Total War: Shogun 2
Total War: Shogun 2 is an upcoming strategy computer game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It is the latest installment in the Total War series and returns to the 16th century Japan setting of Shogun: Total War. The game has been released on March 15, 2011.
Shogun 2 is set in 16th-century feudal Japan, the aftermath of the Onin War. The country is fractured into rival clans led by local warlords, each fighting for control. The player takes on the role of one of these warlords, with the goal of dominating other factions and claiming his rule over Japan. The game will feature a total of eight factions plus a ninth faction for the tutorial, each with a unique starting position and different political and military strengths.
Moving away from the European setting of other Total War games, the developers are making significant changes to core gameplay elements of Shogun 2. For example, to reflect the characteristics of East Asian warfare, the game's AI is designed on the principles of Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Also, compared to Empire which spanned the entire globe, the new installment is set to focus on the islands of Japan and on a reduced number of unit types.
Shogun 2 has a combination of real-time strategy and turn-based strategy gameplay, a staple of the Total War series. The player plays the role of both the clan leader and general, alternating between the "campaign", where the player manages his land and armies turn by turn, and the "battles", where the player takes control of the army on the battlefield in real-time.
In the "campaign", the player will need to oversee the development of settlements, military production, economic growth, and technological advancement. The armies and units will be organized and moved around the stylized campaign map by the player to carry out battles with other factions. In addition to fighting, the player will be able to engage in diplomacy, political maneuvering, and special agents to gain the upper hand. Ninjas and geishas are confirmed to be included in the game as spies and assassins.
In Shogun 2, leaders and generals will be given more personality and depth in gameplay. Generals and agents are to be portrayed as "larger-than-life" heroes with unique characteristics and powerful abilities. The player will be able to improve and unlock traits and special abilities for the characters as they gain experience. However, the player will also be inclined to engage in family politics within the clan, to keep its members loyal.
The "battles" of Shogun 2 will involve large-scale skirmishes between armies that meet on the campaign map, taking place on land or on water. The game engine can reportedly support up to 56,000 soldiers in a single battle. The developers are paying particular attention to re-designing the naval and siege battles appropriate to the new setting. In contrast to European castles and forts, the castles in feudal Japan had multiple tiers, and thus the siege battles in the game will put less focus on wall defenses but more on courtyard brawls and tactical maneuvering. Also, the players will fight naval battles with unique Japanese ships resembling "floating castles", and take into consideration melees on ships, arrow fire, coastal terrain, and many factors.
Shogun 2 will feature multiplayer battles as well as multiplayer campaigns that may involve more than 2 players. In a multiplayer camapaign, players can be grouped into different clans, so that for each clan, one player assumes the role of clan leader and others take command of armies. The clan leader will have the ability to direct other players and assign rewards based on loyalty and performance, introducing clan politics into multiplayer. As a player's army invades an enemy territory or is attacked by enemy armies, the online matchmaker finds a suitable opponent and initiates a multiplayer battle. When a player defeats enemy armies and conquers territories, the player will gain points and other bonuses for the clan. In addition, an achievement system is designed to provide adhering players with unique abilities and cosmetic upgrades.
Total War redefined:
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.
New character progression:
Choose from 9 different clans and compete on and offline for the undisputed supremacy of Medieval Japan. Gain experience to level up your own character-warlord as well as your generals and agents.
A complete single and multiplayer offering:
Play through the Main Campaign in single player or invite a friend online to play competitively or cooperatively in Campaign Multiplayer mode. Join 8-player multiplayer battles with your own upgradable avatar and climb the online Leaderboard to show the world who reigns supreme. Also including exciting new modes of team play for clans, a first in the Total War series.
New Generation AI system:
Developed according to Sun Tzu’s principles in the Art of War, the Artificial Intelligence constantly analyses its situation and reacts to your every move with greater precision and variety.
Improved land and naval battle gameplay:
Land battles never felt so realistic with new multi-staged castle sieges and terrain features changing according to the weather and time of the day - turning each engagement into a tactical challenge. Set buildings on fire to force garrisoned troops out and use your units’ special abilities to turn the tide of the battle. Naval combat also offers more variety with the addition of coastal battles. Islands can work as effective cover for your ships, while sand bars and reefs can be used as traps against an enemy fleet.
