Obscured: Total War Shogun 2 Expandalone

I think there's a game in there somewhere.

Videogames can expand now? Whatever is going on? And they can do it alone? I shall call this… EXPANDALONE! (You know, the last time I went on about how utterly brilliant that word is, the guy who coined it got in touch. He is my hero.) Shogun 2: Total 2 War Shogun is doing this some more, with the addition of Fall Of The Samurai: Total Shogun: War, and as further proof they’ve released a new video of non-game footage, and some shots: screen, which are by far the most ludicrously watermarked images I have seen in over a decade of doing this nonsense.

Here’s the trailer, that doesn’t show you the game:

And here are five screenshots that seem to somewhat miss the point by obscuring as much of the screen as possible:


  1. BattleMoose87 says:

    Those watermarks… MY EYES!

    • Machinations says:

      After the fiasco failtrain that was the promised MP campaign in Shogun 2, I will not be buying any future Creative Assembly products, despite my love of real time / turn based strategy hybrids.

      I am sick of duplicitous marketing. Shogun 2 MP campaigns are utterly broken, after any decent amount of time they will break down with desynchonization errors. CA has been promising a fix for months, but now I see where they have actually been spending their dev hours, instead of fixing their broken product.

      Oh look guys a BLOOD MOD only 2$!!!!11! and another EXPANSION! This time the MP campaign will work, promise, really!

      CA, your Total War series is a hollow cash grab and me and mine will be suckered no longer.

      Edit: Oh, and yeah, watermarks. Boo.

    • GreemMachine420 says:

      @Machinations — if you save, copy the file and send it to the other player (i was lucky enough to be in the same room) they can put it in their save directory and it works just fine. gotta do it about every 100 turns. its lame but soooo worth it. mp campaign is waaaaayyy more fun.

  2. sneetch says:

    I don’t know what Saga Faction Pack about! I didn’t Creative Assembly any watermarks on those SEGAs!

    • HammertoesVI says:

      Not that I give a Tsu Faction Pack, but I SEGA what you did there and it wasn’t very Creative Assembly. I just hope this doesn’t Steam anyone.

  3. Network Crayon says:

    Looks almost like Dynasty Warriors…

  4. JWRPayne says:

    Yeah, I’ll buy it when they fix those frankly dire load times for the main menu of TW:S2.

  5. RaveTurned says:

    Any idea why this is an EXPANDALONE!!!11!1 and not simple DLC as the Rise of the Samurai campaign was? It’s not obvious what the differences in technical scope are between RotS and FotS – from this consumer’s point of view the core difference seems to be that by selling it in this format they can set a ludicrous price point for it.

    • Archonsod says:

      Napoleon incorporated engine changes which were impossible to backport into the original Empire though, which kinda justified it as an expandalone. AFAIK this doesn’t.

      To be honest it’s not the money grubbing that gets on my tits, it’s the fact you have to download the entire bloody thing again rather than simply re-using the existing assets. Not the best idea when your games are clocking in at 16Gb

    • meloncrab says:

      afaik Fall of the Samurai will be incorporated into Shogun 2. You will be able to play it just as you are able to start a Rise of the Samurai campaign. Multiplayer will also be shared, whatever that means. They supposedly made it standalone so people who are interested in playing it don’t have to buy Shogun 2 beforehand. At least that’s what I read on the twcenter.net forums. I think it was an official response, too.

  6. asshibbitty says:

    Guns are ok but jetpacks need to go.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I was thinking the Saga helmets make them look a little like British soldiers in the world wars.

  7. DogKiller says:

    I regret buying Shogun 2. I played it for a few days when I first got it and haven’t gone back since. Not that it’s necessarily a bad game, but the whole Samurai thing doesn’t really appeal to me. They talked about recapturing the atmosphere of the first Shogun a lot, but it didn’t feel like they succeeded to me. They haven’t managed to bring back that feeling of dark and gritty since the first Medieval. I guess I enjoyed the original Shogun because there was nothing else like it at the time. Now I have the luxury of picking between Romans, knights, revolutionaries and Napoleonic infantry it doesn’t grab me so much.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      I just think they should start to work on something really new. They are basically re-releasing the same game every year…

    • mjig says:

      The Total War games after Medieval 2 just don’t “feel” right, for some reason I find difficult to explain.

