Total War: Shogun 2 Review

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Steve Butts:
The two I have lobbied most for are Battles of the Bible and the American Civil War. Creative likes both ideas but remains unconvinced of their marketability. I get that with biblical period, but I just can't see why Sega doesn't think a Total War set during the American Civil War would actually sell.

According to Creative, there are three main criteria a Total War setting must meet. First, it has to involve conflict between numerous combatants who are all fairly evenly matched. Second, it must include some significant technological advances that change how the war is fought. Finally, the content has to be cool.

The American Civil War obviously doesn't meet the first requirement, and the biblical wars probably don't meet the third, although that's largely a matter of interpretation. Personally I think Hittites and Canaanites and Assyrians are cool.

Awesome ideas, although there is already a couple of American Civil War mods for Empire, so that seems to have been done (I really love the modding communities surrounding TW games, they make such great content!). As for the biblical battles, sound pretty cool! Religious rhetoric always has such a punch when combined with military might :P

You're in contact with CA? Awesome, I hear they have the lowest turnover of staff in the biz. Like, only 70 guys in their Sussex branch, probably the same 70 who made the original Shogun! During my Games Programming course at uni, I always wanted to work for them afterwards. Shame I turned out to be a rubbish programmer, but I still love history.

Emergent System:
It would be interesting to see games dealing with conflicts I don't know anything about (I know pretty much nothing about the military conflicts of mainland asia, for example), but how are you gonna sell a game with the title 'Total War: Conflcits Almost Nobody (in the west) Have Ever Heard Of'?

Rome, the middle ages, even the shogun games, they all have a nice huge reservoir of pop culture to draw people's interest from. Everyone learned about european history in school, and the presence of eastern culture is inescapable even in the west. Anyone who is even remotely in the target audience for a game like this knows what a ninja and a samurai is, and ancient japanese culture is very well stereotyped in most people's minds, through TV and movies.

What other historically volatile periods do people know enough about to care? Honestly, it would be pretty hard to get me to care about civil wars in ancient china, or fights between unknown tribes and kingdoms in the deserts of the middle east. The mongols seem pretty cool, but as far as I know they sorta just steamrolled every semblance of opposition they encountered.

They did a Mongol expansion for the original Shogun, but it didn't encompass all their many many many campaigns, just the failed invasions of Japan in the 11th century. Which is what you'd expect for a Shogun expansion, but still...

I tend to think that most TW players are real history buffs, so CA's core audience would know a fair bit about other conflicts. People not knowing about a war shouldn't stop them playing a game about it! Besides, I though CA prided themselves on the amount of history knowledge they put in their games. I've learnt so much from those pop-ups when building units and buildings on the campaign maps in their games :P

I wish people wouldn't hide behind the shield of "Don't know, don't want to know" about other theatres of war. Sure, it'll be difficult to market, but this industry used to push boundaries dammit! Oh well, there's nothing one man can do about it. That's what TW games taught me, a group of people working together with a single purpose is more terrifying than a nuclear bomb!

Steve Butts:
The two I have lobbied most for are Battles of the Bible and the American Civil War. Creative likes both ideas but remains unconvinced of their marketability. I get that with biblical period, but I just can't see why Sega doesn't think a Total War set during the American Civil War would actually sell.

If I was the Creative Assembly I wouldn't touch the American Civil War, either. They'd have a choice between pandering to the popular mythos surrounding why the war was fought, laying the historical smackdown, or some half-hearted compromise that'd piss everyone off. That's a no win situation in the US market.

It's also questionable how much interest such a game would garner outside the US market. Call me Nelly Negative but I get the feeling that an American Civil War game for the Total War franchise would sell mostly on the franchise name rather than the subject matter outside of the US, at least as a full game.

As an expansion pack such as M2:TW - Kingdoms and the like and what Napoleon should have been for E:TW, it would probably work much better... it would have worked best as an expansion for either Empire or Napoleon, IMO.

Hope Yahtzee does a review of it, seeing he is a big PC fan don't know whether he'll like it or not but it'll be funny as always.

Got the game,its fantastic :)

UtopiaV1:

Steve Butts:
The two I have lobbied most for are Battles of the Bible and the American Civil War. Creative likes both ideas but remains unconvinced of their marketability. I get that with biblical period, but I just can't see why Sega doesn't think a Total War set during the American Civil War would actually sell.

According to Creative, there are three main criteria a Total War setting must meet. First, it has to involve conflict between numerous combatants who are all fairly evenly matched. Second, it must include some significant technological advances that change how the war is fought. Finally, the content has to be cool.

The American Civil War obviously doesn't meet the first requirement, and the biblical wars probably don't meet the third, although that's largely a matter of interpretation. Personally I think Hittites and Canaanites and Assyrians are cool.

Awesome ideas, although there is already a couple of American Civil War mods for Empire, so that seems to have been done (I really love the modding communities surrounding TW games, they make such great content!). As for the biblical battles, sound pretty cool! Religious rhetoric always has such a punch when combined with military might :P

You're in contact with CA? Awesome, I hear they have the lowest turnover of staff in the biz. Like, only 70 guys in their Sussex branch, probably the same 70 who made the original Shogun! During my Games Programming course at uni, I always wanted to work for them afterwards. Shame I turned out to be a rubbish programmer, but I still love history.

Emergent System:
It would be interesting to see games dealing with conflicts I don't know anything about (I know pretty much nothing about the military conflicts of mainland asia, for example), but how are you gonna sell a game with the title 'Total War: Conflcits Almost Nobody (in the west) Have Ever Heard Of'?

