Total War? It Is Now. Sengoku Announced

Strength. Duty. Honour. Affordability.

Paradox have announced Sengoku, an internally-developed historical strategy gaming that bears a striking resemblance to a certain strategy game set in feudal Japan by Creative Assembly (that rhymes with “Bogun: Fotal Core” (which is TOTALLY what I would name my hardcore shoot ’em up)). You can watch the launch trailer and read the press release after the jump, though in Paradox’s inimitable style the trailer is just a series of pans across a dull landscape. The press release is much more exciting. Thanks to RPS reader Matija “One-Eye” Kodalovic for sending this in.

Matija points out that this business of playing the head of a Samurai family sounds suspiciously like Paradox fan favourite Crusader Kings, where politics and plots play as much of a role as economy management and warfare. That’d be terrific, if true. Have a look and see what you think.

GDC, SAN FRANCISCO, 28th February 2011 – Paradox Interactive are proud to announce their newest internally developed game, Sengoku, a Grand Strategy title for the PC set in 15th century Feudal Japan. To celebrate the occasion, a teaser trailer has been released!

In this deep character driven strategy game, you play as the head of an illustrious Samurai family. The year is 1467 and civil war has broken out. The authority of the Ashikaga Shoguns has collapsed and it is every man for himself in the provinces. Honor and duty vie with survival in the delicate dance of power, conquest and betrayal as you attempt to unite the land of the Rising Sun through a combination of deal-making with foreign powers, sending your powerful samurai armies into battle against your enemies, and unleashing shadowy Ninja clans under the cover of darkness to assassinate your rivals!


* Control a noble family in Feudal Japan
* Rise in influence and power within your clan and go on to claim the ultimate prize
* Conquer and grow while rewarding your most valued retainers in your bid to become Shogun
* Detailed historical map of Japan during the warring states period
* Make deals with external powers, including the Portuguese and the Dutch
* Employ the aid of powerful Ninja clans when your Samurai armies are not enough

For more information about Sengoku, join us on the forums, on Twitter or Facebook


  1. Richard Beer says:

    I like how it’s all “Play an honorable nobleman in a detailed historical Japan” and then it’s all, like, “Employ the aid of powerful Ninjas!”

    What kind of game is this anyway? Is it just the strategy map from Shogun 2 sold separately?

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      You obviously didnt keep watching. Theres an even better one at about 1:33

      It has been immortalised here. I expect this to go viral in 3 2 1…

    • D says:

      Sun Tzu would tell you guys that deception is not at all devious, if used for an honorable goal, such as preservation of self against a larger force, or ending a siege with minimized casualties.

  2. a.nye.123 says:

    “that rhymes with “Bogun: Fotal Core””.

    NO. It rhymes with Fotal Core: Bogun Soo.

    • President Weasel says:

      Bogun Soo was the most powerful Bogun in history, until she was unseated by the treacherous alliance of Sooty and Sweep.

      (this reference brought to you by terrible children’s telly from the 80’s)
      (that apostrophe brought to you in a deliberate attempt to annoy RPS staff writers)

    • Shadrach says:

      Shouldn’t it be Bogan: Foetal Core ?

  3. amandachen says:

    This looks more my type of game. I never really liked the battles in the total war games (or King Arthur or those 2 Crusades games).

  4. frags says:

    It is indeed Crusader Kings in the east.

  5. Emperor_Jimmu says:

    The only Paradox game I have played is Europa III. I got the feeling that I had no meaningful control over any of the trillion systems. I was as confidant a monarch as Colin Firth.

  6. Mr Bismarck says:

    This does look a bit like Paradox got some Crusader Kings in Creative’s Fotal Core. Which makes me feel all giddy. I’m glad to see Paradox in this space. I always thought that what Shogun TW needed was a truly dreadful interface.

    Paradox always punish me for day one purchases of their games, but I keep coming back for more. Must be my own fault. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like the pain.

  7. Nimic says:

    This shouldn’t be compared at all to Shogun 2. It sounds much more like Crusader Kings: Japan Edition. And since Crusader Kings was my second favourite Paradox game far (closely pipped by EU3), this sounds brilliant.

    Probably not a coincidence that this is under development at the same time as Crusader Kings 2. I imagine they will cooperate quite a lot.

    • Commisar says:

      i take it the battles in those games were turn based? Also, if you haven’t checked out either Sword of the Stars or King Arthur, do so.

    • Oak says:

      The battles happen in real time, but they play out in a little info box where you get information on what’s happened during each phase.

  8. Mr_Hands says:

    Yeah. If this is indeed Crusader Shogun, then consider this pre-ordered with a vengeance.

  9. Daiv says:

    Rock, Paper, Shogun.

  10. tomeoftom says:

    Oh, man, I was interpreting this as an Edo-period Mount & Blade.

  11. Megadyptes says:

    Employ the aid of powerful Ninjas!

  12. Beardface says:

    You’ve got to love Paradox. Their strategy titles are unapologetic in their complexity and steep learning curve. You want fancy battles? Hah, watch those numbers float above your army instead! It is, indeed, the polar opposite of Total War games. There are no interactive battles, but the economy, diplomacy, internal politics and trade make TW look downright simplistic.

    • J-Han says:

      I agree. In a perfect world, Creative Assembly and Paradox would unite, with Paradox crafting the in-depth strategy mode, leaving Creative Assembly to do what they do best in the real-time tactical mode. Sadly I’m forced to spend more money so I can have both available to me.

    • Beardface says:

      Can’t agree, J-Han. At least not until Creative *finally* produce a decent AI – otherwise being able to destroy vastly superior any armies thanks to the enemy’s stupidity would cheapen the grand strategy aspect of Paradox games.

