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Total War: Shogun 2

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #33 in PC Games


Pros: Compared to other Total war games; a better AI, more attention to detail/historical accuracy, while still the sort of engaging Total War game we love.

Cons: Realm Divide is an annoying pain in the bum

Shogun II, I think, is the best of the Total War series so far. The new Total War: Rome II is at the moment a buggy mess, but I believe even when that is fixed it will not be able to compete with Shogun II. I've always liked the Total War games, but they're often set in such broad periods, with countries to conquer all over the map. That can be great, and many people like it about Total War games. But it can really bog down a play session, and sometimes it can get really silly. The more factions there are, the longer turns take, until you might as well go do something else with your time after you've hit end turn. And the broad timeframe can mean that you find yourself fighting dark age vikings with your army consisting of pike and shot.

Shogun II manages to avoid these pitfalls by being very narrow. The map consists of Japan, and nothing but Japan, and although there are several expansions set in different time frames, each of the campaigns stays within a reasonable narrow scope. This means the unit roster will not change much, and some may find fault with that. I like it, because it means you can really get a feel for your troops, and they never become useless. There are no large empires to carve out, and this may hold back those who are bent on world domination. But it does make for a much smoother experience gameplay wise, and it is also easier to keep track of things.

The AI usually is the main flaw in Total War games, and Shogun II is not a complete exception. I do feel though that the AI of Shogun II is the best we've seen yet, and all in all Shogun II provides a good challenge even to the veteran Total War player, especially if you choose some of the really difficult factions such as the Tokugawa. That old Togugawa Ieyasu certainly did not get things handed to him on a silver plate!

If there is one thing I would change about this game it is the sudden and anti-climactic Realm Divide. Suddenly age old alliances start to deteriorate, and everyone declares war on you. It feels really metagamey, and makes you wait for ages after you've hit the treshhold, and you know you can't conquer any more provinces or else you have to deal with that annoying Realm Divide. I find that the solution offered in Fall of the Samurai did it much better, as there you are divided between your collective enemies and your allies and friends.

But all in all I can definitely recommend Total War: Shogun II. If you would have to pick up just one Total War game, this would be it.
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Total War: Shogun 2

Shogun 2 is the ultimate refinement of the original formula with a new, cutting-edge AI, more polish and online functionality than ever before. The result is the perfect mix of real-time and turn-based strategy gaming that invites both veterans of Total War and new players to experience the enjoyment and depth of the series.

FeatureCONQUER sixteenth-century Japan. Lead massive samurai armies and fleets of warships into sweeping real-time battles. BUILD a kingdom in turn-based mode. Wield economic, political, and military power to amass wealth, armies, and influence. SCHEME & FIGHT with Sun Tzu's powerful Art of War techniques. Deploy ninjas as either spies or assassins to gather enemy information or perform assassinations before unleashing the army's wrath. BATTLE ONLINE in special campaigns. Lead online armies to glory against the community's best Total War generals. NEW TOTAL WAR FEATURES
GenreAction Games
PlatformWindows Vista Windows XP
TitleTotal War: Shogun 2
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElement010086852493
Package Height0.6 inches
Package Length7.5 inches
Package Weight0.25 pounds
Package Width5.3 inches
ProductGroupVideo Games
UPCList - UPCListElement010086852615 010086852493
Item Weight0.25 pounds
OperatingSystemWindows Vista
ESRBAgeRatingRating Pending
ManufacturerMinimumAge192 months
ManufacturerMaximumAge720 months
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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