Rome, the middle ages, even the shogun games, they all have a nice huge reservoir of pop culture to draw people's interest from. Everyone learned about european history in school, and the presence of eastern culture is inescapable even in the west. Anyone who is even remotely in the target audience for a game like this knows what a ninja and a samurai is, and ancient japanese culture is very well stereotyped in most people's minds, through TV and movies.

What other historically volatile periods do people know enough about to care? Honestly, it would be pretty hard to get me to care about civil wars in ancient china, or fights between unknown tribes and kingdoms in the deserts of the middle east. The mongols seem pretty cool, but as far as I know they sorta just steamrolled every semblance of opposition they encountered.

They did a Mongol expansion for the original Shogun, but it didn't encompass all their many many many campaigns, just the failed invasions of Japan in the 11th century. Which is what you'd expect for a Shogun expansion, but still...

I tend to think that most TW players are real history buffs, so CA's core audience would know a fair bit about other conflicts. People not knowing about a war shouldn't stop them playing a game about it! Besides, I though CA prided themselves on the amount of history knowledge they put in their games. I've learnt so much from those pop-ups when building units and buildings on the campaign maps in their games :P

I wish people wouldn't hide behind the shield of "Don't know, don't want to know" about other theatres of war. Sure, it'll be difficult to market, but this industry used to push boundaries dammit! Oh well, there's nothing one man can do about it. That's what TW games taught me, a group of people working together with a single purpose is more terrifying than a nuclear bomb!

Thinking through the CA requirements, the only periods that spring to my mind (and haven't been done yet) are either more modern (The Great War, and WWII) or more ancient (the wars between Greek city states).

The Greek wars could be represented with the existing engine - even the Athenian navy - however it could quickly become regarded as 'Rome Lite' and may not feature enough game-changing technological innovation.

The Great War features game-changing technological advances throughout, numerous combatants of roughly equal power. However some form of battlefield deformation may be required - something the current engine would probably struggle with - and the 'cool' factor may not be there.

Uh oh! Sounds like some things got streamlined...which means the fanboys get to pull out their favorite buzzphrase: "Dumbed down."

Undeadpool:
Uh oh! Sounds like some things got streamlined...which means the fanboys get to pull out their favorite buzzphrase: "Dumbed down."

Dumbed down? Hah, hardly. The AI is still quite difficult even on normal, and while there's less units overall each of the clans feels distinct from one another. Not to mention, that the additions to the levelling systems for generals and specialist units means the the game offers an even wider variety of choices on the main map. Do you want your ninja to specialise in assassinations or sabotage or scouting? Prefer your monks up front and helping out the army or have them travel around the provinces sowing discord?

Not to mention, that once you've taken about 20 or so provinces in a long game you risk a realm divide, this basically means almost -every- single faction on the map (including the Shogunate if you haven't already taken them out) will rise up against you, making the game un-winnable unless you've built up the right combination of forces and infrastructure. This is a game where pure force does not work, as in order to win a campaign you need not only to capture a certain number of provinces + Kyoto and a selection of specific provinces depending on your clan but you must hold those too, and this can be difficult what with rebels if you don't appease the serfs and all the other clans knocking on your doorstep.

GothmogII:

Undeadpool:
Uh oh! Sounds like some things got streamlined...which means the fanboys get to pull out their favorite buzzphrase: "Dumbed down."

Dumbed down? Hah, hardly. The AI is still quite difficult even on normal, and while there's less units overall each of the clans feels distinct from one another. Not to mention, that the additions to the levelling systems for generals and specialist units means the the game offers an even wider variety of choices on the main map. Do you want your ninja to specialise in assassinations or sabotage or scouting? Prefer your monks up front and helping out the army or have them travel around the provinces sowing discord?

Not to mention, that once you've taken about 20 or so provinces in a long game you risk a realm divide, this basically means almost -every- single faction on the map (including the Shogunate if you haven't already taken them out) will rise up against you, making the game un-winnable unless you've built up the right combination of forces and infrastructure. This is a game where pure force does not work, as in order to win a campaign you need not only to capture a certain number of provinces + Kyoto and a selection of specific provinces depending on your clan but you must hold those too, and this can be difficult what with rebels if you don't appease the serfs and all the other clans knocking on your doorstep.

Yyyyyyyyeah, I wasn't personally saying it was dumbed down, I'm saying that lately every time something gets streamlined, the majority hold up their hands triumphantly and say "THANK YOU!" while a small, pissed off group wring theirs and screech about how they're "only trying to appeal to the mainstream by dumbing everything down!"
What they, of course, fail to realize is that the main reason the games they reference (on older systems) were so difficult wasn't the result of devs having more "respect" for our ability to play games, but rather only having space to make a game that's about two hours long from start to stop. To alleviate this, they made them RIDICULOUSLY hard.

Looking forward to getting this Title through Steam on pay-day. I've enjoyed the Total War series immensely and I'll take it buggy or not!

I'd just like to point out one little thing in the video, it may be the graphics card or another issue, but WHY IS THE HORSE BLUE AT 0:25?

Just got this game now, was just waiting for the rigth time that was today steam deal weekends :), got to love those.
Only played the Original 10 ago and love it, and skipped all the others, lets see what did they learn in 10 years.

And sorry for bumping this treat in a few months.

haha, steve butts. ive been on this site for 2 years and it still gets me everytime. ahhh im so immature. but ya i love this game.

Dalton Hayes:
haha, steve butts. ive been on this site for 2 years and it still gets me everytime. ahhh im so immature. but ya i love this game.

I imagine Mr. Butts (hehe) went through alot of bullying during school..

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