Killigraphy: Shogun 2: Total War Confirmed

By John Walker on June 3rd, 2010 at 12:26 am.

I've got nothing.

As Kieron so cleverly speculated, the new Total War game is confirmed to be Shogun 2: Total War. As Earth’s leading authority on strategy gaming news I can inform you that Shogun was of course the very first in the TW series, released ten years ago this month. Since then there’s been Rome, Napoleon, and Evil Space Mice: Total War, but now it’s time to head back to Japan. There’s some details below.

It seems, from the press release below, that this is to be an attempt to collect everything that’s been learned by Creative Assembly over the last decade into one ideal Total War game. (Which will presumably include remembering to finish it before releasing it.)

There’s a video to watch on the game’s site, but it’s of a man doing some calligraphy. Which is, as ever, extremely calming and pleasant to watch, but not perhaps entirely emblematic of the game itself.

EDIT: And here it is in an embeddable format courtesy of IGN.

More details are to be appear in PC Gamer, the magazine confirms for us. They have “a hatload more details”, says the excitable editor. So it’s worth looking out for that, out today.

Interestingly the leaked press release that Kieron broke down last week proves to be completely true. I’m posting it below because I already have, and I put the blockquote tags on it and everything, so you can see it a second time.

MASTER THE ART OF WAR TO BECOME THE UNDISPUTED RULER OF MEDIEVAL JAPAN

In 2000, the Creative Assembly re-invented the strategy genre with Shogun: Total War, an unprecedented blend of 3D real-time battles and turn-based management game and the first offering in the multi-award winning series. With over 7 million units sold and universal acclaim from the press and community, Total War has consistently been at the cutting edge of the genre and is today one of the most successful PC franchises of all time.

In 2011, the makers of Rome and Empire: Total War will release the sequel to the game that started it all. Shogun 2: Total War will take long-time veterans and newcomers alike to the next level of strategy gaming on PC. Based on 10 years of experience in making Total War, Shogun 2 is the perfection of the series with a new Artificial Intelligence (AI), revolutionary multiplayer modes, brand new campaign map options and epic 3D real-time battles.

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.

Set during the golden age of Samurai warfare, Shogun 2 brings to life the most turbulent period of Japanese history.

Total War redefined:

Shogun 2 is the ultimate refinement of the original formula with a new, cutting-edge AI, more polish and online functionality than ever before. The result is the perfect mix of real-time and turn-based strategy gaming that invites both veterans of Total War and new players to experience the enjoyment and depth of the series.

New character progression:

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.

A complete single and multiplayer offering:

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.

New Generation AI system:

Developed according to Sun Tzu’s principles in the Art of War, the Artificial Intelligence constantly analyses its situation and reacts to your every move with greater precision and variety.

Improved land and naval battle gameplay:

Land battles never felt so realistic with new multi-staged castle sieges and terrain features changing according to the weather and time of the day – turning each engagement into a tactical challenge. Set buildings on fire to force garrisoned troops out and use your units’ special abilities to turn the tide of the battle. Naval combat also offers more variety with the addition of coastal battles. Islands can work as effective cover for your ships, while sand bars and reefs can be used as traps against an enemy fleet.

Accessible and in-depth empire-building gameplay:

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.

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169 Comments »

  1. Doctor_Hellsturm says:

    Where is my Warhammer: Total War? Get to it!

  2. Dandi8 says:

    Damn you! You made me google “Evil Space Mice: Total War” even though I was sure I would find nothing :-/

    Where’s my ESM:TW?? HUH?? HUH!?

  3. Ken says:

    Blegh, they really need to make a total war game set in China. There were a lot more conflicts in Chinese history than in Japan, and many of them were more interesting than this. Come on, Creative Assembly, be a little more creative.

  4. Fan of the Moose says:

    Looking (listening?) forward to the score for this, as the Bafta award winning Warlord Edition of the first game was awesome.

  5. omicron says:

    Next games prediction: Egypt: Total War (or similar, set in the time period before the Roman Empire and encompassing the entire Middle Eastern scope), Rome 2: Total War, or Britain: Total War (similar to Shogun, but on a small scale during the dark ages to early Middle Ages).

    • Auspex says:

      Oooh. I’d totally be up for some small scale Britain:Total Warring.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      Viking Invasion and Kingdoms cover that area pretty well, although you are right that if Japan is big and varied enough to warrant a full game, Britain and the near continent certainly is as well.

    • omicron says:

      On the subject of heroes: It sounds like CA is letting the work of some of the more prominent imitators leak into its design. (See: King Arthur, by Neocore)

      I wonder how awesome it would be to have Shogun 2: Total War use the Okami art style…

    • Jimbo says:

      The Britain campaign in Kingdoms is pretty good, but I would highly recommend ‘Lords of the Realm’ if you need your Britain fix – it’s an oldie but a goodie, I imagine you would need to DOSBox it.

      Knights of Honor (on Steam) isn’t exclusively set in Britain, but it’s a decent enough alternative to Total War, and obviously a lot newer than Lords of the Realm.

    • Nick says:

      Soldiers try to fill in moat!

      I loved Lords of the Realm..

    • Fumarole says:

      Lords of the Realm and its sequel are available at GOG.

  6. cypher says:

    Awesome XD still my favourite of the series just because of the unique setting, and of course deadly geisha!

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      That f***king geisha **** ****** ***** *****…
      I spent years of resources, developing so many assassins just to take her out, as she was killing all my generals unopposed. It was ridiculous.

  7. Divebomb says:

    is it steam only?

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      There’s box art, so you’ll be able to get it in the shop. Will you need Steam to run it? Probably.

    • Divebomb says:

      long way to say no there. but I’d like confirmation. not buying anything from steam. would buy from gamersgate, impulse, plimus, digitalriver, direct2drive, greenhouse, bmtmicro and whatever else that doesn’t require an awful separate program running simultaneously

    • Chris says:

      Hugely likely given the new expansion into multiplayer of the series. Luckily I live in a city and used Steam since its first day so it really doesn’t bother me.

    • frymaster says:

      @divebomb

      can I ask what exactly about steam being a separate process annoys you? It’s can’t be the fact you have to use their program as a download/updater, as some of the others do that. It can’t be the fact that steam’s an implicit DRM system, some of the others use more traditional DRM as well.

