Total War Shogun 2 is a RTS game based in feudal Japan in time of war. There are several different clans to chose from and each clan has their own special abilities and traits. You will take the role of a warlord for the region of your choosing and build it from the ground up. With power however comes deception as you will control your region as well as try to conquer all other regions while keeping the people of the village happy. The role of Warlord is not one to be taken lightly and you must use all your senses if you are to win a war.
When you first start the game you will be given the option of choosing from several different clans. You can can choose from The Chosokabe Clan which gives you increased income from farming, Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for all bow infantry and can recuit superior bow infantry. The Date Clan benefits from a Charge Bonus and Recruit superior Samurai soldiers. The Hattori Clan gives you 2% of successful ninja actions, Hattori units can hide effectively in battle and have Kisho training. The Hojo clan have finance on their hand as Castles are cheaper to build and repair and have reduced recruitment costs for siege units as well as recruit superior siege units. There are more clans with more traits and choosing the right one could mean total victory.
When you enter gameplay, you are shown a map of your governing region. The map resembles all of Japan but with big Soldiers standing guard. Each season you will collect money from farming or mining and you must use that money to recruit more soldiers, build mastery schools or rebuild already standing buildings with better security. You can also use it to pay local warlords for their allegiances.
Making an alliance is the most important thing you can do when beginning the game. With an alliance you can make trades from other regions as well as have your allies join you for a war against your enemies. You can also request that they stop trades with their neighboring regions which can help you make business deals with your allies increasing your cash flow. Warlords are all about making deals but if nothing works you also have the option of declaring war against them or pulling a weapon and threatening them. Making threats early in the game will only gain you enemies as you do not have enough pull to force anyone.
Your first battle is against a group of rebels within your region. You must use your army to either attack or intimidate them. If left alone it will get to a point where there are no other options but to attack. Attacking the rebels is the first battle I would recommend unless you have built up a tough army to stand against your enemies. The battle scene is set out from a birds eye view and you can control the formation of your soldiers. You must use the elements of the region to your advantage and defeat the opposing team. For example trees provide a great cover for incoming projectiles but will slow down and fatigue your soldiers. Staying in the open will make them go faster but leaves them open to attack. Each standing soldier on the world map represents a group and that group will have so many soldiers during battle. If enough soldiers are killed during battle that group will run away and if no other groups are available the battle is over.
In order to build a great army you must let the seasons pass and recruit as much as you can. Each soldier has their own class and could withstand so much damage before dying. Samurai are some of the toughest soldiers in the battlefield and having them could be of great help while foot soldiers are a pennies in a penny jar but will die much quicker against the enemy.
Multiplayer features a similar layout as single player battle. When signing into multiplayer you must create your own avatar and enter the multiplayer map within the region you selected. You can moveyour avatar to a certain region and battle to conquer it. Winning battles lets you unlock new units as well other items for your online avatar. At the beginning of the game you are given a budget and with that budget you must choose your soldiers. Soldiers unlocked later on will require a bigger budget which you are give the more matches you win. It is a nice feature and definitely adds more to the game that just going in a battle with just a random army.
The soundtrack features music that would otherwise play in an old Japanese movie and perfectly matches the theme. Voice over is also great with all characters having an English accent that the people from Japan would normally have when learning English as their second language. No detail is left behind as you can clearly hear the birds chirping to the sound of men dying when going into battle.
The developers of Total War also payed close attention to the detail going into the game. All armor is accurate and highly detailed and there hell could be breaking in the battle grounds but all of this depends on your computer setup. The game is set to run on the following set up:System Requirements
- OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Processor: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor , or AMD equivalent (with SSE2)
- Memory: 1GB RAM (XP), 2GB RAM (Vista / Windows7)
- Graphics: 256 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card (shader model 3)
- DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 20GB free hard disk space
- Screen Resolution: 1024x768
- OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Processor: 2nd Generation Intel⪚ Core™i5 processor (or greater), or AMD equivalent
- Memory: 2GB RAM (XP), 4GB RAM (Vista / Windows7)
- Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 series graphics cards or equivalent DirectX 11 compatible graphics card
- Hard Drive: 20GB free hard disk space
- Screen Resolution: 1280x1024
Total War is not a game you play in 10 minutes, heck I don't even think 10 minutes is enough to set up one battle and win. It's a deep game where you must spend time and dedication building up your army. With hard work comes rewards and Total War features 69 Achievements for you to unlock. Total War is also about strategy, planning and critical thinking. Going in and attacking the enemy is guaranteed suicide for your soldiers. It's like lining up 100 people in front of a machine gun. You can figure out the outcome of that event. Multiplayer adds even more to the game as it features a similar style to that of single player except here you can show off to the world how great your skills are.
Verdict: Must Buy
You can clock in 100 hours in Total War and probably not scratch the surface. Of course I am over exaggerating but the point is that there is so much to do in Total War Shogun 2. Trade, Make Alliances, Make Money, Break Alliances, Go To War and do it all over again with other nations. Total War Shogun 2 is a game that must be played if you're a fan of RTS games.
GamePlay: Very slow in the beginning but once it picks up you'd wish the game would slow down. 9/10
Graphics: The developers did a great job with this one with beautifully rendered environments, smooth animation and great attention to detail and special effects. 9/10
Sound: Great Soundtrack that matches the game's mood and feel and great voice over for all characters in game. 9.5/10
Story: Taking place in feudal Japan, you make your own story as well as battle in wars that took place hundreds of years ago. 10/10
LifeSpan: Make sure you're comfortable in your chair as you will be spending a good chunk of your life on this game. 10/10
Total Score: 95/100