It’s a big day for real time strategy fans since Sega has made quite a few announcements regarding the upcoming Empire: Total War and, no matter how you look at it, you’ll still find something enjoyable. We’re talking about an association between the publisher and Valve to offer the game via the latter’s download service, Steam.

But that’s not at all the biggest news: if you pre-purchase Empire: Total War, you’ll get Rome: Total War for free – and you don’t even have to wait until ETW gets released (which is a good thing, having in mind that it’s only coming in 2009!). So if it’s good strategy games you want, that’s what you’re being offered.

Also, following the partnership between Sega and Valve, Empire: Total War will support Steamworks (incorporated in the retail version, too) which means that you’ll get a nice package for your game: direct updates, downloadable content, friend-list support and achievements and you only need an internet connection and a Steam account for that. Also, Steamworks will serve as Empire: Total War’s multiplayer backend, providing server browsing and match-making functionality. Cool!

But the cherry on top is reserved for the biggest fans of the game and it’s called Empire: Total War Special Forces Edition, a kind of a Collector’s Edition, offering hardcore fans the chance to build their empire with the help of a range of exclusive elite units and plot their next move on a detailed print of the globe-spanning Campaign Map. Total War indeed!

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