Due out in Europe on February 26 (February 23 in North America), Napoleon: Total War is the latest addition to the successful Total War series and covers the battlefield exploits of French military genius Napoléon Bonaparte.

English software developers The Creative Assembly have carved themselves a rich niche thanks to the success of their Total War strategy games. Those bird's eye battlefield views have spanned Shogun-era Japan, the Roman Empire, Medieval Europe, and most recently 18th century quests for world domination since first gracing PC screens back in the year 2000.

The most recent, 2009's Empire: Total War, was extremely highly rated, despite tackling the troublesome nature of naval warfare. It picked up a number of awards towards the end of the year such as IGN's Best Strategy Game, merited inclusion in Bit Tech's top 10, and was one of Rock Paper Shotgun's games of the year.

This time, improvements to Napoleon: Total War include more detailed close-ups of the combat, enhanced environmental effects, and (as with many video game sequels these days) additional multiplayer capabilities.

The real question is not whether Napoleon will be any good, but whether it offers enough innovation to differentiate itself from Empire, or indeed other competitors such as King Arthur: The Role Playing Wargame, Microsoft's Age of Empires III with its fan-made Napoleonic add-on, or the upcoming futuristic Supreme Commander 2.

There is also an Imperial Edition that includes a selection of extra Napoleonic-era military units for enthusiasts to play with.

Napoleon: Total War (PC)
Release: North America, February 23. Europe, February 26.
Price: €49.99
Imperial Edition: €54.99 / $39.99
Read Napoleon: Total War's review snippets at Metacritic.com