Empire: Total War ceasing fire 'til March

Creative Assembly's epic-scale RTS bumped a month for fine-tuning; multiplayer beta coming postlaunch.

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For most, it goes without saying: Never rush into a war until the battle plans are good and ready. That sentiment is shared by Creative Assembly, which said today that it has shifted the launch date of Empire: Total War back a month. The Sega-published PC game is now expected to arrive on retail shelves in March.

The good news is that a ship can only be on fire for so long...
The good news is that a ship can only be on fire for so long...

"The extra development time will allow us to finalise and polish Empire, making it the most accomplished and epic of the Total War series." said Creative Assembly studio communications manager Kieran Brigden in a statement. "There is a great deal of anticipation around Empire Total War and we want to ensure that it is the benchmark for strategy games upon its release."

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.

The Creative Assembly also said today that, by popular request, it plans to implement a multiplayer campaign mode to 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 on Empire: Total War, check out GameSpot's most recent hands-on from earlier this month.

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