Total War: Shogun 2 Demo Is Also Go

By John Walker on February 22nd, 2011 at 5:36 pm.

Sir, I see a really fucking huge demo coming toward us.

It’s DEMOTIME! Can your connection handle getting 2GBs of Dragon Age II AND 6GBs of Shogun? I dare you.

The Shogun demo is available via Steam, from the game’s store page. The rest of the game is out on the 15th March.

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75 Comments »

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  1. Teronfel says:

    It’s slooooooooooooooooooow

  2. Kryopsis says:

    5935 MB for a demo? What the hell?

    • iniudan says:

      And they even disabled some graphical feature to fit it into that size (the very high graphic are disabled)

  3. pupsikaso says:

    6 gigs? Are they making us download the entire game? Is this like they do on the consoles, where the demo is the actual entire game, but is “locked” until you purchase an activation code that is a few kilobytes in size?
    This is beyond lazy, getting players to just download the whole game because they can’t be bothered creating a separate demo build. There’s no way I’m downloading 6 gigs knowing that I might not like the game and will end up just wasting the bandwidth.

    • Crumpled Stiltskin says:

      I actually think the game is between 12-20GB. So, unfortunately, it is a pain to download all that regardless if you do not have great speed.

    • anoniminimity says:

      Yeah the whole game is the same size as NTW apparently, about 20GB.

    • subedii says:

      As far as I’m aware, the full game is actually around 20 GB

      Even on the provision that it was the full game, that practice of unlocking a demo into a full version isn’t exclusive to the consoles and has been used on the PC for some time, usually for smaller indie games.

      For that matter, I can’t really think of an occasion for when a big budget title released a demo that was actually a “locked” version of the full game.

    • Premium User Badge

      borso says:

      From the Steam forums:

      “To cut the size of the download down to something even remotely acceptable for a demo, we have had to make all battles, apart from the three tutorial battles and one big historical battle, auto-resolved battles. We did this because the data files involved in creating the battlefields are very large. The demo version of the game for example is approximately 5GB while the full version of the game is approximately 15GB.”

    • MrMud says:

      And it also allows them to not show their combat AI, clever…

    • Sarlix says:

      o.O

      I barley have enough bandwidth to download Peggle. Let alone 15GB!

      I hope others will to go bravely forth and report back on what they saw.

    • Premium User Badge

      Colthor says:

      Talking of Peggles, this demo is about 396 of them. And the full game’s a kilopeggle.

      That’s a lot of Peggles.

    • GenBanks says:

      @mrmud
      you can see the combat AI to some extent in the historical scenario. Obviously it’ll be a bit more scripted, but at least you can spot some stuff.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @MrMud – That’s what I was thinking. And one of the biggest reasons I am downloading the demo @_@

    • Sarlix says:

      Well I get about 1/100th of a Peggle per second download speed, or Pps if you will. Even though I’m on a 8 megapeggle service. To download the demo it would take roughly 39600 seconds, which is about 11 hours or 13200 Peggles. And to download a full kilopeggle…..

    • OldRat says:

      Luckily, I live in a remote corner of the world where thing like “bandwith limits” are a boogieman to scare small children. At least in most of the contracts ISPs here give you. I can download day and night, gigabytes after gigabytes.

      On the other hand, speed is another matter entirely. Living in a remote corner (or rather, a remote nook in the middle of) of a remore corner, I’m never getting exactly huge speeds from almost anything. Which means I really do have to download day and night to ferry big things over. Although Steam is surprisingly fast with 500kb/s to 1mbit/s. Although the higher end is a mythical limit I’ve only ever seen once or thrice.

  4. DJ Phantoon says:

    Okay, so. On the top left of the website (this website!) there’s a dude totally menacing the shit out of a geisha. What’s the deal with that? Anyone know? Are geisha like spy units or something?

  5. Wetworks says:

    Demo details from their homepage:

    As all of you on this forum know there is a demo of Total War: Shogun 2 being released today. It’s quite unlike any demo we have released previously. This demo will be giving a snippet of campaign gameplay. It’s a big piece, but a snippet none-the-less. Its great fun and the testers have certainly been enjoying it.