  13. alh_p says:

    Creative/SEGA eat your hearts out. This will be what a STRATEGY game is all about. It sounds to (in my hopeless fanboy mood) that this could be the best of Medieval 1 in an up-to-date strategy game, although it’ll probably have battle graphics on a par with MW1’s sprites :)

    Good on Paradox, it’s high time someone provided a challenge to CA/SEGA’s flacid product.

    • Beardface says:

      It won’t have battle graphics. Paradox strategy titles are about the grand strategy – economy, trade, diplomacy, war. Battles are decided automatically based on terrain, army size and quality, general skill etc. There’s no doubt that Paradox games are much, much deeper than TW titles, but they do not offer the battles.

    • Gormongous says:

      I suspect the intent is for this game to bat cleanup for all the angry, disaffected Total War fans who are let down by Creative Assembly’s latest release.

      With the way CA polices their official forums, anyone complaining about Total War: Shogun 2 will be brushed off by fanboys with the request to take their grognard bullshit elsewhere… and that’s just what they’ll do. The game will be marketed without Paradox having to lift a finger.

    • Eightball says:

      Revoltrisk in CA town: 35%

    • pipman3000 says:

      jesus christ, you people.

    • Kaira- says:


      “With the way CA polices their official forums, anyone complaining about Total War: Shogun 2 will be brushed off by fanboys with the request to take their grognard bullshit elsewhere”

      Are you sure you didn’t just stumble into BioWare-forums? You get called as a troll for even the slightest criticism of DA2, and if you even dare to mention “the other game” (aka The Witcher), it’s BioWare defence force everywhere.

    • drewski says:

      People who use official forums in being passionate about company shocker?

  14. Gaytard Fondue says:

    I like how they are recyling their HOI japan theme song. Mr. Waldetoft, I enjoy and respect your work, but recording soundtracks with actual instruments would be a step forward.

  15. Navagon says:

    So first we get East India Company at the exact same time as Empire, now this? I would have thought it was economic suicide to go head to head with the dominant force in the market like this. That said, it should pander towards people wanting something more managerial without the tactical battles and the people who are still buthurt over Empire’s bugged release. But I can’t imagine that’s such a huge market.

    • Beardface says:

      It releases in Q3, so hardly much of a clash with Shogun 2. Not to mention that the two games don’t even compete with each other. Really, they’re as different as it’s possible within the genre and the Paradox have a smaller, but very dedicated fanbase.

  16. Vinraith says:

    Oh good. I’d been wanting a game set in feudal Japan, and certainly wasn’t going to give CA any more money. Pdox to the rescue, as usual. Well done you crazy Swedes.

  17. Pijama says:

    For all Paradox issues, they will make a game about medieval Japan so vastly superior that will whoop CA’s arse.

    (It might take a few patches for complete whoopening, though)

    • pipman3000 says:

      (and a whole bunch of expansions, and it’ll still bug out all the time.)

    • Beardface says:

      Let’s compare the state of, say, Empire or Medieval 2 and EU3 after a few years. I’d say Paradox fans are much, much better off.

    • pipman3000 says:

      no, let’s compare empire tw and hearts of iron 3.

      did victoria 2 get the patch that makes it fun yet?

    • Beardface says:

      Sure, let’s compare HoI3 and Empire. The first has some poor design decisions and is generally a step down from HoI2, but is very much playable, and very enjoyable in multiplayer. The latter is essentially broken – the AI is so bad it makes the game almost unplayable. Have they fixed the AI bug where the enemy force would almost always charge, forsaking their ranged weaponry? I know they haven’t during the *first year*, and that was a bug that essentially made the whole idea of combat in that era redundant.

      As for Victoria 2, it’s not for everyone. But neither was Victoria 1. It does what it does very well and the one major bug – wild number of rebellions – has now been fixed.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Well I think Vicky 2 was fun.

    • Archonsod says:

      I thought Empire was fun, but then I expected the enemy to charge; what with it still being the primary tactic of the era. They fixed it in a patch yes, which means Russian line now completely ignore the fact they are better at charging than most light cavalry and instead prefer to line up and utilise their slightly-worse-than-militia firepower instead. And since it’s Steam, you can’t roll it back either. Not that I’m bitter.

      Never got into the HoI series. I can see what they’re trying to do, but it just lacks a certain sparkle. Victoria remains my favourite of the grand strategy games though. Vicky II is certainly better than the original, but I arbitrarily deduct 90% from it for not using Verdi on the loading screen.

    • Beardface says:

      Archonsod, I felt it took away from the idea of combat in the imperial era to have units of line infantry basically behave the same way as Medieval 2 foot soldiers. If they have indeed fixed that I may give the game another go, though.

      I noticed you didn’t mention Europa Universalis 3, by the way. That is, after all, the most popular and well-developed of their strategy games.

    • Pijama says:

      Victoria’s 1.3 patch is already on public beta. Hopefully, it will kill the major issues and let a game be finished.

  18. Jp1138 says:

    Sword of the Samurai minus the action parts? Hmmm, I´ll take it, as Firaxis seems to have forgotten all their old games except Civ.

  19. Gaytard Fondue says:

    Hopefully, the representation of feudal Japan will be better than in DW

  20. Real Horrorshow says:

    This looks boring and lame like every other Paradox strategy game.

  21. RegisteredUser says:

    So basically paradox is now thi4f?

  22. dinorceeho says:

    Mat Kinh
    link to
    The six new clans bring with them their own unique traits, and between them will have sixteen new land units and ten new naval units.

    On top of that, there are four new hero units, including the Tetsubo Warrior Monk Hero, armed with brutal studded clubs, and the deadly female Onna Bushi Heroine. There are also four new agent types, each with their own skill trees. From the seductress Shirabyoshi to the shrewd and zealous Junsatsushi Inspectors, each offers a new campaign experience.