Napoleon Total War was released after Empire and it follows much of the same path that its predecessor did. The game allows a more in depth story as you follow Napoleon in his quest to conquer Europe, or you can play as one of three nations that are acting to stop Napoleon. This game has been altered from the previous Empire and while there are some improvements, there are still some criticism that I feel obligated to mention.
This game runs almost like Empire did. You control an overworld and are given a large amount of leeway with how you spend your cash every turn. Every turn, though, last two weeks, unlike with Empire, which lasted much longer. In Napoleon, you only control the European theater, but that really adds that historical aspect to it.
Napoleon also features a more extensive story driven campaign. You can either choose to follow Napoleon as he seeks to conquer selective territories and become a Master of Europe, or you can play as one of three nations that oppose him. A bright spot when compared to Empire is that as soon as you complete any of the objectives, you don’t have to wait the full amount of turns to beat the campaign.
Another difference is the fact that the battle AI has been changed from Empire. Effects, such as the elevation, gunsmoke hanging in the air, cannonballs hitting the ground multiple times, are now observed. The morale system is now in place, but it has also been applied to the overworld in the form of attrition. This means that your army will begin to lose men, but these can be replenished in friendly territory. Also, you don’t have to worry about losing your main commanders, such as Napoleon, as they will be sent back to your capital wounded.
One bit of criticism commonly leveled against Napoleon is the fact that it is too much like Empire and not a separate game. Some have even claimed that it is more like an add-on, or an expansion pack, so labeling it as a separate game seems like a stretch. These points do have merit, as even though many games have sequels, what really makes the new iteration of the game is making sure it feels like a new game.
But through all of that, Napoleon is a real blast to play and it certainly has earned its place among the Total War series. It is less in scope compared to Empire, but that may not be a bad thing. It has a certain charm and appeal to it that makes it one of a kind.