Accessible and in-depth empire-building gameplay:
A streamlined User Interface makes management of your kingdom much easier. Build and govern cities, recruit and train troops, conduct diplomacy and manage your agents – each feature is now introduced with comprehensive tutorials, gradually revealing the depth of the Shogun 2 campaign map – the heart and soul of the Total War experience.
Shogun 2 is scheduled to be released in three different editions: the "Standard Edition" with just the game, a "Limited Edition" that includes a unique playable faction (the Hattori Clan), an additional historical battle scenario 'Nagashino', a complete set of armor for the player's online avatar and a starting bank of experience points to spend on that online character. The "Grand Master's Edition" will include the Limited Edition content as well as a replica bamboo box containing a Shogun 2 art book, a Shogun 2 themed Chess set and a detailed figurine of Takeda Shingen.
Retail versions Shogun 2 is scheduled to be released in four different editions. The "Standard Edition" contains just the game, while the "Limited Edition" additionally includes a unique playable faction (the Hattori Clan), an additional historical battle scenario 'Nagashino', a complete set of armour for the player's online avatar and a starting bank of experience points to spend on that online character. The "Collector's Edition" will include the Limited Edition content as well as a replica bamboo box containing a Shogun 2 art book and a detailed figurine of Takeda Shingen. The "Grand Master's edition" consists of the Collector's edition, as well as a bamboo Shogun 2 themed chess set, currently exclusive to select stores in the UK and Australia. Players who pre-ordered at GameStop (online or in-store) will unlock and take part in The Historic Battle of Kawagoe. Set in 1545, the Battle of Kawagoe saw the Hõjõ clan launch a successful night time counter-attack against the besieging Uesugi, eschewing heavy armour and the collection of heads in favour of speed and stealth. Those who pre-ordered at Best Buy (online or in-store only) will unlock 1,000 Koku, the currency used in Total War: Shogun 2. Player’s campaigns will begin with 1,000 Koku, allowing them to purchase new buildings, train new units and upgrade their towns. As a special pre-order bonus, Steam announced the 'Shogun Pack' for Team Fortress 2. This was given to players who purchased Total War: Shogun 2 before its release date. The pack consists of eight feudal Japan-themed items, including a sashimono, katana, kunai, and gunbai. It should be noted that these items do not affect Shogun 2 in any way and can only be used in Team Fortress 2. Steam also released the Total War Collection on the 10th of March. This consisted of Empire: Total War, Medieval II: Total War, Rome: Total War, and Napoleon: Total War. It also included Shogun II Total War which could be preloaded on the 14th of March.
The Chosokabe Clan
The Chosokabe clan claim descent from the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Despite their long history, the Chosokabe clan has had mixed fortunes, and has been under the protection of the Ichijo, who helped them to recapture their castle at Oko. Chosokabe Kunichika, the daimyo, is certainly bold and brave enough to have imperial blood in his veins: he once jumped off an Ichijo castle wall for a dare! He has now broken with the Ichijo, rebuilt Chosokabe influence, and vowed revenge on his enemies. Kunichika can take advantage of the Chosokabe’s traditional strengths: they are phenomenal farmers, and gain extra income from their lands; they produce superb archers and cheap archer units too. With their strength concentrated in Tosa province, the Chosokabe are already at war with the Kono clan of Iyo to the northwest. Now they have to make an interesting strategic decision: deal with their immediate enemies in Iyo, crush the Ichijo clan at home in Tosa, or attack the Miyoshi clan of Awa province. This last might seem like madness, but Awa is blessed with plentiful warhorses, a valuable resource for anyone planning to expand their clan army. The other nearby resource that will be incredibly useful is the good building stone in Sanuki to the north east. Once these immediate opportunities and problems are resolved, then who is to say the next shogun will not be a Chosokabe lord?
Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Easy Increased income from farms Reduced recruitment cost and upkeep for all bow infantry Can recruit superior bow infantry
The Date Clan
Date warriors have fierce and unforgiving natures. Their foes learn this on the battlefield, shortly before they die. All Date units have a charge bonus, and their fearsome no-dachi samurai, with two-handed swords, are cheap to recruit and maintain. The Date can also recruit superior no-dachi units as well: attack is a Date watchword! Seen from their home province of Iwate, there are many rivals worth attacking. Date Harumune, their daimyo, is already at war with rebels at his own door, not to mention the Mogami clan of Ugo and Usen to the west. An attack there could put holy shrines under Date control. To the southwest, matters are a little more settled: the Hatakeyama clan in Miyagi is currently at peace with the Date, but who knows if such a situation will last? The forests of Miyagi represent a useful resource too. The clan was founded by Isa Tomomune when he was given control of the Date district by the shogun Minamoto Yoritomo at the end of the 12th Century. The clan steadily gained influence until recently, when fighting broke out within the clan over the issue of a marriage alliance with the Uesugi. Date Harumune quarrelled violently with his own father, Tanemune, over plans to marry off his younger brother: a large number of the Date retainers and warriors agreed with Harumune and the old man was removed. Now, Harumune needs a new challenge, perhaps the shogunate?
Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Normal Charge bonus to all units Reduced recruitment cost and upkeep for no-dachi samurai Can recruit superior no-dachi samurai
The Hattori Clan
Only included in the Limited & Collector Editions The Hattori are the leading family in Iga, a mountainous province, and the home of the independent Iga Sokoku Ikki, a kind of proto-republic which denied the power of the Kamakura shogunate’s feudal lords. The people of Iga developed a school of martial arts, the Iga-ryu ninjutsu, which combined martial arts, assassination techniques and unconventional warfare tactics. They used their ninjutsu to keep their independence, and then to make themselves wealthy as swords-for-hire. The tradition of independence, however, has remained strong in Iga and among the Hattori. Ninjutsu remains a dark art, passed down through families and jealously guarded from outsiders’ eyes. It is not surprising, then, that the Hattori can recruit ninja warriors more cheaply than any other clan, and their ninja also have more expertise, both on and off the battlefield. Under the leadership of Hattori Yasunaga, the clan remains dangerous. As he looks beyond the borders of Iga, who knows where ambition may take his clan: perhaps to the shogun’s palace? The Hattori are largely at peace with their neighbours, although such arrangements have a tendency to fall apart. To the north, the Asai in Omi represent a tempting target, as there is a school of ninja there. To the south, the Kitabatake and Tsutsui defend holy sites that might be better under Hattori stewardship, while the Ashikaga of Yamato represent all that is wrong with the old tired system of government, as they control what passes for a shogunate at the moment.
Clan Traits +2% to the success chance of ninja actions Specialist Hattori units can hide effectively in battle Specialist Hattori units possess kisho training
The Hojo Clan
The Hojo are greater builders than any other clan. Any castle costs are reduced for them, and damage is cheaper to repair. They can also produce cheaper, and better, siege weapons than any other clan. These skills allow the Hojo to pursue a strategy of occupying land, then daring an enemy to evict them. The Hojo began their rise to power modestly enough on the Kanto plain, taking advantage of civil war and the troubles of others to establish themselves. Ise Shinkuro, a powerful official in the shogunate, founded the clan, but it was his son who adopted the name Hojo, even though the family have no connection with the Hojo clan of elder days. The clan did not go unchallenged, and they fought both Uesugi factions: the Uesugi even stopped fighting each other to take on the Hojo! They have also had incidents with the Imagawa and Takeda clans, but for now there is an uneasy peace. Should the Hojo daimyo ever be in a position to become shogun, peace will vanish faster than the cherry blossoms. From their homelands in Izu and Sagami, the Hojo are surrounded by threats and great opportunities. They are, for the moment, at peace with Imagawa, and the Takeda in Kai to the northwest. The Takeda, in addition to being superb horsemen, also occupy a province with superior warhorses, and no warlord can afford to ignore such a potential prize. Suruga is also a prize worth contemplating. However, the Hojo also have an immediate problem: they are under threat from an Ogigayatsu clan army about to invade Sagami from Musashi.
Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Normal Castles are cheaper to build and repair Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for siege units Can recruit superior siege units
The Mori Clan
The Mori have a long history of seafaring and are sea masters without equal. They can read the waves and move their fleets further than other clans, and their shipbuilding skills make the construction and maintenance of ships cheaper too. They can also build some rather superior vessels as well. The Mori came to prominence as jito, or stewards, of the Aki province after the Jokyu War in 1221. Despite owing their position to the Kamakura shogunate, they distanced themselves from their sponsors, and were in league with Ashikaga Takauji when he overthrew the old order. They got caught up in the struggles between the Amako and Ouchi clans, and only survived by combining military might with astute diplomacy. Under Mori Motonari, their daimyo, the clan is still at war with the Amako and, indeed, their home in Aki is threatened by an invasion from the north by the Amako. They are still allied with the Ouchi clan of Suo and Nagati to the west, and have peaceful relations with the Kikkawa and Kono in Bingo and Iyo respectively. The war with the Amako is not without opportunity, though: the Amako’s home province of Iwami has deposits of precious metals. Access to other valuable resources would require the removal of the Kikkawa and Kono. But with the sea-going skills of the Mori and the wealth of Iwami, an ambitious daimyo could go far, perhaps as far as the shogun’s palace?
Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Normal Increased campaign map movement range for all ships Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for all ships Can recruit superior ships
The Oda Clan
From his castle in Owari, Oda Nobuhide commands a clan with a formidable reputation. The Oda are rightly respected for their skills as inspiring battlefield commanders of ashigaru. These common soldiers are cheaper to train and maintain than samurai, if not quite as deadly. Numbers, however, are becoming important in warfare, and ashigaru can be recruited in very large numbers. The Oda not only produce ashigaru efficiently and economically, they can also recruit superior ashigaru forces as well. Originally retainers of the Shiba clan, the Oda grew as the Shiba faded, but this only led to decades of strife within the family for supremacy. Eventually, the Kiyosu branch of the family came to prominence and eventually changed the clan name to Oda, a respectful acknowledgement of their ancestor, Taira no Chikazane, who had settled in Oda in Echizen. Now, the Oda confront outsiders: to the north, the Saito of Mino province; to the east, the Tokugawa clan in Mikawa and, beyond them, the Imagawa lurk. An attack to the east could destroy the clan’s enemies, and will also give the Oda access to valuable warhorses in Mikawa province. No warlord should ever ignore the chance to improve the quality of his cavalry, particularly at the expense of his enemies! Relations with the Tsutsui clan in Ise to the west have been peaceful recently, but Ise is a tempting prize because of its inspirational religious sites. And beyond the immediate lies the prize of the shogunate! Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Hard Improved morale for all ashigaru Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for all ashigaru Can recruit superior ashigaru
The Shimazu Clan
The Shimazu are a proud clan, with a long history worthy of their pride. To the Shimazu, loyalty is everything, and their generals are less likely to develop ambitions of their own. Shimazu katana samurai are cheaper to recruit and maintain in the field than those of other clans; they can also recruit superior katana-armed samurai. The clan can trace its ancestry back to Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate. In 1187, Yoritomo appointed his son, Tadahisa, as military governor of southern Kyushu. The young man took the name of Shimazu in Hyuga province, his seat of government, as his own. Thanks to a well-organised army and administration, abundant local resources, and a certain distance between Kyushu and the Kamakura court, the Shimazu clan became rich and powerful. They did not, however, become hidebound: when their vassals in Tanegashima met a strange, shipwrecked people from the other side of the world, the Shimazu were quick to see that trade with these “nanban” Europeans might be worthwhile. Now, under the daimyo Shimazu Takahisa, the clan has a chance for true greatness. Their home province of Satsuma is secure, and they are at peace with the Sagara of Higo province to the north. Higo, however, is a tempting target for expansion because of the warhorses to be found there. There is the small matter of a war with the Ito clan in the provinces of Osumi and Hyuga, but once these local difficulties are resolved the distance from Kyushu to the shogun’s palace is not so great after all!
Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Easy Increased loyalty for all generals Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for katana samurai Can recruit superior katana heroes Can recruit superior katana samurai
The Takeda Clan
Takeda warlords have ruled Kai, their home province, since the 12th Century, but they have known little peace. Clan infighting, a long series of struggles against repeated invasions from the neighbouring Shinano province, and wars against the Hojo and Imagawa clans, saw to that. They have, however, mastered diplomacy as well as horses, and have achieved peace on occasions. Now, under their daimyo, Takeda Shingen, the clan have opportunities and threats on all sides. A Murakami army is about to invade Kai from northern Shinano; the Kiso clan from beyond the mountains in Shinano, is at peace with the Takeda. Shinano itself, if its current owners are destroyed, has valuable stone resources for the taking. To the east, in Musashi, the Ogigayatsu clan are also peaceful, as are the Hojo of Sagami and Izu provinces. Sagami must be considered a tempting target for an ambitious warlord, thanks to the skilled smiths who live there. To the south the Imagawa clan have recently been reliable allies. The Takeda clan, then, have enemies, worthwhile prizes to aim for, and worthy allies. Not all clans are so blessed! As might be expected of horse-masters, the Takeda clan can recruit and train cavalry much more efficiently than other clans. They can also produce a superior class of horsemen to anyone else. And it may be those horsemen who carry the Takeda daimyo to the shogunate! Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Hard Improved morale for cavalry Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for all cavalry Can recruit superior cavalry
The Tokugawa Clan
Although the Tokugawa are an ancient family, claiming descent from Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate, they have known hard times since those glorious days. They have also changed their clan name, with the permission of the Emperor Matsudaira, to Tokugawa, the place where Yorimoto’s descendent settled. The Tokugawa have been squeezed between two powerful and ambitious clans: the Imagawa to the east, and the Oda in the west, a most uncomfortable position. By accepting the protection of the Imagawa, the Tokugawa only guaranteed that they were frequently attacked by the Oda. This goes some way to explaining their superior diplomatic skills, their training and use of very good kisho ninja, and the superior metsuke who keep order in their lands. Now, they are at war with the Oda once again. An Oda army has actually invaded the Tokugawa province of Mikawa. In theory, the Tokugawa are vassals of the Imagawa clan to the east in the provinces of Suruga and Totomi. They do not, however, need to worry about the Kiso in Shinano province, as relations with these neighbours are peaceful. That said Shinano has useful stone resources that could prove useful to an ambitious warlord. Historically, after much struggle, Tokugawa Ieyasu did become the seii taishogun, the “great general who subdues the barbarians” and the ruler of Japan with the emperor as a figurehead. The Tokugawa clan kept control of Japan for over 200 years, shutting the country off from pernicious outside influences. History need not turn out that way: another Tokugawa could quite easily become shogun.
Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Hard +2% to the success chance of metsuke actions Bonus to diplomatic relations Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for kisho ninja Can recruit superior kisho ninja
The Uesugi Clan
The Uesugi are proud of their Buddhist faith. They can recruit and maintain warrior monks far more cheaply than any other clan. They can also recruit much better fighting monks and more effective monk agents than any other clan. Despite this religious solidarity, the history of the Uesugi is not tranquil. The current Uesugi leaders were originally the Nagao clan of Echigo, and were vassals to the Yamanouchi faction of the Uesugi clan. The Nagao fought alongside their masters against the Ogigayatsu, another part of the Uesugi clan, in a bitter dispute. The Yamanouchi, weakened by a war with the Hojo, were forced to seek help from the Nagao lord, Kagetora. His “help” included adopting the name of Uesugi, and taking control of the whole Uesugi clan! Just to make matters even more complicated, Uesugi Kagetora (as he now called himself) changed his name again to Uesugi Kenshin. He was an adherent of Bishamonten, the war god and took Buddhist vows. He then stepped down in favour of his brother, who proved to be staggeringly divisive and unpopular. Kenshin returned to power and now contemplates the futre. There is much struggle yet to come if the clan is to be secure and an Uesugi is ever to be shogun! There are Uesugi rebels in Echigo itself, and to the south there is unfinished business in the shape of the Yamanouchi clan of Kozuke province. Luckily, there are peaceful relations with the Ashina clan of Fukushima, and the Mogami clan of Uzen province, but both of these areas have resources, wood and stone respectively, which could be of considerable use. In keeping with the religious bent of the Uesugi, Kozuke province has a tradition of philosophical scholarship that could be harnessed to the Kenshin’s purposes. A navy might also prove useful, as Sado, off the coast of Echigo, has plentiful gold deposits.
Clan Traits Initial difficulty: Hard 2% to the success chance of monk actions Increased trade income Reduced recruitment costs and upkeep for warrior monks Can recruit superior warrior monks
A demo became available on Steam on 22 February. The demo covers the campaign tutorial, the historical Battle of Sekigahara and the full game encyclopedia. 
The game has received universal acclaim, and it has been given a score of 90% from review aggregator Metacritic.Shogun 2 has aslo been recieved as a fantastic game with bold depth and the best stragety game there is.IGN calling it a Artistic, formidable, and action packed, this remarkable strategy game is the best Total War yet.BitGamer calling it Shogun 2 is wonderfully subtle and intricate but also fairly dumb in places.Gamespy giving: Surprisingly accessible; well-researched setting; excellent strategic and tactical depth; innovative multiplayer.But criticized it for 'Some of those innovative multiplayer additions aren't all they're cracked up to be; wonky morale/fatigue model.
Guardian.co.uk said ''Graphically, Shogun 2 is on another level in terms of detail and scale, from the glinting samurai armour on the cavalry to the blossoms that fall from the trees in spring. If you think that sounds rather intimidating, you're not alone – the strategy genre is not known for accessibility. But Shogun 2 does more than ever to make itself welcoming to new players. Battles are won with strategy, not speed. Control is simple and there aren't hundreds of different unit types, so you don't have to be furiously micromanaging all over the map.Telegraph.co.uk praised the game for Shogun 2 is a fascinating game. Through the seemingly endless collisions and alliances between the game’s factions, you constantly find yourself placed into unplanned yet unique situations, and forced to make unpleasant choices. You’ll marry a clan leader’s daughter just so he’ll grant you military access to his territory. You’ll keep troops garrisoned in a town not for its protection, but just so the locals will keep quiet about the extortionate taxes. And you’ll realise that being surrounded by allies can actually be a lot more awkward than being surrounded by enemies, especially when a run of bad luck is all it takes to make allies turn on one another.Stragtey Informer said Shogun 2 is also the first game to have serious work done on the multiplayer as well, making it truly a game of two halves. Whilst the standard deathmatch set-up is still there - you pick a map, you pick an army, and then you duke it out - there's also a fully integrated multiplayer campaign mode, along with a brand new 'Avatar Conquest' mode which is sort of a half way house between skirmish matches and the MP campaign. In this mode, you can kit out your own Daimyo avatar with armour sets, weapons, decorative tid bits, and also retainers and bonuses. You then start off with a basic army selection, and a map of Japan that looks like the one from the original game, and you set out to 'conquer' it for your clan. Clan leaders can assign special objectives and rewards for the capture of certain provinces, and the provinces themselves carry bonuses that can help you field more advanced units. The actual fighting is the standard skirmish type map, so there's so overlap, but you can also fight and win a drop-in battle as well which will count towards your online campaign score.
Metro.co.uk review praised the subject of the gameThe Japanese sense of feudal honour also turns out to be a perfect concept for video games, ensuring that breaking a pact is never a trivial decision - either in your opponents' eyes or your own populace's.
Shogun 2 has brought some sweeping changes to the Total War series of games. Many of these improvements have been well received by the gaming press, which have hailed the game to be the series' best. Notable reviews include PC Gamer's 9.2, which called the game an "admirable re-setting of Total War's sights" with its "tighter, more focused experience than the continental sprawl of Empire and Napoleon" and Strategy Informer's equally high 9.2 review, which says the game is "well worth your money, even on launch day."