Total War: Shogun 2
Total War: Shogun 2 is the seventh Total War title that was released by Sega and the Creative Assembly exclusively for PC via Steam on March 15, 2011. As in the original Shogun: Total War, the game takes place in feudal Japan during the Sengoku Jidai, or Warring States era, when various clans competed for control of Japan. The pre-battle speeches have returned, as have naval battles, ninja and geisha units, and the game features a smaller amount of units than recent total war games (About 30-40). On Thursday, June 3, 2010, Shogun 2: Total War was announced, and the following day, Totalwar.com was redone and a new page for Total War: Shogun 2 was added.
It is the middle of the 16th century in Medieval Japan. The country, once ruled by a unified government, is now split into many warring clans. The player takes on the role of one Daimyo – the clan leader – and will use military engagements, economics and diplomacy to achieve the ultimate goal: re-unite Japan under his supreme command and become the new Shogun – the undisputed ruler of Japan.
Choose from 9 different clans and compete on and offline for the undisputed supremacy of Medieval Japan. Gain experience to level up your own character-warlord as well as your generals and agents.
Play through the Main Campaign in single player or invite a friend online to play competitively or cooperatively in Campaign Multiplayer mode. Join 8-player multiplayer battles with your own upgradable avatar and climb the online Leaderboard to show the world who reigns supreme. Also including exciting new modes of team play for clans, a first in the Total War series.
A streamlined User Interface makes management of your kingdom much easier. Build and govern cities, recruit and train troops, conduct diplomacy and manage your agents – each feature is now introduced with comprehensive tutorials, gradually revealing the depth of the Shogun 2 campaign map – the heart and soul of the Total War experience.
 Battle Mechanics and AI
Just like in Empire: Total War and its follow-up Napoleon: Total War, Total War: Shogun 2 features full-scale naval engagements. This time around, however, the battlemaps include land islands for player orientation. The Naval units included are a mix of Bunes, Kobaya, and special Red Seal and Nanban trade ships.
Also, the siege mechanics of Shogun 2: Total War have been improved greatly. Instead of simply surrounding the enemy and waiting for a hole to appear in the defences, attackers must fight through new, multi-level forts and castles. The Creative Assembly has announced that there will be castles with 5 levels of construction, just like in Medieval 2: Total War.
The Creative Assembly also redid Total War: Shogun 2's artificial intelligence. The game's AI, like the original total Shogun: Total War, is supposedly programmed according to Sun Tzu's The Art of War. This is fitting, because the game mechanics demand an AI capable of both ranged and melee warfare.
Shogun 2 has marked the return of Pre-battle speeches. There are over 100,000 possible speeches based on the character, their location, and their relationship to the enemy, etc.
 The Hero System
A new Hero System has been announced, whereupon each faction can have a Hero that is able sway the tide of battle, and are supposedly almost unstoppable. IGN reports that 'hero units are a nearly unstoppable force on the battlefield, capable of holding bridge crossings against entire armies, or smashing through a battle line to engage the enemy general'. Some may think that this seems overpowered; however The Creative Assembly has reported that they are simply 'Highly ranked elite units' and 'available at the top of the tech tree'. Creative Assembly employees have also posted in the official total war forums that they will not be able to take on an entire army. This new system is receiving mixed reactions and mixed reports from IGN and The Creative Assembly.
Multiplayer in Shogun 2: Total War has been implemented through Valve's Steam service. There are 2 main multiplayer modes, the Co-op Campaign and the Avatar Conquest.
The Co-op campaign allows 2 players to team up and take on rival factions in the game. The co-op campaign works in much the same way the single player campaign does, only you have a friend playing along with you controlling his own Clan while you control yours. You can fight battles on the 3D Map together and handle the Strategy map together as well.
Avatar Conquest is a brand new addition to the Total War franchise. It allows you, the player, to create your own Avatar by customizing its uniform, color scheme, clan banner and much more. You're then dropped onto a Map of Japan, where you can move your avatar around the map into different territories and engage in live land and sea battles via matchmaking. Before engaging in battle, it is wise to create and customize your army and navy via the army management button. You'll have a choice between small, medium, large and huge funds battles. Small battles are recommended for those with slower computers, while the large and huge battles are better suited for those with more powerful computers.
