Shogun Total War
Genre Strategy -> RTS
Today's Rank 913
Homepage
USA
Date 2000-06-15
Publisher Electronic Arts
UK
Date 2001-08-03
Publisher Electronic Arts
North America Retail 
Box ArtUnited Kingdom 
Retail Box ArtInspired by the war epics of director Akira Kurosawa, Shogun: Total War perfectly captures the chaos, conflict, and beauty of ancient warfare. Shogun thrusts you into the unstable politics of 16th-century feudal Japan. You command thousands of loyal samurai and other troops against six other factions in massive battles that will determine the fate of Japan itself. You can learn the basics of the art of war by playing the included tutorial missions, hone and test your skills by loading historical battles, or enter the campaign mode and go for the ultimate goal: becoming shogun. Campaign play is divided into two portions--the strategic overview map where you manage your armies and provinces, and the tactical combat mode where battles are fought. The strategy portion isn't too deep. There aren't many buildings or unit types to build, and the diplomatic options are limited. It merely serves to provide a frame for the battle sequences, and that's where Shogun really shines. Battles are fought on beautiful 3-D landscapes, with forests to hide in, fortifications to storm, and rolling hills to climb. Weather effects like rain and snow aren't just there for looks--they have a dramatic impact on gameplay. Wet conditions will render the match-lit guns useless and also decrease the range of archers because their bowstrings get wet. Troops get bogged down by wet gear, and high winds push arrows aside. Even the seasons affect battles, as longer or shorter days in the summer and winter determine how long you have to defeat your foe (or how long you must fend off an assault). But weather and time are the least of your worries. Effectively managing your troops is the key to victory and also the toughest aspect of the game. There are dozens of formations to choose from and hundreds of tactical tricks to exploit. Keeping your archers, cavalry units, and various types of foot samurai all pointing the right way and effectively supporting one another is half the battle. The game interface and keyboard shortcuts make things easier, but Shogun's manual is just terrible. A simulation this fast paced and complex deserves thorough and accurate documentation, but you'll have to buy the separate strategy guide to get any worthwhile information. Fortunately, those with a little patience and an interest in the game should be able to figure things out, and they'll be rewarded with one of the most realistic and fun real-time war games available. --T. Byrl Baker Pros: Realistic terrain and weather have an actual impact on gameplay Control thousands of troops at once using historical formations Strategy elements in the campaign mode complement the tactical battles and add to gameplay Includes footage from Kurosawa's classic Ran Cons: Worthless manual Weak tutorial missions
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