      Unless you literally mean “i don’t mind a game utilising a system-level DRM driver that runs invisibly, but I object to a visible user-level system with an entry in add/remove programs” which just seems ass-backwards to me.

      there are some legit concerns with steam (my personal opinion is that it’s worth it, but that’s just my opinion) but I don’t see how that can be one. I’m not trying to be a rabid fanboi, I just literally can’t follow the logic

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      My guess that its the resources it takes up just being open.
      I mean, in energy terms alone, the thing must be wasting huge amounts worldwide.

  8. Auspex says:

    /More/ games about killing men?

    Is that all anyone wants to do nowadays? :(

  9. Gorgeras says:

    Creative Assembly lost my trust over Empire. Their treatment of the community on their forums just compounded that and they have done nothing to earn it back, least of all this gimmick of going back to nostalgic beginnings.

    There’s an alternate reality somewhere in which Shiny’s Sacrifice was a fantastic hit and spawned several great sequels that Shiny were too busy working on to do the awful Matrix games that ruined them and gave Total War such stiff competition that CA and SEGA dared not cash in with premature releases of broken games.

    I bought Sacrifice when it came out. I am superior to those who didn’t.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I think it’s a bit harsh calling a return to the Shogun era a gimmick. After Medieval 2 it was basically inevitable that Shogun 2 and Rome 2 would happen sooner or later. Empire dragged the series kicking and screaming into the age of firearms, where it arguably didn’t belong (and the huge change certainly saw Creative Assembly screw up monumentally).

      I’d call Shogun 2 a fairly smart move, a move back to a style of game Creative Assembly has made four excellent titles for. Here’s to hoping they’ve learned a thing or two from Empire and Napoleon, so we can see the good parts of those meet the magic formula that made the previous games so good.

    • jackflash says:

      I never did get cavalry charges to work in Medieval II. Yep, every time my cavalry charged a unit, they would slow down to a trot right before impact and gently nudge them. The problem was well documented all over the interwebs. And yet I still bought Empire for 50% off on Steam, so it can sit collecting dust in the vault. I don’t think they’ve made a good game since Rome, which was also broken to a state of hilarity by the idiotic AI, but at least fun.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Rome was okay, but the most retarded of the good CA games (Which are shogun to medeval II)
      Having to start out as the romans=annoying.
      Them throwing the fucking spears everytime you wanted them to charge, even if it ment they missed the charge, and lost a battle= game ruining.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      If you turn off automatic fire on the legionary units in ROME, they won’t throw spears and can engage in melee at will. Of course, if you leave the auto-fire on and the legionaries are on top of a hill, they will annihilate the front ranks of the enemy formations charging them and break the charge, allowing the legionaries to engage in a devastating counter-attack. One of the most impressive things any TOTAL WAR game has done, actually.

      In open field battles, having two ranks of infantry with the units behind the front throwing spears and allowing the front ranks to melee can also work well, although it can go a bit Pete Tong if you’ve switched on the friendly fire option.

      Seriously, the legionaries double as a short-range missile unit as well as a melee unit is one of the things that makes them the most impressive unit in the game, and makes ROME probably the fullest-rounded TOTAL WAR game to date. The biggest problem I have with it is that even on the last patch the enemy units will still run around in front of your city in siege mode letting your archers slaughter them if you sally out of a siege.

      Regarding the MEDIEVAL 2 cavalry charge, as far as I can work out in vanilla you’re supposed to click once on the enemy. Your units will then slowly march towards them, build up speed and then engage in a full charge. If you ‘run’ at the enemy, your cavalry won’t charge, which is retarded.

      Most of the mods I’ve played recently, including THIRD AGE, have fixed this so cavalry will charge whether you double-click or single-click.

    • Mark says:

      I am Jack’s massive sense of entitlement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOtEQB-9tvk

      I am so so tired of hearing from people how a developer personally betrayed them by not making the exact game they wanted. This is not a troll, some people need to grow up and realise making games is bloody difficult and making really good games really bloody difficult. Ever notice how unscathing the RPS writers are of developers of bad games in comparison to other reviewers or sites? I think that comes from having gone to a lot of studios, met and drank with a lot of developers and actually having a good idea of what really goes into making a game and how much shit you have to successfully dodge or eat just to get one made.

  10. Will Tomas says:

    This makes me incredibly happy. Shogun was the very first strategy game I played which I absolutely loved. It was a defining moment of gaming for me – instead of the mechanically-good-but-far-too-gamey old school RTS games this was the first one that made me devote hours of my life to it.

    That said, a game about the first Chinese Emperor could have done this without the repetition.

    • beatoangelico says:

      I agree that China would have been equally good, but going back to a marginal setting like this is already a bold move IMHO, so they probably thoght that bringing back a familiar name was safer. That said, after the Empire disaster it’s good to see CA in a more stripped down direction. Feudal Japan is still the perfect setting for a Total War game: you can actually conquer the whole map without feeling you are doing something too gamey.

  11. Heliocentric says:

    Mod locked bullshit or not? If they left the ai open to modders the series would have me buying every title, instead i couldn’t give a crap.

    Call me if they open the door to mods because they can’t finish a game alone.

    • Vinraith says:

      What Heliocentric said. This would be really great news if I had any expectation that they’d actually release a proper TW game.

    • Fumarole says:

      A proper Total War game? Sounds similar to something one might read on NMA.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Fumarole

      No need to be an insulting pedant, nor to be deliberately obtuse. I think it’s fairly clear from context that I’m talking about a Total War game that supports modding when I say “proper” here.

    • Jimbo says:

      What’s ‘proper’ about that?

    • Pod says:

      @Vinraith; I assumed you meant one with a working AI! ;)

    • Fumarole says:

      Insulting? If you don’t like being compared to certain people, stop acting like them. How exactly is your idea of a version of a game more proper than the people who created it? I call it like I see it, and it reeks of NMA superiority. Pedantic? Probablyy. Obtuse? Absolutely not. Anyone who visits RPS regularly knows how you feel about CA and mods as you seem to bring it up in every thread that mentions either. I like mods too, but let it go, man. Some of us are perfectly capable of enjoying the vanilla games. If that’s not your bag, fine, but please stop beating that dead horse.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      CA used to make proper TOTAL WAR games. SHOGUN and MEDIEVAL were the last two they actually finished before releasing them. Every game since has been released in an increasingly unfinished state, with the problems fixed only by patches, the expansion or mods.