    Rather than using, as we usually do, just one historical battle and a single tutorial battle, we’re basing this demo on the campaign and battle tutorials. The campaign tutorial handholds the player through the first few turns of a campaign game, serves up three tutorial battles of increasing complexity, and then lets go of the player’s hand, leaving them free to explore a mini-campaign.

    To cut the size of the download down to something even remotely acceptable for a demo, we have had to make all battles, apart from the three tutorial battles and one big historical battle, auto-resolved battles. We did this because the data files involved in creating the battlefields are very large. The demo version of the game for example is approximately 5GB while the full version of the game is approximately 15GB.

    For this reason players won’t really get the full on Total War experience, but we hope it gives a much better impression of what the game is about than a single stand-alone battle does. For those of you looking to test drive the battles a little, we’ve included the historical battle of Sekigahara, so you can get a feel for the type of warfare Shogun 2 offers. The full game obviously offers a huge amount more.

    That’s ultimately the point. This is just a taster of the final game; in every aspect what you’re seeing is the smallest example, so we’d urge you to keep that in mind as you play.

    • Inigo says:

      WHAT.

    • Gunrun says:

      Looks to me like we’re getting what all the previous demos have had (Tutorials plus a big historical battle) plus some campaign too?

    • MrMud says:

      This is true, but this time there are alot of people they will have to convince that the AI isnt terribad as in all their previous games since RTW.

    • Zenicetus says:

      “For this reason players won’t really get the full on Total War experience, but we hope it gives a much better impression of what the game is about than a single stand-alone battle does. “

      No, Wrong, FAIL!!!

      I’m sure this will help sell the game to newcomers to the series, because the eye candy will be spectacular, as usual for recent TW games. What the old-timers want to see, is whether CA has learned how to make an AI that can handle their game design on the battlefield. A scripted battle doesn’t show that. This just looks like they’re hiding something.

      And yes, I know we only had a scripted battle in previous demos, but the bar for proof is higher now, after Empire. I’ll be looking for user reports after the full game launch; especially about things like army cohesion, suicide Generals, etc. I think I can safely bypass this “demo” as a way to decide whether to buy the game.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Lacero says:

    The steam servers are currently too busy to handle my request :(

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      They were too busy for me, then I tried again and now nothing happens when I click the “Download Demo” button =
      EDIT: NVM, I restarted Steam a couple of times and it’s downloading already.

  7. Swiss says:

    Anyone else having problems? I’ve downloaded it but every time I hit play it just sends me to the Steam store page. D:

  8. WMain00 says:

    Well it’s downloading full speed here, but that doesn’t say much since my broadband speed is only 2.8mb.

  9. ChampionHyena says:

    THIS FREE SOFTWARE DOES NOT MEET MY EXPECTATIONS!?

    RRRAAAGE

  10. Premium User Badge

    mpk says:

    6 Gig? All of a sudden I miss coverdisks.

  11. Evil Otto says:

    I’m just downloading it to see hard it is going to be on my rig, the PCG review and preview footage have already convinced me of its greatness.

    • Commisar says:

      actually, it is not as bad as i thought it would be, i am running at Ultra w/ 2x AA and AS filtering on and get good framerates with no slowdown

    • iniudan says:

      How are you running it at ultra ? Me the game doesn’t even let me switch to very high and I got a directx 11 video card.

  12. Dreamhacker says:

    Wo(o)t I think of the Shogun Demo:

    1. Never divide your army if the enemy has superior numbers.
    2. Archers are no push-overs.
    3. If you find yourself in Sekigahara with that kind of an army, just retreat.
    4. If you’re thinking of buying a Total War game, never trust the demo to give you a fair judgement of the full game.

  13. Cirdain says:

    135 kb/s

  14. Novotny says:

    Go go steam!

    Edit:: or not, as the case appears to be. I’ve never seen Steam getting walloped so hard.

