Total War fans will have the chance to return to the blood-soaked Samurai battlefields after an 11-year break with some spangly new graphics and a wise old AI system inspired by Sun Tzu’s The Art of War in Shogun 2: Total War. Developer, The Creative Assembly, started its hugely popular PC franchise with Shogun: Total War in 2000, and rose to fame in the past years with its Rome and Napoleon iterations.
Released on March 15th 2011, it’s features boast a blend of real-time-strategy and turn-based gaming, aiming S2: TW at promising recruits and seasoned generals alike.
The campaign mode sees the player take command as a clan leader or Daimyo (formal bow please!) to use his or her cunning and guile to achieve the unification of Japan, with them seated at the top as commander in chief, or Shogun. In addition to the campaign mode, players can opt for co-op campaign or the competitive 8-player multiplayer battles and fight to reach the top of the leaderboard in online game modes not yet seen in the series.
The team over at The Creative Assembly are keen to point out the variation of gameplay available in their latest offering. Naval battle presents the player the chance to set traps using islands and the improvements to land battles with new multi-staged castle sieges and weather and time of day now pose even greater challenges to a tacticians plans.
A series that has sold 7 million is nothing to shy away from, and the tweaks The Creative Assembly seem to be making are aimed at drawing newcomers to the hallowed ground of the RTS. A revisitation to Shogun was inevitable with the broad range of eras the UK developer has already covered, but 11 years is a long time, so let’s see what they have learnt.
As Mr Tzu said himself: “It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”