      ROME had serious issues with campaign map AI (the AI not using boats or naval invasions at all, suicidally dancing around in front of your archers in sieges), although battle AI was decent on release. The game’s problems were fixed by the official patches and the two expansions. The ‘finished’ ROME is a joy to play. Mods were optional, but could make the game far deeper and more compelling for hardcore players more interested in the real history of the period.

      MEDIEVAL II was released in a functionally unfinished state, being unoptimised and struggling to run on systems that could throw ROME around (using the same engine) with no slowdown at all. Again, the patches and KINGDOMS made the game function, but even after this point the game was still problematic. Battle AI is moronic (worse than ROME’s), campaign map AI is better but still struggles at times. With MEDIEVAL II mods were upgraded from a nice bonus to something necessary to get the game working fully and properly (although the KINGDOMS campaigns individually worked pretty well).

      EMPIRE was released in an alpha state, at best, and was never fixed. Its expansion, NAPOLEON, would have fixed the issues and made the game playable, but its release as a stand-alone title made this impossible. CA blocking out modders made it impossible for the community to fix the game as well.

      Why did CA block out the modders? Because they were fecking humiliated by the community fixing problems they took six months to half-assedly address in an anaemic patch in about the first three weeks the game was on sale. I can’t think of a single other comprehensible reason why they’d not allow modding, especially after it had become a necessity, not a luxury.

    • Fumarole says:

      Not releasing the SDK is probably more related to selling DLC than any shame about the game’s AI.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Jimbo

      A poor choice of words, I admit. If I had an “edit” option I’d replace “proper” with “moddable.

      @Pod

      It never occurred to me to dream of something that far-fetched, honestly. :)

  12. DMcCool says:

    Creative Assembly do seem dedicated to trying to stop my buying their games. Medieval II, then Empire, then Napoleon and now this. I don’t want to revisit the periods that I cherished in my childhood, but now in a dull, prettier presented game. Teach me about a new bloody period, Creative!

  13. Sprint says:

    In all seriousness I think I’d actually prefer that to another historical TW game.

  14. Heliocentric says:

    If you get an address for that reality i’m buying.

  15. Fumarole says:

    Fuck yeah!

  16. damien says:

    “New character progression:

    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.

    that bit of the press release makes it sound like the game will be even *less* moddable than its last two cousins were.

    grr.

  17. Obdicut says:

    If they manage to make castle sieges interesting instead of hilariously bugged, that’d be nice.

  18. matte_k says:

    Excellent stuff, Shogun is still my favourite Total War, felt like they got a bit unwieldy by Empire. Hopefully this will trim it down to the necessities again. Also, Sengoku- era Japan rendered in the new TW engine is going to be FANTASTIC.

  19. Wednesday says:

    Was Empire really so awful. CA don’t seem to get a mention these days without death threats. I loved Rome, it’s one of the finest games ever produced, and the only thing I saw of Empire was on a friend’s PC, where he pointed out that making your population cleverer would lead to clamour for reform.

    I thought that was quite clever.

    • DMcCool says:

      Personally I loved Empire, it was that they went on to release Napoleon instead of properly fixing Empire that made me abandon them. The lies told about moddability burned a lot of people too. Actually quite impressive how much CA has ruined its reputation with these last few games. Fingers Crossed this one will be good though!

    • Rich says:

      It’s the fact that for a lot of people it’s broken to the point it can’t really be played, but isn’t really supported by the developer any more. The occasional patch that comes out claims to fix certain problems, but when upon inspection, do nothing. For other people, it’s the AI that could otherwise be fixed by modders, were it not for a total lock on mods.

    • Reiver says:

      Yeah, if the improvements and fixes made in napoleon had carried over to empire (like all their previous expansions had to their parent games) then it would have gone a long way to mollifying me. It wasn’t just the massive problems i had with gameplay and AI but the technical problems i had that killed Empire for me. A year after release it was still reguarly crashing on me. Napoleon hasn’t crashed once in 80 hours i’ve put into it.

    • Rich says:

      Also, it’s not like I fooled myself into thinking it might work, despite my dilapidated hardware. The demo ran fine (although the cutscene sounds didn’t work). The full game however has all sorts of graphical bugs that make the interface completely unusable.

  20. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    The heroes sound really dumb.

    Odds are this is going to still have crap AI and lock out mods. Death to CA and all that. If (against all odds) it’s good I might bother to pirate it.

    • damien says:

      i really find all these “i’m making a statement about the direction a game designer has taken, or a decision they’ve made, by pirating it!” statements so tired.

      i have pirated *many* things in the last 25 years, but i never deluded myself into feeling morally justified for it.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      I’m ok with that.

    • snv says:

      I wouldn’t read a statement into that other than “It’s good enough to spend time playing it, but not good enough to pay for it” – which describes most games out there.
      I guesstimate about 90% of gaming money i spend went to indie’s titles with a) worthwhile fresh ideas or b) the commitment for proper quality and often, both

    • Theory says:

      “My friends are fun enough to spend time with, but not enough to respect.”

    • Jimbo says:

      If it’s worth your time then it’s worth your money.

      If you don’t think a game is worth your money then simply do not play it, because I’m sick of paying for your entertainment, scumbag.

  21. Alexander Norris says:

    The only thing I dislike is hero units, which will swiftly be banned from my MP battles. The ability to decide which traits generals and agents get is very welcome.

    • Reiver says:

      It depends on the implementation. If it’s akin to the old Guard in Napoleon: inspires nearby troops, resists morale shocks, scares enemy but still dies like regular soldiers when they get shot in the face, then i’m ok with it.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The press release describes them in a little detail and from the sound of it we’re talking something a little more fantasy than just a unit with better morale and inspiration.

  22. Mario Figueiredo says:

    New Generation AI system:

    Developed according to Sun Tzu’s principles in the Art of War, the Artificial Intelligence constantly analyses its situation and reacts to your every move with greater precision and variety.

