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A Dubious Pre-Order Gift and more

October 29th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 14 Comments · Creative Assembly, Industry, Napoleonics

If you pre-order Empire: Total War, you will get Rome: Total War for free.

Yeah, Rome is half a decade old. But I would think that most of the people who would consider pre-ordering Empire already have Rome. You can get it very cheaply now, after all. No word on whether or not Barbarian Invasion is included.

If you opt for the Special Forces Edition, you will get elite units. This decision really bothers me, since it moves PC games even further down the road of more ingame goodies for people who pay more. Especially since you know that these special units will be unlocked for all users in a patch or expansion.


14 Comments so far ↓

  • Scott

    Totally agree. Vote with your wallet.

    If you really want to play it, wait 6-12 months after release and buy a used copy. Cool mods and one or more patches will be out by then.

  • Thomas Kiley

    I saw this offer on Steam, so I don’t know if it applies everywhere. The offer was Rome Gold, which includes Barbarian Invasion and The Alexander expansion pack. Personally, this has sort of put me off pre-ordering it, as I already own the game. Whereas a nice poster…

  • Troy

    Thanks for the clarification, Thomas.

    I’ll pre-order for a wall map, no questions asked. And, even though Scott is right, I’ll probably pre-order this because I am weak where the TW games are concerned.

  • Chris Nahr

    I’m looking at the Steam store right now, and it says that “Rome: Total War – Gold” includes Barbarian Invasion but NOT Alexander.

    “Rome: Total War – Gold” is available separately for $20, and there’s also a “Rome: Total War – Complete” package for $30 that includes both Barbarian Invasion and Alexander. Finally, Alexander is also available separately for $15.

    I’m tempted by this preorder because I don’t own any recent Total War games but it’s a bit of a bummer that they didn’t throw in all the Rome expansions. Must think about this…

  • Chris Nahr

    Hmm, after reading some reviews it seems that Alexander is really a beast of its own, a super-difficult self-contained story-based campaign pack rather than an expansion of the basic game. So I guess I can do without it.

  • andrei.dumitrescu

    Rome might be old but mods like Europa Barbarorum and RTR are really doing a great job of keeping the game relevant. I recommend getting Gold just to run them…

  • JonathanStrange

    I don’t think of RTW as old at all! It has a large, very active forum of gamers who are not there for the nostalgia value. I’ve play RTW every few months without thinking “Damn, this game is rapidly aging!” If we’re going to play games primarily for the novelty value then we’re going to continue to get games that go for the cheap thrill rather than deep gameplay. What I’d like is for any Total War games to do more than graphical engine updates or minor gameplay tweaks. I’d like serious A.I. revisions. I doubt that will happen though; if you can sell a game without it, why bother?

  • Troy


    That’s a fair characterization of Alexander. It’s a very, very difficult campaign with some nice narration, but also stuck on an historical rail with a hard time limit. There aren’t enough new armies to give a lot of variety, though the Indian army is nice.

  • Jimmy A. Brown

    “The following elite units are included as part of the Empire: Total War Special Forces Edition. This premium packaged edition for aficionados of the Total War series comes complete with an illustrated campaign map and unique Steam unlock code.”

    Actual changes to gameplay for more money, and it’s hooked to Steam? I think this will be the first TW game I have not bought. It’s really a shame that publishers are continuing to do this sort of thing.

  • Chris Nahr

    So I got the Steam preorder with the Rome Gold bundle. One word of warning: There’s no manual at all for Rome, neither on Steam nor on the Total War website! Fortunately I found some fan-made instructions on the forums. Pretty pathetic that CA is selling a complex strategy game without bothering to provide online documentation.

  • Daz

    And there are a dozens of mods released now (even some for Alexander such as “Gods & Fighting Men” and “Lord of the Rings”) which releases TotalWarCenter has listed in a chart of a load of mods for RTW, BI, Alex and M2…

    I’ve put the link in my name above or just go here: http://www.twcenter.net/wiki/Released_Mods

  • Raelyf

    I’m not sure how I feel about special in game bonuses for people who play more, but I think giving copies of RTW away with it is a great idea. While it’s true that most people who pre order Empire will likely already own Rome, they can give away their new copy to a friend who’s interested in trying it. It’s win win really – I can try and get a friend into a series I really enjoy, the company can potentially pick up some new fans and potential customers of their series and I suspect they’ve got extra copies of Rome kicking around they’ll never be able to sell now so why not give them away?

  • Troy

    I don’t know why I didn’t think of the gift idea, especially since I’ve turned a lot of my friends on to Rome in the last few years.

  • Krupo

    Huh, boxed copy is $3 cheaper on amazon at the moment. Am I the only one, though, who believes that the Steam version will have a REAL pre-sale discount closer to the time of release?

    Hmm, gifting RTW is a good idea – but could one GIFT RTW and BI, but keep Alexander?

    Because I haven’t played Alexander…