    Any good nodes to connect to?

    • Sarlix says:

      “Any good nodes to connect to?”

      What are you, a Borg?

    • Novotny says:

      Hmm – perhaps, if being connected to these here inter-tubes all day every day counts.

  15. Vinsanity says:

    Download nearly 8 gigs of demos in one day? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

  16. Hunam says:

    I just can’t beat that historical battle. Not even slightly.

  17. clive dunn says:

    I seem to remember something about changing your Steam location do-dah if you’re having problems downloading. This was from some previous thingybob. Right- useless post over. as you were.

  18. RadioactiveMan says:

    Recall that the demo for Empire Total War let you play a historical scenario in which the AI behavior was heavily scripted. Although we could not know it at the time, the AI in that scenario was programmed to respond to major triggers such as crossing the river. As a result, the AI did things in that scenario that I never saw replicated in the Empire campaign. In spite of that heavy scripting, the AI still did plenty of dumb stuff such as walking into spikes, sitting in the ford chokepoint while I murdered them, and putting their artillery behind the crest of the hill where it fired into the hill.

    So, my point is to be on the look out for those subtle-ish indicators of terrible AI, and don’t trust an large sweeping stragegic/tactical AI you may witness, because it may be scripted.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lacero says:

      I played the main battle (on very hard), the AI seemed as bad as ever at getting its line disrupted and being vulnerable to cross charges. I didn’t even have to try and see if it would take bait.
      I’m sure there’s a real name for that move.

      Of course I lost still, it’s very hard :) Just wanted to check the basics on the highest AI difficulty level.

  19. ChiefOfBeef says:

    Steam needs additional pylons.

  20. Wilson says:

    As many people have said, this demo might well be interesting, but if you think the AI from the previous games wasn’t up to your standards, the only way to find out is to wait and watch the forums. I have to say, I’m expecting it to be much the same. Also, surely instead of auto-resolving most battles, couldn’t they just have had all battles use a random terrain picked from the ones that are in the demo?

  21. Theory says:

    I’ve been left totally cold. There’s so much visual detail now that my eyes constantly glaze over at the shifting mass of pixels in battles, while I worry on the campaign map that I’m missing something important among the many, many irrelevant details.

    I can see why this happens in the tutorial battles. They ramp up the scale far too fast, making you command more troops than you can handle. It takes so long to do anything on that castle map that I actually couldn’t face playing it.

    The campaign map being overwhelming is something else entirely however, and I think it proves my theory from Medieval 2 that the concept of provinces has overstayed its welcome. We now have this lush rolling landscape but it is still largely meaningless: you can stand an army at a chokepoint or hide it in a forest, but otherwise the space between cities/forts is wasteland.

    Land ownership needs to become fluid, based on army/agent movement for example. The on-map resources are a good step, and I’d experiment further by moving the recruitment of some units out into the countryside too (think mercenaries from previous games). Anything to eliminate the binary “hold fort = hold huge region” mechanic that exists today.

    Also, what the hell is this?

    • DiamondDog says:

      Your complaints about the campaign map are kind of what I enjoyed most about Empire. They did a lot of work in that area, making the rest of the province worth defending by putting control of resources outside the city. If you dumped a huge force in one spot and left the rest of the province open it was like a huge invitation for the opposing army to burn down your entire infrastructure.

      From what I can see of Shogun 2 they seem to be going with a similar system, with the rice paddies being a separate resource on the map. You can’t really “hold fort = hold huge region” without taking a hit to your economy.

    • Soon says:

      I think it would have been nice if the map looked like a traditional painting or wood-block print to match the aesthetics of some of the other things in the game.

  22. Nimic says:

    Got 10 MB/s while download this on Steam, at the same time as I got 4 MB/s downloading the Dragon Age 2 demo, also on Steam. Perhaps I’m just a little bit after everyone else.

