Hey, Here Is A Shogun 2 Video

What happens in the video? Well, it seems that a young castle is killed. Poor thing. It was quietly grazing on the mountainside and along came some castle-hunters and stuck a siege-machine in its belly. It was then skinned and the bricks were eaten by peasants. Nasty business.

In related news: I interviewed CA studio director Mike Simpson the other day. We talked about Shogun 2 and the problems with Empire and lots of other interesting stuff. Expect that interview on Monday. It’s a decent read. Now, go take a look at the fate of that castle.


  1. Wizlah says:


  2. Handsome Dead says:


  3. Rich says:

    What’s the point in building a castle with walls that are no harder to climb than a fairly steep set of stairs?

    • Hikkikomori says:

      The Japanese castle building ethos is very different from the Western, or even the Chinese for that matter. Japanese castles are all about guiding the attack rather than stopping it. Japanese castle building even managed to hold back immense Chinese human (suicide) wave attacks in Korea, with hardly any castle falling. They knew what they were doing.

      Also keep in mind that at the top of the wall there would normally be a man with a pointy stick so the enemy army would have to think hard and decide between attacking a deathtrap gatehouse or scaling a very dangerous wall.

    • Unaco says:

      Earthquakes. Japan suffers from a lot of them. Sloped walls were stronger and more stable.

    • Hikkikomori says:

      That is not quite right, though it helps that they can stand an earthquake better. Note that all the “walls” you see in the castle are actually packed earth ramparts that are dressed over with stone. This is the culmination of a very long history, as the castle in the video would only be built at about late 1500.

      The castles before that had only earthen ramparts with wooden walls or palisades on top. They naturally started dressing the earthworks with stone later to protect against digging and other attacks, and also simply because the rich lords of the time were able to afford it.

    • dadioflex says:

      “Japanese castles are all about guiding the attack rather than stopping it.”

      Aikido castles? Neat. Off to wikipedia – I feel the need to be educated. If there’s a better resource online to learn about this then please, someone, direct me to it.

    • littlewilly91 says:

      I notice there weren’t men with pointy sticks at the top of the walls in this case. Retard move! Game looks good though. I like how they run everywhere and are quite quick and responsive and the mo-cap bits of zoomed in combat seemed to fit in quite well, whereas previously they’d glide around trying to get the right placement.

  4. Bald Space Marine says:

    What an amateur. This is painful to watch. One might think for demonstration purposes CA would put someone competent in charge.

    Also the constant blabbering was really annoying.

    • Handsome Dead says:

      They should totally hire this pro gamer right here he’s real pro did I mention he’s pro because he’s pretty pro.

    • Gap Gen says:

      He did have guns, but they were just for sho.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      I suspect they wanted to show that the enemy AI was strong, but you can’t tell with a human that bad.

  5. Superbest says:

    Oh no! The minimap… She’s gone!

  6. Silver says:

    lolz, seen 1 minute of it and guy places troops to one place as a big shock/core group:)
    One of the stupidest tactics I know.
    Deploy them in a bit smaller groups who can hold back inbreak with defence stance or smth and be joined other’s who were guarding perimeter elsewhere.

    sorry, 1 st post on RPS, must be a hooligan.

  7. Okami says:

    I don’t think that you should sell your strategy game by showing it beeing played by a total amateur who has no grasp of strategy or tactics at all. No matter how awesome your game is, it will appear totally broken to outside observers. He couldn’t have performed worse if he’d deployed all his troops with their backs facing to the enemy.

    • Silver says:


    • Oak says:

      He couldn’t have performed worse if he’d deployed all his troops with their backs facing to the enemy.

      And if he did that, he’d be the Total War AI.

    • Napalm Sushi says:

      If I’m not mistaken, there was one point at which that’s precisely what he did.

    • The Innocent says:

      In a way though, this explains a lot. If their in-house people really are this bad, perhaps they’re under the impression that the AI is truly tremendously impressive.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      But one of the guys doeing their AI is Lusted, who is famous for his Medieval 2 Total War mod, which is known for it’s … excellent AI.