    Oh , please! Spare us the aimless sensationalism. This has to be the most ridiculous thing they said in the whole announcement. I would hope mentally retarded hype would only come later. Not right from the announcement.

    Already down two notches on my interest.

    • Heliocentric says:

      When your enemy is pissing into the wind stand neither close in front of behind him. And if you are stood next to him, don’t look at his winkie, thats totally uncool. – The art of war, Sun Tzu

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      The satire didn’t go unnoticed. Thought you’d like to know. So let me tell you about pissing in the wind.

      The reference to the Art of War is ridiculous. The book has nothing to offer in terms of AI that hasn’t been explored by strategy games to exhaustion. Positioning, composition, terrain, deceit,… Saying that they are basing the AI on Zun Tzu’s principles is like saying I’m going to base my strategy game AI on strategy.

      Then there’s the problem 16th century battles had already introduced firearms and these were used extensively, which introduced new variables into the battlefield not covered by the Art of War, or that nullified techniques discussed in the book.

      Then there’s the problem the book does not specify actual tactics or tries to describe correct deployment of forces, or whatever. It’s a generic treaty with generic rules, which strongest point is to educate generals and rulers alike about warfare from a bird’s eye view. And one of the most important principles is that the success in battle is achieved by knowing how to adapt to changing situations in the battlefield. But that’s precisely what we expect of AIs. So saying that they are using Sun Tzu’s principles in creating their AI is a redundancy.

      For other part of the book where certain aspects of warfare are discussed in a little more detail, like terrain advantages, supply lines and moral, the redundancy just increases further. As these are all things we expect in one degree or another in current strategy games.

      Finally, less important, but still a pet peeve of mine, this constant use of divergent cultures under the same banner; Oriental. A chinese book being somehow thrown into a a japan historic game without any further explanation. A book written over 2000 years before the events in the game in a completely different country and which one cannot even know for sure if it influenced Japanese warfare in that period.

    • Will Tomas says:

      Um… surely the Sun Tzu references are just harking back to the first Shogun, that was absolutely packed with them? I saw it as more a “we haven’t forgotten what made the original great” bit rather than anything else.

    • Zwebbie says:

      Mario: Sun Tzu does mention you should try to win battles; if the new AI is programmed to actually try that, that’s a huge improvement.

    • matte_k says:

      I would hazard a guess that the Art of War is used as a basis for the AI “personality”, rather than a literal programming of tactics and techniques. Being familiar with the content of the book doesn’t necessarily mean you will use and combine the principles appropriately in every situation to gain victory.
      Also, saying that it is inappropriate for the Daimyo of that time to use the Art of War? Sorry, but I disagree. A considerable number of Chinese texts and schools of thought progressed to Japan over the years.
      The principles and mindset of Sun Tzu’s work could still be applied today (in fact, if they had, there are a number of conflicts that the US would never have entered into the way they did as it would have guaranteed a loss, regardless of technology or numbers). I hear it’s quite popular in the corporate sector as a useful text for takeovers and espionage techniques to gain an advantage.

    • DMcCool says:

      Mario

      As has been pointed out, Total War since its first press release has been about trying to make a game were reading The Art Of War would put you at a serious advantage. That has explicity been their aim from the start. It might be a gimmick, but bringing it back now is an honest attempt at appealing to the series’ original fans. And if we are dismissing out of hand grouping entire sections of the world into things like “The Orient”, and military impact down streatches of 2000 years you might as well say that Hannibal’s actions at Cannae had no influence on Frederich The Great’s military thinking.

      I know thats a lazy comparison but don’t write off CA as being that disrespectful to disparate civilizations as you imply. I confess total ignorance when it comes to 16th Century Japanese Warfare (except, y’know, from playing Shogun) but I can’t imagine it was unknown in Japan at the time, and the quickest of wikipedia trawls gives: During the Sengoku era in Japan, a daimyo named Takeda Shingen (1521–1573) is said to have become almost invincible in all battles without relying on guns, because he studied The Art of War.[4]. Now okay thats wikipedia, but I can easily imagine a single book on that subject having been enough to be the original inspiration for the series. A general in 16th Century Japan uses an ancient book like a PC Gamer Cheats Supplement to win all his battles? I’d buy it. I did. And now they are making a sequel.

    • Don says:

      I know why their getting all Sun Tzu on our ass. They’ve read the bit where he says:

      ‘If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.’

      This has enabled them to make 2 major breakthroughs in their AI behaviour that, without Sun Tzu’s advice, they would never have thought of.

      1) When attacked do not abandon all the defences you’ve built and immediately charge the enemy.
      2) An army consisting of 1 artillery battery and a half strength cavalry regiment should consider that retreat may be the best option when attacked by 20 full strength regiments of mixed infantry, cavalry and artillery.

      Sun Tzu – smarter than your average CA developer. Probably smarter than all of them put together.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      “We’ve made the AI better this time, honest” has pretty much been the rallying call for every CA press release ever.

    • Superbest says:

      You know this reminds me of Sins of a Solar Empire. I was really impressed by how the AI knew to run from a hopeless battle, consolidate forces, and make my job very hard. It was pretty cool how they used pirates as a diversion so they can flank my rear, too.

    • Tei says:

      I have been tempted to build a wargame just using the rules written on the book of Sun Tzu.

      The dude practically define a boardgame. You can get all the rules, create a board, and play the game exactly how Sun Tzu written.

      Is soo obvious, I don’t understand we don’t have at least one historical game made this way. Superweird. I am tempted to think is imposible.. but… nah… is seriusly doable. Oh.. maybe the reason is that will be boring? *shrug*

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m actually marginally interested on the sequel, despite not being much of a fan of real-time strategy. For several reasons, one of the most important being the fact I have a deep fascination for Japanese history and warfare.

      But needless hype — and badly aimed at that — is really not a boner to me. Although I cannot speak of the AI quality in later Total War games (I played none of them after Shogun: Total War), one thing I’m positively sure: Saying the AI will be based on the Art of War is not saying anything at all about the AI.

      But, I’ll take Will Thomas comment above and try to ignore it. Besides, it has to be expected that a smaller scale, less factions and more contained unit types will help greatly in developing a more accurate AI. If they fail even here, then really they can’t do it.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Wow. Now I can’t seem to have any way of editing my posts at all. No edit button here and no access to the posts on the forum. Is this intentional?