  23. Reapy says:

    I just got done trying out the tutorial, a big meh really. I couldn’t select any anti aliasing so the graphics weren’t really doing it for me. My biggest gripe once again was army control. I can’t steer these god damn guys around at all. I can’t even find adequate tutorials explaining it for me, if it is some mechanic I need to learn I’m fine but man, on the castle siege, trying to move my army up was a bitch and a half.

    So, first if I group move something, i have to make a group, and pick a formation, otherwise you get a 10 mile long horizontal line, or all your units packed into useless columns. Great, pick a group formation now. Um, dragon, spear tip, flowing crane, wtf? I appreciate the artwork, but some mechanism to describe WTF they all do would be helpful.

    So now I’m in formation, hrm, I decide to have my cav flank to the side, so I pick it individually, meanwhile, I want to move my army up again. I can’t select the whole group since the cav is now wheeling off to the side, so I select the group, with ctrl deselct the flanking cav, then move the army forward. Oh, look, a giant horizontal line will be forming, great.

    If I right click a group formation and hold I can see it sets the formation to the bottom right of my mouse click, why? If I hold down alt when i right click, it sets it at the cursor dead center which is more what I would expect.

    I just don’t get it, I can’t move the army around in a useful way (ie not having the ai turn into a useless blob while in transit) short of pausing the game and right click dragging each guy while holding down the space bar till I have an acceptable formation, then from that point I can walk in a straight line and that is it.

    I don’t understand that in all the years since the original shogun total war there seems to be not one improvement over the control mechanism for this game. Normally i’m not such a complainer, I’ve played every genera of pc and console game and have no trouble learning new ways to control games, its just, the game is always so polished except this one aspect, this one thing that is the core of playing the game, is such a tedious pain in the ass and I’ve yet to see them fix it. Damn people.

    All that said I’ll probably buy it eventually :(

    • Kakrafoon says:

      The control mechanisms for individual units are fine, I don’t touch the pre-set formation buttons at-all; although I like what they have done by naming arny formations like “constipated tiger” or “spavined crane” or something.

      Concerning your problem: CAs oversight is that many people have played since Medieval 1 or Shogun (like me), and they take it for granted that everyone gets the way units are pulled onto the terrain like a rectangular selection box. It has become second nature for me to group units by hand, setting my infantry regiments up in a line of battle, positioning the archers behind them and putting the cavalry on the flanks with a few clicks, but I would be oooverwhelmed if I was used to single-unit RTS games like Starcraft.

    • Reapy says:

      I’ve put about 10 – 30 hours into every total war game since shogun, (minus napoleon) I get how the game works, I just feel like it is not intuitive. I’ve always had trouble controlling large armies, I can handle bout 8 units, and it really depends on the variety of them, but I feel like the way to move them around is always much more tedious than it has to be, and even with that I feel like I have to pay much more attention to the way they move, when I would rather be concentrating on the positioning, if that makes sense.

      One thing that would probably help me would be to actually play the multiplayer, as I’m sure the trial by fire there would get me up to speed controlling it well without using pause as a crutch.

      Well anyway, I guess that is just something in my nature that makes it hard for me to control. I’ve made it work in the past sure, and have controlled it similar to you, ie group by unit types/flank position, draw the line out where i want them set up, but I do recall having to use pause extensively when the armies started getting bigger in the late game.

      I guess really my problem here is that to control it properly, you have to sort of go around the interface that has been set up by creative as how you control your guys, tutorials have always told you to use the group formation methods etc, using alt to move troops or the space bar to highlight positions, or using right click drag to set the formation have always been things I’ve needed to identify by going to web forums. You would think over time that they would make more useful tutorials or make the best way to control the game more to the front of it.

      Eh anyway, rage over video game, I know *waves hands frantically* :)

    • Fumarole says:

      One thing that may help is to never group your cavalry or artillery with your footmen. Generally you will have fewer of them to control than footmen so it shouldn’t be a big deal. This leaves your formations intact and your cavalry ready for quick maneuvering without the consequence of disrupting your formations.