      Luckily I have only bought the others on sale so not too much money lost.

    • IDtenT says:

      Medieval II already went the wrong way, Rome was a better product.

    • atticus says:

      mjig: I’m with you on that one. I just started a new game in Kingdoms (this time all of North America will be Apache-territory, I swear it by the mighty Sun God!), although I own both Empires (with expansions) and Shogun 2.

      Wasn’t to impressed with Empires to begin with, and now I can’t play it without the graphics getting f’ed up since it doesn’t support my two HD5850’s in crossfire-mode.

      The Japanese setting doesn’t appeal that much to me unfortunately. Would really much like them to return to Rome in the next outing. I must have logged 300 hours in the original Rome, at least!

    • Kaira- says:

      You know what they should bring back? The province maps, like in the original Medieval: Total War. I never really got to like the new system.

  8. Harlander says:

    Does that little inset in the first half of the pictures say “Obama Faction Pack”? o.O

    • Llewyn says:

      That was my first thought as well, although I’m not convinced it doesn’t say “Osama Faction Pack”.

    • SF Legend says:

      You can click the screenshots to get a clearer view, you know. And it quite clearly says Obama.

    • olemars says:

      “The SEGA Store pre-order exclusive Obama faction pack, “The Overseers” – With long experience of government and administration, the authoritarian people of Obama are unsurpassed in controlling people and trade.”

    • GraveyardJimmy says:

      You could say they are setting a new president in tactical games.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      Oh, well played.

    • bill says:

      The town of Obama actually had a party when Mr Obama won the election. It was kind of cute to see all the excited/confused old japanese people on TV partying.

  9. McDan says:

    When I saw the image I thought you were finally selling out hard, I am glad this is not the case. The images on the other hand, dissappoint me.

    • EthZee says:

      When I saw the header image I thought at first that RPS were taking a sly jab at their big ads. This is good too, though!

  10. Rinox says:

    I wasn’t a fan of Shogun 2, but I have to say that I see a lot of potential in this. The juxtaposition of tradition/isolation vs. progress/external influences could make for a great narrative or at least give flavour to the different factions and their interactions.

    Depending on the pricing and reception I may give this a go.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      Total War games don’t have much of a story…

    • Rinox says:

      No, but they still have a narrative. :-)

    • ShowMeTheMonkey says:

      I find Total War games to full of more story than most shooters. The story is the one you make in your mind.

      I used to have an army in Empire that I brought from the Americas when I conquered them. They fought in Europe valiantly and could imagine the fear in my enemies when the knew the American Legions were coming for them

      But then I have an over active imagination sometimes.

    • Rinox says:

      I once made a massive army that consisted of nothing but rockets, big cannons, musket infantry, elephants, horses and other stuff in Empire that had no other purpose but to break the spirit of any Southern American native army on sight. It worked, too. Was quite glorious to see those vast infantry armies swarming into the open field, only to be mowed down by cannon fire, rockets and muskets by the hundreds. They’d break almost instantly, after which I sent in the horses and elephants to chase them down and completely convince them it was a demon army with infernal powers.

    • Zephro says:

      I’m really looking forward to this due to my love of the period.

      Ironclad ships are TEH SEX!

      However thinking different factions will be that different is probably a mistake (at least militarily). Both sides were in the process of modernising with the Shogunate factions receiving advice from the French and the Imperial Factions being trained by Americans/Brits. But they were both modernising and both buying equipment from “developed” world.

      The Boshin Wars and Choshu Expeditions were more of a political struggle than anything revolutionary. Hence the use of the word restoration. But then again it’s Creative Assembly so the forces probably will be asymmetrical.

