Between Empire: Total War and its first console real-time strategy game Stormrise, Creative Assembly is in for a busy 2009. In December, the British developer's workload proved to be a bit too ambitious, with Creative Assembly opting to bump Empire a month beyond its projected February ship date to March. Lucky for Total War fans, Creative Assembly is delivering the game sooner in March, rather than later.
Sega announced today that Empire: Total War will arrive exclusively for the PC on March 3 in North America, with a global rollout slated for March 4. The publisher noted that retail and downloaded copies of the game will require activation through Valve's online storefront, Steam. Those who purchase Empire through Steam will be able to preinstall the game 48 hours before its official release.
Along with dating the game, Sega laid out Empire's minimum tech requirements. The game will need at least a 2.4GHz single core processor and a 256MB DirectX 9.0c-compatibile video card. Windows XP users will require at least 1GB of RAM, while Vista owners must have at least 2GBs of RAM. The game will also need at least 15GB of hard-drive space.
Empire modernizes the Total War experience by focusing on the establishment of many European civilizations during the 18th century, touching on such subjects as the industrial revolution, the United States' Revolutionary War, and Asian trade routes. The game features the same style of turn-based global strategy mixed with tactical real-time 3D battles. Notably, however, Empire will introduce the long-requested naval-combat component to the Total War franchise.
Previously, Creative Assembly said that, by popular request, it plans to implement a multiplayer campaign mode in Empire. As it currently stands, the game maker plans to patch the mode in postrelease, with early adopters gaining access to a one-on-one multiplayer campaign mode beta.
For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Empire: Total War.