Total War Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Total War Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai
Reviewed by
James Wright
on
Total War Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai PC Preview. At the end of the day, Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai is a fun game if you like this genre of PC gaming that contains a very sturdy interface with some lush graphics and political intrigue thrown into the mix.
Rating:
4.35

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.5
Sound 8.0
Value 8.5
Review Date: March 2012
Developer:
SEGA
Rating:
M15+
Reviewer:
James Wright

8.5


Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai
Standalone Expansion Pack

The latest Total War game, Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai reminds me of the excellent Tom Cruise film, The Last Samurai which basically revolved around the end of the Samurai dynasty. With a combination of the feudal system meets the industrial revolution, Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai merges these two concepts together well and definitely takes the Total War franchise to a whole new level of strategy thanks to developers Creative Assembly. Even though the game has been dubbed as the Fall of the Samurai, the player still has the advantage of either making the most of this modern technology or to uphold the traditional values of the Samurai in this strategy game.

Given this, the game is set in 1863 as you control one of six playable clans (each with different objectives to achieve) in an effort to save Japan during the Boshin War as America, Britain and France attempt to exploit this new land. However not all the clans support the move of an industrial Japan and to an extent, this is up to the player to decide the future but merging swords with Gatling guns is very interesting proposal.

The clans included in the game are the Shogunate clans of Aizu, Nagaoka and Jozai plus the Imperial clans of Choshu, Satsuma and Tosa. Fall of the Samurai also contains a wealth of new units as the fighting takes place on both land and sea. Fighting on the sea is definitely a highlight of Fall of the Samurai as it creates this great realistic experience as you engage the enemies in classic naval battles.

I loved the inclusion of new naval vessels such as the artillery-bearing steamers and ironclad battleships that cause some major damage. Although I loved Shogun 2, seeing the archers who rained arrows of fire on their enemies are missed in this current game but the riflemen are definitely a great replacement in terms of power. However naval units truly decimate land units if they get too close to the ocean.

The AI in the game, depending on what level you are playing can be easy to challenging but it's definitely harder when you’re playing against a real-person who knows what they are doing. The multiplayer experience, although not as fleshed out as the campaign mode does add some lengthy replay value. That is, the cinemas in the single-player mode definitely add something entertaining to this game.

Apart from the traditional aerial views of the battlefields, Fall of the Samurai offers a first-person view that allows you to visit the battlefield and although it is entertaining, it really doesn't add to the overall strategy experience of the title. In this mode, players can even control the Gatling gun or the weapons on a navel vessel and just like the movie, The Last Samurai, playing in this perspective at times can be quite brutal and graphic. Speaking of graphics, Fall of the Samurai is a good looking game on the PC, especially with the detail amped up and on a FULL HD screen. The attention to detail is amazing from the background environments to the realistic animations and even the textures on all the different uniforms plus the cool explosions.

The game is not all about fighting as players have access to a tech tree that allows them to branch into various research areas to better their armies. Through your new inventions, this can sometimes mean the difference between victory and loss. The good thing about these tech trees is that it offers the gamer many different interpretations of how you end the game. I also love the use of agents in the game such as ninjas or geishas who help change the tides of war. These characters are almost RPG-like in their different skills and abilities that can be exploited by the player. The three new agents include the foreign veteran, the Ishin Shishi and the Shinsengumi which help sabotage the enemy in some devious ways. However destroying their supply routes like the railways also helps. Some micromanagement is needed to keep an eye on your provinces so you're always moving your army around.

Final Thoughts?

At the end of the day, Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai is a fun game if you like this genre of PC gaming that contains a very sturdy interface with some lush graphics and political intrigue thrown into the mix. It does feel a little dated at times but then the game will do something unique like allow you to customise your agents or the improved gaming mechanics of naval battles. Navigating the game is not the easiest thing, especially for new comers but fortunately the game holds your hand until you find your feet. All in all, it's a fun experience that will definitely make you come back for more!






 
 



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