  24. Kakrafoon says:

    About the tutorial: I’m not terribly impressed. I suppose if you have a high-end-rechenkessel, the game looks stunning, but on mine, with most things on medium… nah. The damn tutorial doesn’t let you DO things. It’s always click-here-click-there-no-don’t-build-that. Also, inserting pre-fabricated battles, even if they are meant to be tutorials, seems a bit weaselly to me.

    • Superbest says:

      I have a high end rechenkessel, and the game looks stunning. Literally stunning. Everything is crazy detailed, and you can’t turn on AA (no clue why, not like it would take that much space). Add that you are usually looking at things from afar, you end up with jaggy hell.

      Then, there’s also the armors. See, in feudal Japan, there are only gold glazed full plate mails of reflection +5. Everything shines shines SHINES SO GODDAMN MUCH OH MY GOD THE PRESIDENT OF MAGPIESTAN MAGPIE MCFLY HAS JUST REQUESTED MY UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER

      Honestly I could barely play the battles for the awful distracting shine and glow everywhere, together with the irritating aliasing problem.

  25. 12kill4 says:

    Position your troops in a battle line, select them with the cursor then [right?] click at the point you wish to advance that group to. So Lo g as you don’t click and drag, your formation should be maintained once the grouping stops moving. The biggest problem I find is that there is.no easy way to simultaneously trigger flanking actions or set up any kind of semi-formal battle plan… essentially I want ravenshield-esque planning and go-code triggers… but I guess that means I want a different game altogether…

  26. Zhou says:

    I’ll be honest, for a high-end game that I’ve been really looking forward to, this demo is pretty damn shonky. I realise they want to sell the campaign map, but they do it in an arsebackwards way, messing around with the battles you desperately want to play. Also, constantly being straightjacketed by the “helper” is sodding annoying; its pretty much “click here, click here, click here” ad nauseum, leaving you no ability to just check stuff out, or even play the game.

    In terms of graphics, its a mixed bag. The battles were meeh, I’ve yet to find a way to turn on AA, and without it the game can tend to look pretty hideous. Having said that though, the campaign map is properly gorgeous. Which is all well and good, but it would be nice if the battles looked as good. Apparently AA has been turned off for the demo, so there is still hope for the release copy looking better.

    Controls are godawful. The formations available are impossibly opaque and moronic. The only way I can see to find out what they do is to use them and then remember them, which is hardly convenient when the historical battle doesn’t have formations and the other battles are carefully controlled. Also, for the love of x and all that is y, DO NOT TRY TO USE FORMATIONS WITH ONLY ONE UNIT TYPE. What will result is what I like to call the “scattershot” formation, where your troops randomly face different directions, with no cohesive alignment at all, spotted around a large area. The result is an army that looks like a burgeoning petri dish. WTB “straight line” formation, that isn’t named after some painfully contorted animal.

    Its a damn shame, because its not all negative. There are hints here and there that the devs have turned their brains on and considered a lot of the little stuff. On normal difficulty in the historical battle the enemy units cohered and attacked as one, which is a big step away from Empire. Even more to the point they *seemed* to target my weaker spear ashigaru, as opposed to my samurai. After the shenanigans of Empire, this is more than welcome.

    Furthermore, the campaign to me appears much improved, but mostly in the little details. Elements of detail and control and depth appear far advanced to Empire, and while certain aspects are still frustrating (ui navigation can equate to a *lot* of seemingly unnecessary clicking) there is the sense that someone has really thought through some of the issues, or just the boring bits, of Empire’s campaign map.

    The glimpse I’ve had make it seem like a much more cared-for game than Empire was, but its by no means perfect in demo form.

    My preorder still stands, as of the moment.

    • Sadraukar says:

      I agree. I was really looking forward to giving this one a try, thinking that it would elevate my opinion of the game after reading all of the hands-on accounts from the media. Unfortunately this demo has left a bad taste in my mouth.