      Anyway, I mean to take Will Thomas advise and ignore this whole Art of War reference, and not ignore Will Thomas comment.

  23. Petethegoat says:

    A* Pun. That is all I care about.

  24. DarkFenix says:

    Assuming Creative Assembly have learned a thing or three from the failings of Empire/Napoleon and remember what made Rome such a damned good game (and the ways in which it wasn’t), I have hope for this game.

    Some things I’m hopeful about, like the more interesting sieges. Sieges were awful in Empire/Napoleon, and even in the other games were shallow (if fun). If they manage to make a siege something more than a single fierce fight for the outer wall, I’ll be happy. And making naval battles more interesting. As shiny as naval battles were in Empire/Napoleon, they were boring. Anything that improves that gets a thumbs up from me.

    Of course, some things I’m dubious about. Improved AI? How many times have I heard that one, I’m yet to see Creative Assembly make an AI (never mind a good AI, I’m yet to see something I’d call an AI at all). I’m also disappointed in the lack of scope of Shogun, Empire gave me practically half the world to play with, most of the other games gave me at least a continent. This one? One nation, with nine (as good as) identical factions.

  25. beatoangelico says:

    maybe it’s not a coincidence with the increase in scope the series has gone to excellent to good to awful.

  26. simonkaye says:

    Thank god all those rumours about a 20th Century/World War TW were untrue. At least, for now.

    I await Shogun 2 very eagerly indeed. Takeda faction all the way!

  27. Will Tomas says:

    No, Empire is not that awful. It’s flawed, and one or two bugs do hurt the suspension of disbelief, but on the whole it is very, very good. Ship combat is unweildy, as it properly should be, but isn’t fun or particularly tactical. I think people got pissed off about the lack of modability, that they didn’t find the period evocative through not watching enough Sharpe, and finding the game map too daunting.

    Although the main criticism gamewise aside from the modability – the AI – has been there since the start, so why people end up being angry and hurt by this I don’t know. Deus Ex had dire AI too, didn’t stop it being great. And it’s not that bad, either, it’s just not exceptional.

    Empire though gets the vitriol for the decision to lock out modders and to start doing microtransaction DLC.

    Point being, I liked Empire a lot. I would quite happily play it repeatedly, over Medieval 2. Does it hit the heights of Shogun/Medieval 1/Rome? No, but personally I preferred it when the game wasn’t the monumental slog to the finish it became circa Rome.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Will Thomas

      Although the main criticism gamewise aside from the modability – the AI – has been there since the start, so why people end up being angry and hurt by this I don’t know.

      I think I spent perhaps 5% of my overall play time in Rome and Medieval 2 with the vanilla game and the vanilla AI. Was it awful? Probably, I don’t really know, I was too busy playing Rome Total Realism, Europa Barborum, none of which use the vanilla AI. See the problem now?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The diplomacy AI will not accept a peace deal unless you give them pretty much everything you own, so the only way to end a war is to wipe out the faction that started it. Since factions declare wars pretty much at random…

      Empire is broken in a fundamental way and what’s more, CA essentially dropped all Empire support as soon as it was released in order to work on Napoleon (which, might I add, would normally be an expansion, but CA were obviously so embarrassed by Empire that they decided to make it a standalone release). From experience, this is the pill that’s hardest to swallow, with the modding lock a close second.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Incorrect. Provided the faction didn’t absolutely hate your guts in the first place, it’s often possible to mollify a hostile faction with military access and/or a tech or two. Because of this, the way armies can be reinforced in the field and opposing factions not building mad crazy unit stacks, I’ve found the Empire campaigns to be much less sloggy than Rome or Medieval 2.

  28. Bluebreaker says:

    Let me guess. Shogun:TW will have a superior IA to Shogun 2:TW

  29. Pijama says:

    New Generation AI system:

    Developed according to Sun Tzu’s principles in the Art of War, the Artificial Intelligence constantly analyses its situation and reacts to your every move with greater precision and variety.

    UH-HUH.

    Since Medieval (one), every Total War has been an utter failure in that aspect. But the marketing likes to push the collective tolerance even harder it seems!

  30. ChampionHyena says:

    Devs trying to improve a sector of the game they’ve had trouble with? LOOKS LIKE IT’S TIME TO RAGE AGAINST A GAME I’VE NEVER PLAYED

    God. All the self-righteous entitlement is giving me a nosebleed. What happened to giving a game an honest shake before venting your spleen?

    • Vinraith says:

      @ChampionHyena

      Fool me six times, shame on you. Fool me seven or more times, shame on me.

    • jaheira says:

      @ChampionHyena

      I feel your pain. Whenever there’s a CA announcement on RPS the air turns poisonous. Vocal minority I suspect.

    • Pijama says:

      Well, once you get fooled like three or four times, fans tend to get pissed.

      Sure, I wish reviews were more bash-able regarding things like that – Tom Chick gave some solid punching regarding Empire still being broken – but one can only hope.

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      Welcome to the internet, ChampionHyena

    • Okami says:

      I’m the last person on earth who likes to join in developer bashing in the internet and I’m a huge CA and TW fanboy who’s played all games by CA, even the somewhat crappy console hack and slash games. All that sad, the AI of TW games really is abysmal. The amount of stupidity displayed by enemy troops on the battlefield really sucks out a lot of the fun from the game.

      And every time CA have promised us better AI and every time they’ve FAILED. Not just failed but internet meme FAILED with capital letters.

      This is not about self-righteous entitlement (something that I agree exists among gamers); this is about people who love and care about a company and a game series and have invested hundreds of their respective country’s currency over the last decade into them not beeing able to trust their bullshit press releases anymore.

      What’s more, things have actually changed for the worse in the last few years, with CA stopping mod support in order to be able to sell some of the worst downloadable content since Oblivion’s horse armor.

    • Sceptrum says:

      Okami, fanboys never criticize :P

      But I agree with you. CA is probably the only developer that brings out the “Internet dickwad” in me. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing TW games and equal amount modding that (EB).

    • cjlr says:

      We whine because we CARE, damnit!

  31. DMJ says:

    A pun about pathfinding?