      So have hope and all.

    • Collic says:


      True, but lusted was doing the battle ai for empire as well and we all know about the problems there. I’m hopeful it will be an improvement though, no reason not to be.

  8. Silver says:

    what a n00b..

  9. DAdvocate says:

    It’s disappointing that they weren’t confident enough in the AI to let someone who has actually played a Total War game before control the battle. However it was certainly better than the Empire siege AI: throw every unit they have through the first gap they find despite the dozen cannons waiting at that exact spot.

    • Fumarole says:

      A battle video versus the AI was released months ago; it was even posted on RPS.

    • Zoraster says:

      So this is the latest sales strategy from Kieran ‘the AI is really great this year’ Brigden. His pre-release campaign reports from Empire turned out to be a pack of lies so he seems to be trying to act as a complete incompetent noob to sell the ‘quality’ of the AI this time.

      This video is enough to convince me to totally forget about Shogun 2. There is no way Kieran is that inept at the game. If they are forced to adopt this sales strategy one has to wonder just how bad it is this time around… surely no one is going to buy that as a genuine human performance?

  10. Basilicus says:

    My confidence is not bolstered that this demonstration of the new, fully operational battle A.I. involved the human player fielding a lesser number of troops that are inferior to boot. If their A.I. solution is once again “more numbers, better troops, stupid A.I.” then I will not be buying this title. Five times bitten, once shy, I always say.

  11. egg says:

    Too painful to watch. But yeah, now comes the urge to play Medieval 2: Total War. Along with that lovely Stainless Steel mod.


  12. Sinomatic says:

    I actually found this quite entertaining. Then again I’m someone who is terrible at these games, so the prospect of stupid AI doesn’t really concern me very much, I’ve got more than enough stupid for the both of us.

  13. MadMatty says:

    Summon Zombie-Ents!

  14. Preciousgollum says:

    Creative Assembly are really stressing the AI capabilities. They have done this mostly by repeatedly stressing the phrase “AI” over and over :P.

    Pretty Graphics. Perhaps they should be in the business of 3D modelling for competent strategy games.

    Empire had such potential but failed because the AI would never use any special abilities. The historical battles were enjoyable in napoleon however I am skeptical when, in the same battle of the same game no less, different perspectives of that battle (Waterloo) somehow have different numbers of troops. I never knew that Waterloo was fought in different, yet converging, planes of existence.

    I downloaded an AI mod for Medieval II Total War and, while rather predictable, it didn’t Cavalry charge a unit of Spearmen… in the front!

  15. myros says:

    The 1st thing I always do with a total war game …

    Mod those ugly big f’ing banner flags to a more realistic size, that video was nothing more than a battle of huge flag poles.

  16. Bluebreaker says:

    No wonder why they think their games AI is good…

  17. Heliocentric says:

    I’ve thought long and hard about this, Total War’s developers should just give up on competent AI.

    They should instead try and crowd source opposition with a “free version” of the game where you can only play as the enemy of game owning players.

    Free players who perform well will be rewarded with more choice about what kinds of battles they play and other digital accolades of talent, levelling up if you like.

    Your welcome.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      If I had the authority, I’d make you the CEO of CA right now.

    • Hikkikomori says:

      Ok, you’re hired! :D

      Mechanical Turk kind of tactics is where things are going to end up on the short term indeed because better AI is a decade or two away.

  18. Geir says:

    Granted, I didn’t play anything after Medieval, but I loved loved loved Shogun. This looks beautiful, but also pretty playable, to be honest. And I didn’t see anything in the video that made me think that the AI was blisteringly stupid. You all sound like bitter ex-girlfriends, but you’ll be crawling back into TW’s bed again soon, I suspect. ;p

    • derf says:

      Given you haven’t played since Medieval, you comment (and opinion) is pretty much redundant.

  19. Hensler says:

    Siege defense scenarios are always my favorite part of the Total War games… the player was a tool in this video, but the gameplay itself looks great.

  20. derf says:

    Utterly painful to watch. It looks like a skid-mark of a game.