      I just don’t know what it is about this engine, but it seems much more difficult to gauge how a battle is going than in titles like Medieval 2. It is difficult to tell units apart when they are locked in melee. Additionally, the graphics seem to look pretty awful compared to Napoleon (strangely). I realize that the anti-aliasing has been cut from the demo, but the dynamic LOD system seems to be pretty overactive. The trees become sprites at a fairly mediocre distance. Units shift to their lower detail equivalents at much shorter range than Napoleon (I had everything set to Ultra). In addition, ATI cards still appear to have the same issues with units jumping around that have existed since Napoleon.

      I apologize for the nitpicking, but the Total War series are my favorite games and I suppose I overestimated what this demo would be like. I actually built a new computer two weeks ago specifically with this game in mind. Sandy Bridge i7, ATI HD 6950 and everything. It bothers me that there are still performance problems with an engine that is on its third game. My pre-order stands as well, but my faith in CA is beginning to waver. If this demo is supposed to sell the game, it would have been wise to wait a week or two to include anti-aliasing and other engine improvements. I sometimes get the feeling that the day-one buyers are CA’s beta testers or that there is simply a disconnect between the dev and management side of their products.

      The campaign map is excellent. The art and production quality are top notch. It also seems that this is an area where performance problems were fixed. This all being said, I will probably be sinking another 100+ hours into this….

    • Commisar says:

      thats true, they also have streamlined the units from Empire and I heard the naval battles are ALOT better. But, knowing CA “fans”, this game will be disparaged to the moon

    • Sadraukar says:

      True. It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that CA is unmatched when it comes to epic, intense depictions of historical battles. There are no other games like this, and looking back on my initial impressions of the demo, part of me thinks “it could be a lot worse.”

      I appreciate that the unit roster, while lower in numbers, seems to have greater tactical variety. Empire and Napoleon had dozens of versions of the same four unit types (line infantry, skirmishers, cavalry, artillery).

      The naval battles look exciting as well, and seem to also follow the same “more with less” line of redesign as the land unit roster.

  27. yurusei says:

    I see people are kind of expecting an awful lot from a demo.

    • Zhou says:

      I’m not sure its expecting an awful lot as such, I just feel that its been let down in a few areas. I understand that they don’t want to us to play the demo for ever, but making the tutorials artificially frustrating doesn’t seem to me like the right way of doing that.

      In terms of my gripes with controls I would say that its a pretty key aspect of the game, and that the formation options are absolutely opaque, as many others have said. While the demo is a bastardised version of the game, I still think this is a pretty legitimate concern. Its not like formation descriptions take up lots of hdd space.

      Graphically, I won’t lie, I think they could have done better. Perhaps it is due to size constraints, but there is no getting away from the fact that no fan (afaik) has been able to make the game look anything like the screenshots/videos. As a preview of the game, I don’t reckon this does the developers any favours, as I don’t believe the new customers, who they appear to be targeting, will necessarily get that the demo is incomplete.

  28. Jhoosier says:

    AAAAAARGH! Why can’t I access the demo on Steam? I live in Japan, and my favorite series are unavailable here. Total War and Civ are unaccessible >.>

  29. K. says:

    Giving in to my demands, a Total War demo finally includes the grand strategy map.
    I am satisfied… for now.

    That is all.

  30. bill says:

    Wow. this game came out quick.

  31. Gibius says:

    Well I’ve already broken the game. In the final tutorial battle, which is a siege, I basically moved my army up to stand outside of the enemy’s archery range, and then ran my ninjas down the flanks of the castle, scaled the highest wall at the back that leads to the keep with the intent of getting the drop on their general.
    While the ninjas were en route, the enemy general ran into the courtyard leaving the small area in front of the keep totally unoccupied, and so the ninjas got onto the castle wall under minor archery fire.
    Lost about a third of them but then ran into the capture zone and stood there for a minute, while the enemy made no attempt to get back to the keep and defend it. Consequently I won without spilling a drop of the enemy’s blood and losing just a few ninjas. Talk about heroic victory.

    • Fumarole says:

      Well they are ninja.

      A friend of mine played the first Shogun and conquered all of Japan using only geisha. I’m interested in seeing if this same feat can be accomplished in the sequel.

