century Japan. The smoke of your burning village surrounds you.
Your father, the leader of the Crane clan, has been betrayed by
your supposed allies, the Takeda. As you see him die, you vow
vengeance on the Takeda and so begins Total War Battles :
Shogun, an RTS set in feudal Japan.
You would think that trying to capture the essence of an RTS
into the constraints of the iPad would be difficult but Creative
Assembly have done a brilliant job. The battlefield has been
shrunk to perhaps four or five screens long. This makes the
placement of your buildings extremely important - each has a
large footprint and have requirements to be near certain others.
locations is an artform in itself and epitomises how the game
has gone about shrinking the world onto the mobile platform -
strategy is unsurprisingly the key and even more important than
ever. Strategy in the placement of your buildings to maximise
resource collection and making the most out of your space.
Strategy in choosing your units wisely as you only have a
limited number available on the battlefield and limited
resources that accrue slowly. It just seems that by distilling
the game into its essential components, Creative Assembly has
amplified the strategic elements as well as the ramifications of
choosing the correct (or wrong and ultimately ineffective) one -
thinking through what you are about to do is imperative.
The gameplay is surprisingly varied too. In some levels, you
will need to slay the General on the far end of the screen,
while protecting your own. In others, you will need to raise a
certain amount of resources in a certain time while protecting
your buildings from an onslaught of enemies, delicately
balancing the required resource gathering with defending your
buildings by spending your resources on units. In some levels,
you will not even have any buildings and have only a handful of
units that you need to carefully manoeuvre to assassinate a
distant adversary - knowing the strength, weakness and range of
your units is the key.
this mix are Orders, that are focussed by your General. Orders
can be used on units to maximise certain attributes for a
limited time (by making them go faster, respond to commands
quicker or just go into a berserk rage) and can turn the tide of
battle if used correctly. Although completion of some levels
reward you with the advancement of the excellent back story,
others reward you with valuable experience points that can be
used at the shop to improve your buildings, units and orders.
(You can, as always, use your own money via IAP).
All levels are introduced by excellent voice acting. The
animations are detailed for their miniature size and the
controls intuitive, aided by a helpful tutorial to ease you in.
The back story is well written, with enough twists and advances
at a reasonable rate. Itís refreshing to be pleasantly
surprised when a genre that is difficult to migrate to the
tablet world is actually pulled off. This is a very enjoyable
game and although a little pricier than others, is worth a look.