Total War: Shogun 2 is a 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 was released on March 15, 2011. A demo had been released one week beforehand.
Shogun 2 is set in the Sengoku jidai, "the Warring States Period" (16th-century feudal Japan), in 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 features a total of eight playable factions plus a ninth faction for the tutorial, each with a unique starting position and different political and military strengths. There are also many non-playable factions in the game.
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 will have 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 campaign, 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.
Amako, Anegakoji, Asai, Ashikaga, Ashina, Bessho, Buddhist Rebels, Christian Rebels, Hatakeyama, Honma, Hosokawa, , Imagawa, Ito, Jinbo, Kikkawa, Kiso, Kitabatake, Kono, Kuroda, Matsuda, Miyoshi, Mogami, Murakami, Otomo, Ouchi, Portugal, Rebels, Sagara, Saito, Sakai, He, Satomi, Shone, Sogo, Takaoka, Toyotomi, Tsutsui, Ukita, Urakami, Utsonomiya, Wako, Yamana
The game includes 65 provinces, several trade provinces and 14 naval regions.
As a sequel to the Total War games, Shogun 2 has a number of new features:
- Sieges - A revamp to the siege system means that now the attacker, for every level of castle upgrade(Now up to level 5), must attack levels of a city.
- Seasons - Battles now have all 4 of the seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, each with their respective weather patterns.
- Heroes and Battlefield Duels - Hero units are now even better, rather than being mere icons and knight figures Heroes can now engage in 1 v 1 duels with other Daisho.
- Battlefield Monuments - Battlefield now have special, moments; shrines and temples now have an active effect on Morale and strength of some related Units.
- Unit Upgrades - With the number of available units consolidated Shogun 2 allows factions to upgrade and customize units the way they wish, customization will not only effect gameplay but also effect the aesthetic appearance of your units.
- Upgrade Trees - The old 'tech' system has been replaced with a new one. Your clan may learn the arts of Chi and Bushido, Enlightenment and Warrior Arts.
- Royal Family - Family and Monarchs make a return. In this game, clans can split apart and engage in civil war, dealings with your own family members is now just as important as your dealings with other clans.
- Drop In - Players have the option to play drop in campaigns. Players can 'drop in' and fight real time battles, in place of the AI, against you.
- Difficulty and AI - Shogun 2 has introduced a whole new difficulty level for the hardcore gamer. AI is all spears
- Graphics and Drivers - Shogun 2 has a independent and completely new coding system, this improves graphics and memory but also introduces a whole world of mod capabilities.
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.
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