    This is a reply but I didn’t put in an “@someone’s-name” just to taunt the Reply Gods.

  32. malkav11 says:

    Good. This is a setting that very few (non-grognard) strategy games have even touched on – possibly just the original Shogun – and the original Shogun has barely any campaign map level gameplay and no in-battle pausing and ordering, which makes it entirely inaccessible to me.

  33. GetOutOfHereStalker says:

    i hope they have assassin videos. watching two geishas murder each other at the same time was awesome

  34. Antlia says:

    Where is my Cudgel War: Total War?

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cudgel_War)

  35. Ragabhava says:

    ” Auspex says:

    /More/ games about killing men?

    Is that all anyone wants to do nowadays? :(”

    Thats exactly the reason why I’m so tired of mainstream gaming: the vast majority of it is just about killing. If game development was truly an artform it should be judged by artistic merits: if 95% of the world literature were as compulsively obsessed with destruction we would hardly call it literature, would we ?
    Back 10 years I had great hopes for PC gaming maturing along with the technology but it seems that the older the average gamer gets the more infantile the industry becomes.

    Aaaah, I feel better now ;-)

    • Tei says:

      Killing is simple and usefull to make games rules. Look at chess, you also eliminate things in chess.
      Is something easy to understand and simple, and works.. people really get the idea and fight for it.
      People make action movies, because people like action movies. And people make games about killing, because people like playing these. Creating games about killing is not the cause, is a effect. Don’t combat effects, combat causes.

    • Hobbes says:

      @Tei & Ragabhava
      Not to open the whole games-as-art-or-not thing, but…

      I agree that the straightforward nature of killing/eliminating is very effective in the free-form but rule-based-space of games, but really they just provide a ratchet function for solutions – i.e. once something is eliminated you can move on. It works because it’s simple, and that’s not the issue. The real issue is it’s SO effective than other solutions have been comparatively less explored, albeit in the short time games have been around. Like the development of various literary genres from, say, epic poetry, the novel or philosophical criticism, I hope gaming will in time embrace a wider range of experiences and activities than it currently offers; one of the reasons I read RPS is that it offers glimpses of this. As for literature, a depressing amount of it IS actually rubbish, like Katie Price’s ‘autobiography’ outselling the entire Booker shortlist. But that leads me to my next point…

      The breadth of experience and genre offered by the film and publishing industries is thus far much wider than games. Yes, action movies are made, and are popular, but there is a much larger and more developed intellectual structure where aspects other than popularity or L-C-D are respected. Yes, we have indie titles & a few innovative developers, but the market and the culture simply haven’t developed to the same level. I think it’s partly because we’re only now getting large numbers of adults who have grown up with games and understand the medium that a more mature (I.e. not market-orientated frat boy) culture can really assert itself. The ‘world literature’ we do have is fantastic and, vitally, it’s selection by reviewers, critical readers, intellectuals, authors etc has created a very rich genealogy of thought and reflection. Although I don’t think there’s a Western Canon, there are certainly better books and worse books, and established ways of distinguishing between them, and it is this wider culture that gaming needs and will develop. Hopefully.

      Creating games about killing is both a cause and an effect, and while they’re not going to go away and they shouldn’t have to, the particular nature of killing lends itself to criticism; I think quite fairly. No other medium has such a widespread, popular and thoroughly unreflective representation of the real world as the games industry, and the ‘violence’ of the medium (in the other sense) reinforces this. The simple joy of games like Portal and World of Goo, and the super-intelligence of RPS & their associated journalists encourages me to be optimistic. If enough people start thinking in a more open minded and critical manner, gaming is in for a very interesting period.

    • Ragabhava says:

      Tei says:

      “Killing is simple and usefull to make games rules.”

      I get your points but:

      1) As obvious as killing is a materialization of the game mechanics inherent in any win/lose game as gross and lazy it is. If all the game designers do is depict this abstraction in ever more glorious detail they are not tapping into the powers of narrative, emotion, fiction, imagination etc. as offered by the potent combination of the toolsets of visual arts, screenplay and sound. It is infantile at its best, an obscene squandering of resources at its worst. And yes, it shares this sad emptyness with large parts of Hollywood.

      from another angle: Conflict is at the core of drama, but it should only be its beginning, not its aim.

      2) even blowing up stuff and cutting off limbs gets stale after 1001² iterations.

      3) It is true that the masses like it straight and simple and the studios try to deliver, yet here are two thoughts worth exploring:

      – even if Junkfood is so successful as it is today it is still JUNKfood as in garbage/detritusfood
      – maybe the massses like some finesse after all, just look at the reception of say The Matrix or Shrek: straight action/comedy dope but lots of layers of complexity and yet blockbusters. This makes me believe that it are the creators of Junkart which are even more imbecile than the masses are dumb.

      4) as father of three children I now seek more in entertainment than the incessant confrontation with mankinds most vilest traits

    • Ragabhava says:

      Hobbes comment appeared just now: well spoken and to the point!

    • Hobbes says:

      urgh: it’s selection –> its selection

      Thanks Ragabhava, I really like your point about “Conflict is at the core of drama, but it should only be its beginning, not its aim,” it’s made me think. If you take conflict to be any form of the realisation and working out of dislocation or misalignment – e.g. romance and tragedy as forms of conflict (at least partially) – then the space opened up to ‘drama’ gets much bigger, and the shootyshooty solution seems that much more limited. (sorry for the tl;dr-ness, I’ve drunk too much coffee)

    • Ragabhava says:

      If you take conflict to be any form of the realisation and working out of dislocation or misalignment – e.g. romance and tragedy as forms of conflict (at least partially) – then the space opened up to ‘drama’ gets much bigger, and the shootyshooty solution seems that much more limited.

      Indeed: it is a development nipped in the bud. What could have been a true story gets literally shot at point blank. And again. And again…and…

    • Zwebbie says:

      The inherent focus on killing has a ludic problem as well; it’s essentially the simplification of the environment. Just as in an FPS you’ll end up with a static room and nothing happening after you’ve done your thing, Total War games drops factions like crazy, you’ll fulfill the technology tree at some point, all of you undefended towns will be upgraded to mighty bastions, and so forth. The game is most complex at its start and it only simplifies after that. (Compare to the Neptune’s Pride playthrough posted here on RPS too).
      That’s always rather boring, if you ask me; I rarely finish Total War games because there’s a point of no return where you just have more resources available and you’ll be able to simplify the game, taking out enemy by enemy.