    • Gibius says:

      Granted, but the idea of capturing a castle with the defenders all still alive is just weird.

      “Shit, there’s Ninjas stood next to the castle! We surrender!”

    • D says:

      But are you sure they could even see the ninja? Maybe they just noticed all their castle flags were different and assumed it was time to leave.

  32. lePooch says:

    After playing the tutorial, it seems like the siege of the third city you take is heavily scripted. If you send your ninja up to the front gate, the AI breaks. The enemy cavalry will charge straight at them, regardless of whatever else is in the way. And then the general will run out of the castle as well, chasing the ninja down, not bothering to stop and engage my general, the Yari troops next to him, or the hero archers and monks.

    I do not have much good to say about the battle AI as of yet. I managed to actually win the historical battle despite the disadvantages, but it was not pretty. As long as they leave in the ability for things like Darthmod to be made for this game, however, I think it should be okay(one can hope).

    Having skipped Empire completely, I’m loving the map and the new province system, not to mention what feels like much more useful agents. The new trade system also seems much more easy to understand, or at least predict. I never really understood how my trade agreements specifically impacted my economy in Medieval 2.

    Too bad the naval battles weren’t featured, though there are tempting hints as to how those will turn out – things like the sea being sectioned off into invisible ‘provinces’, such as Gulfs and Straits, which means custom terrain based on where the battles are(hopefully).

  33. technomoney says:

    As a first time player of the Total War series, I have to say, this demo has me pretty excited for the full game.

    I can see why some of the vets aren’t pleased by the campaign tutorial or the scripting in the battles, but I rather enjoyed it. The tutorial guy explained everything I needed to know, and the battles were slow and easy, I throughly enjoyed it.

    Maybe they’re looking to grab new players with this demo…

  34. Jorum says:

    I was a worried by the final siege battle.
    My moves were a frontal advance on the south/south west gates, while spearman, heroes and monks hooked around the right flank to attack north-east gate.

    As I approached isolated units made suicidal charges or left to wander around outside their walls getting shot to ribbons.

    Critically, as my units climbed over the southern walls the AI didn’t seem to realise the importance of holding the “gate flags” and didn’t occupy them – letting me move onto them straight way and open gates for everyone to pour through. The south courtyard turned into general mess gang-bang melee.
    The defenders didn’t make any attempt to withdraw and make me to climb again and allow archers and towers to whittle me down a bit more.

    The flank force took the north-east gate uncontested as there was no defending units despite my long move up the flank being in clear view and blindingly obvious in intent.
    Defenders continued to ignore the fact there was now a sizable force walking around their northern courtyard.

    The heroes and monks climbed the wall from the NE courtyard to the keep courtyard. This only had a single (seemingly oblivious) unit there with didn’t attempt to stop the climb or even respond once I was up there. A few seconds later I was suddenly told I’d won, presumably because monks were standing next to keep.

    Given the superiority of the units given to me, I’m not sure if defender had any chance of survival, but it could have made better looking effort.

    So my impressions (from this one isolated tutor battle) were:
    -AI still prone to pointless suicidal charges and/or milling about while getting shot.
    -AI didn’t seem to really know how to defend the gates or make best use of the multiple courtyards.
    -Failed to deal or react at all to my northern assault. (even thought it actually began before southern one).
    -It seemed absurdly easy to scale walls.

    I strongly suspect with only the threat of a southern assault to keep AI busy a single ashigaru unit could have taken the castle by carrying out my flanking move and would have taken only minutes to climb the two sets of walls and take the keep.

    I really want this to be good as the setting and campaign map aspect really appeal to me, and original Shogun was one of my first PC games, but my doubts from Empire are not allayed.
    I’d rather not have to wait for a dozen realeases of DarthMod:Shogun2 for it to be worth looking at.

  35. Davie says:

    Bugger! 6 gigs and they still disable the unscripted battles? I don’t get it. M2TW was fifteen-odd gigs, and their demo was less than a thousand megabytes. What gives?

    Whether justified or not, this makes me sad.