Once your Avatar has been customized to your liking, and you've put together an army and navy, you can then drop into the 3D Battle map and battle it out with an opponent. Depending on whether you won or lost, you'll recieve skill points, which you can use to upgrade both your Avatar and Units stats. Some units will gain veterancy if you use them enough in battle.
A major part of Avatar Conquest is also the Clan sytem. The Clan system features various user created Steam Groups battling it out to control parts of Japan. The clan with the most victories in a particular territory, will control it. There are many territories for clans to battle it out over and various tier's for clans of varying sizes to fight in.
The singleplayer campaign mode in Shogun 2 features 9 playable Japanese clans, each headed by an RPG-like character-warlord. There is a short and long version of the campaign. So players can pick which ever they prefer. A brand new feature called "Drop-In" has also been added to the Total War franchise, which allows real people to drop into your single player battles and control the enemy AI, should you allow it. If you prefer not to allow this, you can disable it at the Clan selection screen before your campaign begins.
A skill based tech tree is also a major focal point in the campaign. This tree is split up into 2 sections, a Military based section and an Economy based section. As you advance down the tech tree on either side, you unlock buildings, which if built, will unlock new recruitable units or boost your Clan's financial status. However the catch is that you can only learn one skill at a time, and must choose between advancing down the Economic side of the tree quickly, or the Military side of the tree quickly. You can also chose to learn each side of the tech tree at equal speed. It is wise to learn an even amount of both sides of the tech tree, as your Clan will not survive without a well trained military, nor will it survive if you go broke half way through the campaign.
The diplomacy screen has also recieved an overhaul, as you can now watch your clan engage in diplomatic talks with other clans in real time and see there reaction to your offers or demands.
Jeff Van Dyke has returned to compose the music for Total War: Shogun 2. He was the original composer of the music for Rome: Total War, Medieval 2: Total War, Medieval: Total War, and Shogun: Total War. Many veteran total war fans have embraced this news as the best hope for Shogun 2: Total War, as Jeff Van Dyke has received many awards for his music scores, including BAFTA awards for the music of Rome: Total War and the original Shogun: Total War. However, some people want to keep the composer of the Napoleon: Total War score for this new title.
Score recording sessions involving Australian taiko group, TaikOz, have occurred in Sydney, Australia as of October 2010.
 Pre-Order Bonuses
There are a number of pre-order bonuses available for Total War: Shogun 2. People who pre-order at Gamestop will be able to play the historical Battle of Kowagoe, which was a siege battle fought between the Hojo and Uesugi factions in 1545. Pre-ordering at BestBuy will give you an additional 1,000 Koku, whch is Shogun 2's in-game currency. Pre-ordering from other online retailers will give you the Limited Edition instead of the Standard one for the same price. The Limited Edition will only be available for pre-ordering, and wont't be available in stores after the game's release on March 15th. An extra upgrade point available for your general as well as the Battle of Nagashino scenario. The Hattori faction will be playable and there will be special armor for a player's avatar. Note that all these bonuses are available only with the pre-ordered Limited Edition of Total War: Shogun 2.
 The Clans
There are 9 Clans plus one more clan if you buy the Limited Edition Box these are:-
- The Chosokabe Clan
- The Date Clan
- The Mori Clan
- The Hattori Clan
- The Hojo Clan
- The Oda Clan
- The Shimazu Clan
- The Takeda Clan
- The Tokugawa Clan
- The Uesugi Clan
Each clan has it's respective traits and bonuses.
 Extra Clans
The Hattori and two Extra Clans have been made available via downloadable content for Shogun 2.
 External Links
For further information please visit the following links:
- The Shogun II: Total War forum
- IGN's First Look report on S2TW
- Shogun 2: Total War Official Site
- Shogun 2: Total War Forum at the .org
- Dojo II at the .org
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