      And while we’re so fond of military theorists like Sun Tzu, let’s cite Clausewitz as well: “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means.” Yeah, not really, eh CA?

    • Ragabhava says:

      @Zwebbie:

      I’ve actually never finished a TW game (played them all since Shogun), bc of this infamous ‘slippery slope’ effect. Whats the point; just to color *all* the game map with my flag ? I ‘d rather use MSPaint if I craved it that much. To be fair, lots of strategy titles have this problem.

      In TW:MW they tried to spice it up with the heirs to the throne spawning at random with huge armies once a faction got eliminated, in TW:Rome you had the civil war thingie, but still…as you say, once the complexity is down to its barest skeleton its as entertaining as checking delivery lists in a warehouse. This could have been avoided to some point if CA got its AI together, but gamestudios hiring competent AI programmers seems to be like Hollywood hiring competent scenarists: as an afterthought with the latest crumbs of the budget left after the visual and marketing departements have eaten their shares.

  36. Teph says:

    As long as I can get embroiled in a three-hundred year war of attrition over that damned Shinano Province chokepoint, I’ll be a happy bunny.

  37. Lars Westergren says:

    @Mario
    “A book written over 2000 years before the events in the game in a completely different country and which one cannot even know for sure if it influenced Japanese warfare in that period.”

    Now that sentence is clearly wrong. Just like France was the cultural center of Europe around the enlightenment, so was China the cultural center of Asia for centuries. Every educated person in Japan (meaning mostly samurai) was expected to have read the Art of War and other Chinese classical works. Uber-samurai Miyamoto Musashi mentions several times in his Book of Five Rings that having read the Art of War is a prerequisite for understanding his book.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Actually, I could never find any clear evidence of that fact, Lars.

      We know that Japan war conduct at the period was in also dictate by a series of codes that were not always compatible with the teachings in the book. Among them, Seppuku which tended to sever many armies from their leaders and often used as a political weapon in the shogunates, or the Bushido code of the Samurai which did not place value in self-preservation and over-valued the figure of the master.

      The book — I don’t have any reason to doubt was already known to Japan by the Sengoku period — was not that influential. At most a learning tool for a general during its apprentice stage. There is this myth that surround the Art of War, that it is a treaty on the correct way to conduct war and that influenced the whole world. Learning about someone who studied the book, seems to imply immediately that person gained some kind of superior knowledge that would otherwise remain hidden from them.

      But in fact, the book was written around 600 BC. Romans, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Babylonians, before them, were already full aware of how to conduct battle, the importance of moral, the importance of separating armed forces from the state (the importance of generals), moral, supply, terrain advantages, deceit, weapons of war, conduct, positioning, etc etc etc. All without the book influence. War is in the human blood and is as old as the human race.

      The book is an important historical document, no doubt. Puts into “paper” a series of principles that are generally regarded as important principles in warfare. But it was surrounded by this whole romanticism that really isn’t compatible with historical evidence. As a point of interest, Takeda Shingen, a daymio of this period who is said to have studied the book and became nearly invincible, is in fact a general that had a large series of defeats in the battlefield, despite is other successes. One of the most important series of battles he fought (and that are considered an icon of this period) are the Battles of Kawanakajima, in which he was never able to fully break the enemy. In fact, the most important battle of the 5 he fought, was the 4th were his rival Uesugi Kenshin revealed to be much more cunning and inventive than he was.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @Mario

      Ahh, I then I understand. I sort of read your original sentence as “the book wasn’t well known in Japan”. Then I agree. It may be that it was read, especially by those with intellectual pretensions, but which didn’t have much real influence on strategy for the average soldier.

      Anyway, it was annoying when I tried to find the book a decade ago, and all I could find was “Art of War for MBAs” variations – cheap books that certain businessmen though could teach them ancient mystic ways of the Orient of how to be even more ruthless and backstabbing in their everyday life…
      :)

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @Mario

      Oh, and thanks for the interesting discussion.
      :)

    • Fumarole says:

      There are always free audio versions available. One of them:

      http://www.audiobooktreasury.com/free-audio-books/art-of-war.htm

  38. Dreamhacker says:

    @Creative Assembly: Hey CA, I love you shit and all, and I’ma let you release, but STOP REMAKING BARELY AGED GAMES AND START COMING UP WITH NEW IDEAS!

    Can’t we all just, you know, have a Three Kingdoms: Total War? :(

    • Alexander Norris says:

      This.

      Also, I’d like a fantasy Total War, but that’s even less likely to happen/be good as there’s no really major fantasy license that would lead to increased sales aside from LotR and that’s both boring and not actual; plus half the point of making historical games is the lack of having to pay for the right to represent those events.

      Still, I can dream of a Total War: Malazan Book of the Fallen game.

    • Jimbo says:

      Magic still ruins everything, but ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ would have been alright as a TW setting, especially with the HBO series coming out n’ all, but unfortunately Cyanide already own the license for it.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      WESTEROS: TOTAL WAR is on its way:

      http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=721

      Playable now in a beta state, work on the first release steaming ahead. In one of the my first battles Jaime Lannister got splattered by Robb Stark and Greatjon Umber. Then everything went pear-shaped and Roose Bolton ended up on the Iron Throne, which is an ending even GRRM would have probably approved of.

  39. Lack_26 says:

    I actually really enjoyed Napoleon (and am still enjoying, I got it for about £6), the campaign AI was passable on Vanilla and much improved with either of the two big mods. I am still disappointed about a lack of ancillaries and traits for regiments though, I’ve got quite attached to some of the ones I’ve named and wish they were a bit more unique. I’d also love it if they made a map scale between the campaign and actual battle-map, so you could manoeuvre to battle over the part of the region you wanted and could also detach fast cavalry from your main force to arrive behind your opponent on the battle-map, etc.

    • mrpier says:

      I like these ideas.

    • JB says:

      @ Lack_26 – Have you played Hegemony yet? The combat isn’t quite as tactical overall as TW games, but you CAN do the map-scaling-in-and-out-thing.

