Empire multiplayer campaign details

Creative Assembly considering public beta.

Creative Assembly has revealed more details of the upcoming campaign multiplayer patch for Empire: Total War.

"The campaign mode allows two friends (or mortal enemies) to play against one another and the AI through the Grand Campaign mode," communications manager Kieran Brigden told Eurogamer readers in yesterday's live interview.

"Players will be given the option of fighting every battle as the enemy, meaning whoever your friend fights wherever in the world it will always be the two of involved in a deathmatch.

"It's an awesome new feature and one we've been keen to do for a while. The basic code is there, now we're getting the rest sorted!"

Brigden wasn't able to say exactly when the patch would be released, but said that a beta would begin "shortly after the game's come out". The game, as you probably know, is available today worldwide.

"There will be a beta phase for the multi campaign," he elaborated. "We're still finalising for logistical reasons whether it will be public or invited, and it will be done when the feature is ready for roll out. Which is, as soon as it's ready."

Elsewhere in the live interview, Brigden addressed numerous other topics put forward by Eurogamer readers, including:

  • Load times in the demo version. "Since the demo build (which is incidentally very dated now) we've knocked a large amount off the loading times at the start, and to and from, battles. This is the basic process of optimisation, it takes time and is often done very close to release."
  • Mod tools for the community. "Empire is moddable without tools. [...] Our own dev tool-set isn't for public release as its not UI friendly and is internal software, so the answer there is 'soon' but the game is moddable without tools, although there are some functions for which users may want to write their own tools in the short term."
  • Possible routes for expansion. "We're not ready to announce our expansion plans yet but I will say that if the Road to Independence style 'mini campaigns' are of interest to players and are successful we'd like to do more such things, perhaps as an expansion. But for now, it's just conjecture."
  • The absence of Africa from the campaign map. "You won't feel a loss not having that area necessarily, and who knows? It's certainly an area into which we could expand..."
  • And whether CA hopes to do Total War on console. "Primarily it's about control. Most RTS games on console fail because they're ports. You have to design for console from the ground up, and if we ever crack the magic nut of control then of course we'd love to bring TW to a console audience."

Empire: Total War is released today on Steam and in shops, and you can read our review elsewhere on Eurogamer. Be sure to check out the full Empire: Total War live interview for more of your questions answered.

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