    It seems castles provide NO advantage. This guy would have been better off in an open field.

    What’s with the insta-break archers? Or the commando samurai scaling the walls in seconds?

    • Hikkikomori says:

      Haha, if you pay close attention, the AI is actually using a bit the advantage that castles provide by moving from courtyard to courtyard patiently and fighting for positioning! It’s just that the player is (most certainly purposefully) playing incompetently.

      He didn’t set his army at the walls, even though the other guy in the video warned him about that. These types of walls are not hard to scale but you would have to do it under teppo fire (these late style castles were really made with firearms in mind) and then would have to dodge the spears while climbing too. Who knows what would have happened in the battle if the bloody walls were manned!

      Sadly, we could not see much about the AI’s capability because of the terrible human intelligence.

  21. Crumpled Stiltskin says:

    This ‘general’ needs to commit virtual seppuku. Horrible.

  22. DigitalSignalX says:

    That looks pretty fun, but it’s difficult to really grasp the game in light of the silly operator. You wouldn’t judge a racing game with a 10 minute video of a dyslexic guy crashing into walls…

    Placing archers atop of walls that are really just slopes and your melee all in one herd behind them is pretty much the opposite of what anyone with any experience in any kind of tactics would do :(

    Show us a video of someone with decent skills and then we can truly judge the AI and the game.

  23. Dreamhacker says:

    Sure, he totally threw the battle but you know what?

    Defending a castle in from Rome to Napoleon was a pain. A slow, dragged out, predictable slog with packed crowds of soldiers who could barely move and siege equipment that was only useful for making tiny holes in the front gates.

    This, however, looks like fast paced, unpredictable and flexible style of battle. The AI was attacking from several directions at once, the archers actually helped the melee infantry and the static defensive terrain was gone.

    I REALLY look forward to Shogun 2 now :)

  24. GenBanks says:

    That definitely felt to me like the man was playing badly on purpose to make the AI look clever.

    It looked like he was outnumbered, and he distributed his troops in such a way that he would would be at a disadvantage everywhere they attacked.

  25. Carra says:

    It did look like the enemy had 3x more men.

  26. Tetragrammaton says:

    Oh my. Who are they trying to fool? Im pretty sure that CA actually think there core audience are mentally sub-normal. Which would explain both the video and their recent AI record.

  27. thebigJ_A says:

    I notice he didn’t put troops on the walls. The problem with Empire… ok wait, “A” problem with empire, was that you usually didn’t have enough troops to defend all the walls, especially on the bigger forts. Plus, the bastions never worked properly.

    I’m suspicious of the fact he didn’t use the walls. You’d think he’d want to show themif they worked properly. hmm

  28. EBass says:

    When I visited Japan I had the priviledge of seeing both Himeji and Osaka castle and was honestly flabbergasted by them. They were absolutely fantastically designed defensive structures.

    Anyhow, whilst their walls definatly were scaleable (the outer ones at least, not so much the inner ones) it would have required both hands and if any troops were at the top you’d be absolutely butchered, I doubt anyone would reach the top alive if there were troops there. I hope if you have melee infantry at the walls which are being climbed they’ll just destroy the climbers, if the climbing troops are invulnerable till they hop over the parapet I will literally murder someone, or not buy the game.

  29. Banjonica says:

    I really hope that this is not as system-hungry as Empire. That really sucked! For such a massively thirsty game the graphics were WELL behind.

    I mean, I still play Rome, which is of course only a fraction the size, and the graphics pretty outdated, the gameplay is perfect and I never get tired of it.

    But if this game chomps down memory like a depressed fat chick at a hamburger joint and offers cardboard cut-outs of units, forget it!
    I mena, i LOVE the TW series, medieval2 totally rocked, but Empire, while it was a great concept – and totally my favorite period, it was a huge disappointment. Why so bloody huge, Creative Assembly? Total Unecessarium.

  30. D says:

    The only thing I got from this latest TW Shogun 2 trailer was that the default mousedrag is still horribly under thought.