Empire Total War



Historical battles on land and sea done right.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Within the game you take control of armies consisting of famous people, such as George Washington, and with him can lead a group to battle. While some of this can be historic, the deaths of famous people such as this can and will happen within the title.


Battles are fought in real-time with realistic human characters. While the action isn't shown up close, the death animations can be quite realistic. Plus video cutscenes show more realistic violence with dead soldiers shown with pools of blood.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Players use tobacco as a prime money making crop. Alcohol also plays a role in the development of the game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is the latest in a series of Total War games. The game features two types of gameplay, a turn-based section where diplomacy, resource allocation, and army building rule – and a real time battle mode for both land and sea battles.Some battle violence is shown including seeing dead soldiers surrounded by pools of blood, but most battles occur far away.

What's it about?

EMPIRE TOTAL WAR is a historic strategy game that allows players to follow the rise of the United States and its road to independence. The game also offers a grand campaign where you take control of one of many historical empires and attempt to lead them to greatness. Players will experience both turn-based section where diplomacy, resource allocation, and army building rule – and a real time battle mode for both land and sea battles. Not just an extension of the Total War series, EMPIRE TOTAL WAR adds an entirely new dimension to the game with the introduction of full scale naval battles and some battles from American history. New to this version is the ability to influence the outcome of the game.

Empire features a lot of choice when it comes to playing the game, so you can chose to take the diplomatic route, or you can go for the route of pure domination victory. Even the Road to Independence mode allows for alternate history to take place thanks to the guided, yet still somewhat open ended gameplay.

Is it any good?


The Total War series has been very solid since its inception, and Empire is even a few steps beyond Rome Total War in execution. While the title has a tendency to pile on a lot of information, patient gamers who take the time to learn the strategies and intricacies in the game will come away very satisfied with the game. People new to games which involve micromanagement of cities for things such as taxation and research could be slightly overwhelmed with the vast amount of information presented. But the turn-based style of the game during these sections lends itself to players taking their time to learn and fully understand the impact of each move; haste is not always rewarded.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the colonization of the New World and it's affect on the native people who had lived here. Were they treated fairly and justly? Or were they exploited for land and forced to fight in battles that didn't concern them? Even though this happened only a few hundred years ago, is it difficult to believe that the world operated in such a fashion? Do the families think that this style of living was better or worse than what we have today?

Game details

Available online?Available online
Developer:Sega of America
Release date:March 3, 2009
ESRB rating:T for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Blood, Language, Violence (Windows)

This review of Empire Total War was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byReviewr September 27, 2009

Cool game

This game is awsome i recomend it 12+, it's a game where you can learn about History after around an hrs play i got stuck into it, it took me 30 mins to get to know the basics, i rate it 15.9 / 20.00 It doesn't cost much, i got mine at: www.rewards1.com/index.php?referrer_id=1116923 Just make an account and do the offers, it should take 20 mins to get the points to buy the game, it's a trusted website mcaffee knows about this website. And even they support it. What are you waiting for?
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old February 1, 2012

There's no blood

Maybe in a mod there's blood but I've played this since I was 10 and <3 it. privacy may be a problem if you play online but only what you put in chat. It has so much educational stuff you couldn't list it. From the Revolutionary to different languages. This game basically simulates what people did back then, killing for land. I advise you let children 9 and up to play based on their maturity. Now this is getting a little long so I have one more thing to say. Do a review on M2TW one of my favorite games.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 14 years old Written byMrHistory76 September 3, 2011

Fantastic for history/strategy buffs, learn alot about European, Indian, and American history and geography

This is an excellent grand strategy title for anyone who likes strategy or history! Its a must have! I'm a 14 year old history buff and I played this for almost 2 years before getting even remotely bored, then there is the mods that improve historical accuracy and gameplay 5x. Its like a sandbox for the 18th century, and its fun to be a small nation like Prussia and rise up and conquer the world. A small flaw in the game though is that AI nations will either be stuck in neutral and never advance militarily or become a juggernaut on steroids and conquer you in two turns. Also the stubborn diplomacy AI could be worked around as neighboring nations will never agree to anything and will become hostile indefinitely for no reason. Apart from that, the game is a fantastically epic masterpiece with high initial educational value and you will learn a load about geography and history as well as military strategy. My recommendation for this is a massive behemoth.
What other families should know
Educational value


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide