Total War: SHOGUN 2
Total War: Shogun 2 is a strategy video game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega in 2011. It is part of the Total War series and returns to the 16th-century Japan setting of the first Total War game, Shogun: Total War, after a series of games set mainly in Europe and the Middle East.
Shogun 2 is set in 16th-century feudal Japan, in the aftermath of the Ōnin War during the Ashikaga shogunate. The country is fractured into rival clans led by local warlords, each fighting for control. The player takes on the management of one of these clans, with the goal of dominating other factions and establishing rule over Japan. The standard edition of the game features a total of eight factions (plus a ninth faction for the tutorial), each with a unique starting position and different political and military strengths. The limited edition includes an exclusive ninja clan, the Hattori, and a DLC unlocks a tenth clan, the Ikko-Ikki.
The game moves away from the European setting of previous Total War games and returns to the first setting in the Total War series, but making significant changes to core gameplay elements of Shogun 2. Compared to Empire which spanned almost the entire globe, the new installment focuses only on the islands of Japan (excluding Hokkaido) and on a reduced number of unit types. Shogun 2 received critical praise from reviewers, often for its simplification and refinement of the series by returning to its roots. A standalone expansion set, Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai, was released in 2012.
Shogun 2’s blend of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics gameplay is 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 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 needs to oversee the development of settlements, military production, economic growth, and technological advancement respectively. The armies and units are organised and moved around the stylised campaign map by the player to carry out battles with other factions. In addition to fighting, the player is able to engage in diplomacy, political manoeuvring and the use of special agents to gain the upper hand. Ninja and geisha are also present in the game as assassins and spies. While religion isn’t as relevant as it was in Medieval II: Total War, it can’t be neglected by the player. Greater interaction with the European foreigners (Nanban traders), for example, to enhance trade and acquire firearms, exposes the clan to Christianity, which will seriously increase religious unrest in the provinces. Religious agents, such as monks and priests can be used to convert the enemy population.
There are nine major clans that inhabit the provinces of Japan which the player chooses from. There are others, including the “Akamasu retainer clan”. All Clans have particular advantages in certain areas, to give a variety of play style with each.
The Chōsokabe clan inhabit Tosa Province and can recruit superior bowmen and generate more income from farming.
The Date clan control Iwate and can recruit superior no-dachi samurai, their units also get a bonus when charging.
The Hōjō clan are great castle builders and siege specialists. They inhabit Izu Province and Sagami Province.
The Mōri clan inhabit Aki Province and have a long history of naval mastery.
The Oda clan are efficient commanders of ashigaru and are settled in Owari Province.
The Shimazu clan inhabit Satsuma Province and can recruit superior katana-armed samurai, their generals are also more loyal to their clan.
The Takeda clan preside over Kai Province and recruit superior cavalry.
The Tokugawa clan inhabit Mikawa Province initially as a vassal of the Imagawa clan and rely on diplomatic relations and the recruitment of better warrior ninja and metsuke.
The Uesugi clan control Echigo Province and specialize in Buddhism, allowing them to recruit better monks and warrior monks as well as generating more income from trading.
There are also three factions available as downloadable content (the Hattori faction came complimentary with preorders of the game, however):
The Hattori are the leading family in Iga Province and recruit specialised ninja and warrior ninja with more expertise.
The Ikkō-ikki clan are a “family” of religious rebels that control Echizen Province and Kaga Province, and recruit rōnin and superior warrior monks.
The Ōtomo clan control Bungo Province and Buzen Province, they start under the Catholic faith and can recruit superior firearm units, as well as Portuguese Elite Infantry known as terços.