Home > General > Empire: Total War Campaign Multiplayer… please?

Empire: Total War Campaign Multiplayer… please?

Remember when people finished games before releasing them? Games had their share of bugs to be sure, but for the most part the lack of any way to alter the shipped product post release meant that developers had to work long and hard to ensure that as many bugs as possible were squashed pre-release. This is not the case in this day and age, because while downloadable content allows for wonderful new experiences, it also allows developers to release unfinished products and expect player’s money and faith.

While Creative Assembly tirelessly releases patches to fix their broken single player mode (featuring sparsely detailed campaign maps that lag on rigs that run Crysis maxed out,) one has to wonder where the promised Grand Campaign Multiplayer mode has gone.

Months after the retail release of Empire, fans of the Total War series wait impatiently for a feature that was detailed pre-release. Creative Assembly’s own Kieran Bridgen said in no uncertain terms,

The campaign mode allows two friends (or mortal enemies) to play against one another and the AI through the Grand Campaign mode. 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 [you] involved in a deathmatch.”

Fans excited for this feature were dissapointed when the game was delayed earlier this year, but the reason for the delay was so that technology to support the multiplayer campaign could be added. Adding this technology, Mark O’Connell (CA) noted, would allow for

“an opportunity to participate in the 1 versus 1 multiplayer campaign mode beta [which] will be made available to all Empire Total War buyers post release.”

Well, where the hell is it? To avoid sounding like a complete ignoramus, I realize that these things take time but I am also frustrated with the perpetual delays. The team hinted at a June launch for the beta and fans have seen neither hide nor hair of this campaign mode. Did Creative Assembly ever stop to think that people would buy the game possibly because they are excited about a mode being promised to them by the creators? Of course they did, and right now those of us who purchased the game in hopes of seeing this mode sometime before getting bogged down in the new releases due out this fall are feeling duped.

Of course, when purchasing a game one is buying what is in the box and not future content. Yet in this case, I would argue that the cooperative Campaign was a major selling point for Empire making it something that should have already been provided to the players if even in beta form. If you are going to have an important mode in your game, put it in the box.

The devs have indicated that they are hard at work on the Multiplayer Campaign. Sadly, we all know what they are working on as they recently released the “Elite Units of The West DLC”,

The first downloadable content for the critically acclaimed Empire: Total War will be available today via Steam. Featuring 14 new unit types for different playable factions, this downloadable content will add an extra layer to the already in-depth offering that is Empire: Total War.

All of this for only four dollars? Count me out.

There is, of course, the argument that we should not rush the developers. I realize that years of time was not long enough to iron out the wrinkles in their oft-patched retail release, but should it not take less time to craft a new multiplayer mode in a game that already has a complete set of assets and net code? I suppose what I am saying is that I understand that the mode will be buggy, broken, janky on my new machine and possibly next to dysfunctional on TheDeebo’s older rig but I would rather have it in my hot little hands than wait any longer. Why? Because the product that took years to build and that they deemed worthty of my initial 50 dollars was already buggy, broken, janky on my new machine and arguably next to dysfunctional on TheDeebo’s older rig.

Yet all we can do is wait, wait for the beta, and wait for them to inevitably charge us for a mode that was initially promised to be in the box at launch. I would have much rather had them release this mode in its prototypical form in the box, or had they chosen to do so: in a more polished state along with a delayed retail release.

  1. thedeebo
    July 11, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Thedeebo concurs!

  2. Alex
    July 30, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Very true, I have been waiting for ages with no news at all. I think the next game in the series I will just pirate to stop them getting my money.

  3. steven
    September 16, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Yah, I bought game and so did my freind just so we could play it mutilplayer, now we cant and we hardly ever play the game.

    there starting work on a new total war game already also, and seem to just put mutilplayer out of there minds.

    I will not be buying any more of tyhere porducts maybe ill pirate one by I wont pay for it any more not with way they run there company.

  4. Travis
    October 22, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I agree… where is this mode that I was promised… I, in good faith in CA, bought this game expecting to wait a month for my multiplayer… Multiplayer campaign mode was and still is the only reason I bought the game… Here it is October 22nd and I still don’t have the multiplayer campaign… Oh and what is that I see looming on the horizon yet another “complete” game getting ready to release… CA… I make this statement in all honesty… I will not buy another of your games until I recieve what I was initially promised… A multiplayer campaign mode for Empire Total War…

  5. Gijs
    November 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Any news on the campaign multiplayer mode? It’s like waiting on rain in the desert.

  6. fjl;
    November 22, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Shame on you, CA. I have good faith in you, yet you dare give me a game that is half finished, not to mention the said multiplayer campaign mode missing? Like many developers nowadays, CA is turning into a company that expects only money; they care not for it’s fan base, choosing to isolate them instead and ask for their cash. Hell, one of the beauties of the Total War franchise was the modding capabilities with it, and yet that is also omitted. I suppose gaming really isn’t what it use to be, after all. Until that multiplayer campaign is available, CA shall not receive one cent from me; if it comes to even charging me for the multiplayer patch, then that shall not receive money for that either so I will instead choose to put Empire on my shelf as a reminder of what happens to great companies when they choose to milk their loyal fans of their money instead of helping them make a truly outstanding game. Shame on you, CA, shame on you.

  7. Filip
    November 24, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Yeah, gonna download Napoleon Total War and crack the shit out of it. The Total War developers have done nothing but earn my ire.

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