, and that CA is making a unit editor capable of both editing and creating new units. This new unit editor is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2011. [9] To date no further reference to the uniform editor has been made and it is now seen by the community to be unlikely that it will be released in the future.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 81.61%[10]
Metacritic 81[11]
Review scores
Publication Score B[12]
Computer and Video Games 9.1/10[13]
Eurogamer 8/10[14]
Game Informer 8.75/10[10]
GameSpot 8.5[15]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[16]
IGN 8.9/10[17]
PC Gamer UK 82%[10]
Gameplanet 9/10[18]
The Guardian 4/5[19]

Upon release, Napoleon: Total War received positive reviews. The game and its developers alike were praised for a number of graphical and AI improvements, along with the new campaign features and multiplayer modes.

IGN remarked that the "tactical battles are still some of the most amazing we've ever seen in any game."[17] Gameplanet came to the same conclusion, stating that "graphically, the battles leave Empire in the dust, featuring five times more particles per effect."[18] GameSpot praised the interface, saying that "[it] never feels cluttered, and the bulk of the screen is always devoted to the action."[15]

Other aspects of the game received a mixed reaction. According to Eurogamer, despite occasionally poor decision-making "the AI will still hold its own," and provides players "with a challenge that suits the difficulty."[14] Other criticisms focused upon the somewhat linear story-mode campaigns, the duration of naval engagements and the stability of the game's netcode.[14] Actiontrip commented that "while still a good strategy game, Napoleon: Total War seems to offer less freedom to players in terms of how they can resolve various battle situations." Tom Chick, in his Gamespy review, gave the game a 2.0 out of 5, citing "Bad AI" and the game "feel[ing] like a re-skinned Empire" for the score.[16] Game Revolution felt the same, noting that "the problem Napoleon has is that it’s not just like Empire, it is and only is Empire...It feels like an expansion at best, yet it’s being sold like it’s a brand new game."

Despite the complaints, most of the reviews were ultimately favourable to Napoleon, with the game earning an aggregated score of 81% at Metacritic[11] and 81.61% at GameRankings[10].

The game was awarded Best PC Game at Milthon European Game Awards in Paris on September 22, 2010.[20]

Score composers Richard Beddow, Richard Birdsall and Ian Livingstone won the British Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Video Game Score on 19 May 2011.


  1. ^ "Napoleon: Total War specifications". IGN. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Erikson, John (8 December 2009). "Napoleon: Total War preview". GamingHeaven. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Simpson, Mike (10 November 2009). "Battle AI in Napoleon: Total War". Sega. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Burnes, Andrew (19 August 2009). "Napoleon: Total War Announced". IGN. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Sega Press Release (21 January 2010). "Napoleon: Total War Debuting Campaign Multiplayer". IGN. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Napoleon: Total War Imperial Edition Announced". Sega. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Napoleon: Total War pre-order information". Sega. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Napoleon: Total War Buy Now". Sega. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Simpson, Mike (22 October 2010). "Mod Tools Update". The Creative Assembly. Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Napoleon: Total War aggregate rating". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Napoleon: Total War aggregate rating". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Goodfellow, Troy (25 February 2010). "Napoleon: Total War review". Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  13. ^ Wooden, Andrew (26 February 2010). "Napoleon: Total War review". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c Smith, Quintin (26 February 2010). "Napoleon: Total War review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "Napoleon: Total War review". GameSpot. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Chick, Tom. "Napoleon: Total War Review". GameSpy. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Butts, Steve (18 February 2010). "Napoleon: Total War review". IGN. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  18. ^ a b Cullinane, James (23 February 2010). "Napoleon: Total War review". Gameplanet. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  19. ^ Anderiesz, Mike (26 February 2010). "Napoleon: Total War review". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  20. ^ Sega Press Release (22 September 2010). "Napoleon: Total War Napoleon: Total War wins Best PC Game Award!". The Creative Assembly. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 

External links

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