Saturday, October 20, 2012

Game Review: Total War: Shogun 2

Hello there dear readers! On last post i asked what do you want me to review. And majority chose Total War: Shogun 2! So let me make you happy and write everything i know about it!

**Note: Please know that this IS NOT about Fall of The Samurai DLC**

Total War: Shogun 2 is a Turn based strategy game based on 16th century in Japan. Time that most people call the "Edo Period". Period with mainly only wars, destruction, pain and sorrow. A time when almost every bigger clan was battling to gain their place on the "throne". Every clan wanted their Daimyo to become a Shogunate.

In Total War: Shogun 2 (I'll just say Shogun 2 from now on) your objective is to rise your fame by conquering other clans and province, make alliances with other clans and to get big and strong enough army to face the Shogunate himself. In case that you do not know, Shogunate was like a "king" in Japan. "The ruler of them all".
In Shogun 2 you can chose almost any of the strongest clans that existed in the Edo Period.  And if you ask me, Shogun 2 is a great way to learn what was happening in Japan in 16th century. Maybe you even start to like one clan so much that you'll know almost everything about them! For example, I'm a huge fan of Date clan because they were masters of the sword ( Katana ). My dear June is a big fan of Takeda clan because they were best cavalry in that time. She likes horses. She even has two horses at home!

Each clan in Shogun 2 has their own boost at the things that they were good at. As i stated before, Date has boost in sword fights and Takeda has strongest cavalry. Clan named Chosokabe has a boost in bow damage and so on and on. You chose your clan by how you want to play, and what kinds of tactics do you want to use in battles.
You start off on the part of land which was owned by your clan from the very beginning. Then you need to start making armies and start conquering.

Shogun 2 is not like any other turn based strategy games. In this game you do not have many buildings to build. There are, but you can't chose where you want to put them. And you can't really even see them in battle (unless you battle on the terrain where that building is). You can only build the amount of building as your owned area allows you to. For example if your "fortress" (sorry, i don't know how were those buildings called in that time) is on level 3, you can only build 2-4 more buildings on the area. As you upgrade the "fortress" to level 4, you get another more building spot for some other building such as stables, archery school or any other combat or non-combat oriented building.

In Shogun 2 your goal is to become a Shogunate. You have few years (i think that 25 is on easiest) to do so. 1 Year has 4 turns - Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. One great thing about Shogun is that if your army is on enemy territory during the winter (or enemy's army is on your territory) your army (or enemy's ) will get slightly smaller in numbers due to deaths because of colds or lack of food or something. Very realistic indeed!

Unlocking new, stronger units is easy in this game. Just build few new buildings and you get samurai units such as "Katana Samurai" or "Yarri Samurai". But even those stronger, Samurai units can fall easily if your opponent uses a good tactic against you. That's why Shogun 2's multiplayer is very hard and tricky.
You can't just plan your attack two days before you have a battle and then just do it. You need to plan it within the fight! Because there is always something that goes wrong.

There are also three different game types in Shogun 2. Naval battle, Land battle and Siege mode. I am terrible in Naval battle and thus, I really can't tell you anything about it. Land battle is a battle where your only objective is to eliminate your enemy, with any units that you have. You can put your Bow Samurai on the top of a hill and Katana Samurai at the bottom of it so nobody else could kill your Samurai and BAM! Your victory is almost granted. Unless your enemy has cavalry which means that your Katana Samruai  might die very fast. In Siege mode you can either be an attacker or defender. Defender needs to kill the attacker and hold the fort for as long as they can, while attacker's mission is to get into the fort any way they can (either with bombs that destroy gates, or climbing over the wall) and either kill all the defender or grab all the spots in the fortress. Sounds easy but it's actually very hard. People usually tend to use Ninjas a lot on this kind of missions since they think that Ninjas are better in stealth or better climbers then samurais. Sure, they are, but Samurais are bigger in number, and in my opinion Samurais are better fighters.   I only say that because I like Samurais more :P

In Avatar battles you make your own clan, which is awesome if you ask me. There are various ingame signs that you put on your flag, you put your own custom colors and chose which weapon will they be the best with. I didn't play too much of Avatar combat because people that usually play it are all higher rank than me and thus, they have much better and more trained units then me. That doesn't mean i can't win thought. In fact, i won quite a few games! And all were versus people on 8 + higher level! You can even do more then 1 versus 1. You can get into group battles. So call your friends, ready your horses, swords, bows or spears and go into battles together!

One commentator asked me to write some battle tactics. Honestly i'm not good at deciding tactics. I do tactic while i play. But in single player, i usually put all my army into the forest and i put my katana users in front of bow users. So in case that enemy gets closer, i pause the game, grab each unit ant point each onto their own enemy. I do the same with bow users. So the enemy can't come near my bows who actually kill everyone and everything. That's my normal, very easy to learn and master tactic.

- Wonderful fraphic.
- Massive battles with over 20 units per player.
- Various terrains to chose from.
- Make your own clan in multiplayer.
- Unit customization in multiplayer.
- Make your own story and become the next Shogunate!

- Requires a very strong computer.
- Has way too many DLC's which only means more cost.
- Loading on beginning of the game lasts very, very long.
- Character's mouth don't move when they talk (yea, very unneeded detail.... But it's a detail!)

Now when you rode this whole review, its up to you to decide if Total War: Shogun 2 is a game for you or not! To be honest, it's currently one of my favorite games. I was playing it a lot with June over summer (we sat together, one beside another. She would build armies, conquer lands, and I'd be her war general. I'd win all the battles) so it's kinda boring now when i play it alone.
But if we forget that, I love this game! It's absolutely great! If you're as big Samurai fan as I am, and a strategy fan, this game is a MUST GET!

Thank you for reading!


  1. Awesome game! I still remember how would we play together and discuss who to kill and who to join :3 Wouldnt believe that i would enjoy such game so much despite fact that i lack strategy and logic XD

  2. have you try the Darhtmod??? it supposed to make the game better , check it :D on Steam workshop its free and will dll if u subscribe to it + u can enable and disable it any giving time

    1. I didn't yet but i will for sure. i heard from many people that it's a great mod

  3. This one seems like a mighty nice game. I should try to get my hands on it ASAP

  4. This game is awesome, and I suggest people getting it if you can. Sadly I can't so I am excluded from the fun =[.

    Nice review Wolfie! I hope you post more of these.