    • Reiver says:

      This is something that has been needed ever since the move from the risk style map of Shogun and MTW to the 3D maps of the subsequent games. Too often you find yourself in unsuitable and (worst of all) unrepresentative terrain, some scope – within a mid-way between a campain and battle map screen – to allow you to choose your ground would be very welcome. i suppose some people would claim that this adds too much complexity and effort but i think it would give needed depth to a majorly overlooked portion of the game: that of choosing your ground. I fondly remember in MTW deliberately surrendering northern spain so that i could pull back to the pyrenees to make my stand against the Almohad hordes and i miss that sort of choice.

      ‘Course they need to actually fix the terrain so that almost every interesting feature on it doesn’t make your formation spazz out like in ETW and NTW. If i’m holding a ridge i’d like to be able to get my missile troops to within 20 metres of the edge so that i can shoot the enemy not the ground and buildings should channel and narrow the enemies front not make a formation that looks like someone threw it up.

  40. Barman1942 says:

    Regardless of the naysayers, I enjoyed E:TW and N:TW (even if CA hasn’t implemented the ability to mod AI yet, which has hurt the mods, even though there are fantastic mods for both ETW and NTW out), and considering Shogun was the first TW game I’ve ever played, I’m honestly looking forward to them getting back to the era. I think some people need to chill out over the previous two games.

  41. Plopsworth says:

    What I’d really like would be an update to Sid Meier’s Samurai game, which was the Sengoku Jidai-era version of Pirates and Covert Action. Great potential, at least garnering by the Pirates remake

  42. Kyle says:

    …Rock Paper Shogun. Two.

    Ha ha ha I’ll cut you.

    • Flint says:

      @Kyle
      If there’s ever going to be a RPS game diary of this (akin to the Solium Infernum and that one space one diaries), that has to be the title.

  43. Frye says:

    Oh dear, still the same shit? I gave up after Medieval 2. The units in Total War are apparently STILL blobs of men getting stuck on just about anything? The blobs have AI, individual men don’t. All they have is an obsession of where to stand compared to the rest of the group. If it means turning his back against a guy hacking him with a sword then so be it. Retreating is impossible if 1 unit out of 50 is under attack. Its like someone putting his finger on the edge of the blob. The only way to fix this series was always to drop the big groups with flawed flocking behavior algorithms. I rather have 1 archer that responds logically than 50 that don’t. The best thing about the series are the screenshots. But they won’t fool me an 8th time.

    • beatoangelico says:

      what are you describing is a Medieval 2 problem, not something that affects the entire series

    • jalf says:

      @Frye: Wow, you sure can extract a lot of hard cold facts about the game from this f’ing press release. Here’s a thought.

      Maybe, if you want to control individual archers, instead of armies of archers, you should play Warcraft instead?

      And maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t blindly assume that this is going to be an *exact* carbon copy of MTW2, with the exact same problems. Maybe, just maybe, they’ve had a bit of time to polish the technology since MTW2 came out. Maybe that even showed in the games they’ve made since then. Maybe it’ll show even more in STW2.

      Sounds like “still the same shit”. But not from CA. From you. I can’t be the only one who’s getting tired of so-called gamers who conclusively determine that games are shit before either 1) playing them, or 2) even reading some detailed information about them.

    • Reapy says:

      I’ve always had problems with total war’s unit pathfinding and positioning and really just wheeling my army to face things. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time in battle carefully redrawing my entire formation because I made a single mis click and everybody spazed out when I just wanted to have the army sorta face a little bit left to cover the incoming enemy.

      I’ve always felt like my units were fragile, and it was hard work getting them lined up correctly or even moving the army forward with slight adjustments to the left/right without going veeeery very slowly.

      I really hope they improve the control scheme in that sense, as even in empire I still had that problem. Sure with some practice you can hold it together, but it should be more natural, and easier to reform and position formations. Empire was the last game I bought from them, won’t be getting any more of their games immediately anymore until they can prove themselves again, but of coarse nobody really does war games with the scale they do, so will always be checking up on them.

  44. Rick says:

    “If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!” Sun Tzu said that! And I’d say he knows a little more about fighting than you do pal, because he invented it! Then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honour. Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on Earth, hearded them onto a boat, and then beat the living crap out of every single one. And from that day forward, anytime a bunch of animals are together in the same place, its called a “Tzu”! Unless its a farm!

  45. Nimic says:

    I’m ridiculously excited now. I absolutely loved Shogun, and have been waiting for Shogun 2 for many years now.

  46. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Shogun was always my favourite Total War so this makes me happy.

  47. tigershuffle says:

    I think the major problem for a lot of people is that most of us fell for the pretty pretty and the stupendous review (preview!!) scores prior to release.

    One thing CA have got a whole lot better at is marketing.

    Shogun was brilliant in its day……groundbreaking for making strategy pretty.

    Ill just have to be super cynical and avoid the pre-order offers and wait.
    Damn i hate patience

  48. Sir Digby Finn says:

    Shogun: Total War was/is one of my all time favourite games.
    I hope they bring back the geisha/ninja assassination movies, that was bleeding awesome. (ah!)

  49. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    I just want to post another obligatory Boo Hiss CA comment.
    One thing they really did do well with Empire was kill their fans.

  50. Marius K says:

    What the hell? A site where people actually want STRATEGY and AI in their Total War games? What a refreshing change from the slavering fanbots on the TW forums!

    Seriously though, I agree that apart from the original two games, which had at least a serviceable AI, the ones on the newer engines have been abysmal. It seems that CA just adds too many things and their ability to make an AI that can utilise all the extra options is beyond them. They seem to work best on a more limited scale, and since Napoleon despite its faults is still far ahead of Empire, then I’m happy that Japan will be the focus for the next game. Empire just went too far with the gamey side of things too, what with crappy Indian factions dominating the world. A smaller scale not only makes scenarios more realistic(no more Venice conquering the world), but also gives the AI less to worry about.

    Now if only they could make it moddable like Rome and Medieval 2, then any AI and historical deficiencies could be relatively ‘easily’ fixed by the talented modders out there. Rome and Medieval 2 were barely playable as Vanilla, but modded have remained on my HD since 2004 and 2006 respectively!

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