      Still IRONCLADS!

  11. JustOneWay says:

    Given the period this is set in I wonder if they will use what they learn to finally give us a Total War game based on the American Civil War.

    • DoveBrown says:

      That was my first thought as well. Is this game a low risk way to try out the mechanics that would be needed for proper firearms combat mechanics?

    • Gap Gen says:

      Scourge of War: Gettysburg. Scourge of War: Gettysburg? Scourge of War: Gettysburg!

    • Jorum says:

      Empire and Napolean were close enough to teach them about how to do US civil war if they’d wanted to.

      More likely they don’t believe there a) a big enough market outside of US and b) enough scope with two factions and pretty universal units and equipment.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I think someone hinted that they were playing with WWI tanks at some point, so their aim could be at some point to capture the Victorian era, encompassing the American Civil War and WWI (the end of the ACW was marked by trench fighting, after all). It would certainly feel like a different game, but it could work – after all, Empire was a pretty cartoonish interpretation of war in the 1700s, so approximating trench warfare or campaigning in general could be done in a similar fashion. I mean, the battles would still pale in comparison to fighting a huge battle in Scourge of War, but then that’s a given, and Total War was never *just* about the fidelity of capturing single battles.

      But yes, one problem with that era is that it’s not really marked by global, multi-faction conflict until you get to WWI. Even then, they desperately need a better diplomacy AI to really get a sense of grand alliances, which Empire didn’t have.

    • Archonsod says:

      Surely the opposite, given the period saw near constant war from the Balkans to China? I’d think the main problem would be avoiding the Empire map sprawl.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I don’t think CA will do the American Civil War. It’s not a good fit for their game engine or their current DLC marketing model.

      On the engine side, engagement distance was still fairly close with the poor accuracy of firearms during the Empire game. It fits within the relatively small battle map area Total War has always used, and keeps the conflict up-close and personal (makes for good screen shots). They would need a much bigger map, and different AI tactics to handle the longer engagement distance of rifled firearms and improved artillery in the ACW. The potential for cool marketing visuals is less, because everything happens at longer range.

      The other problem with the ACW is that it doesn’t have much potential for selling mini DLC based on unit variety, like they’ve been doing with Shogun 2. The ACW was basically just one army split in two, with identical combat units on each side. I just don’t see much DLC potential there, and that’s now a big part of their business model.

      From that perspective, I think Rome 2 is a much better bet for the next game. I like asymmetric armies, so that would be something I’d go for. Or maybe China 3 Kingdoms, but there’s more unit variety potential in another stab at Rome.

    • Torgen says:

      As far as long ranges and screenshots in an ACW game, there were tons of close combat in the ACW. I don’t see how any PR person could resist marketing shots of Pickett’s Charge. There’s the Sunken Road at Antietam, the Bloody Angle at Spottsylvania Court House was hand to hand combat for an entire day.

    • MajorManiac says:

      I’d be first in line to buy the Dances with Wolves expansion.

  12. d3vilsadvocate says:

    Shogun 2 was a great game, but I just quickly finished the main campaign once in about 15 hours.
    Honestly, every TW game is the same and I’m getting really bored with this. Not likely going to buy this, even though it looks nice.

  13. battles_atlas says:

    “This place is a powder keg”

    Does that mean that – at last – we’ll be getting red barrels in TW?

  14. Velvetmeds says:

    I’m currently addicted to Shogun 2, therefore this interests me

  15. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    This seems nice, but awfully expensive. I mean, even an expandalone (that word really is awesome) is still an expansion. Is there some justification for the price, apart from the “alone” in “expandalone”?

    • Velvetmeds says:

      The price seems right, comparison-wise. It’s like Chaos Rising and Retribution were to DOW2, all of them also at 30€.

      However, Steam is overpriced as usual and FoTS can be bought for a few less euros/pounds on retail, or even on Getgames.com (18 pounds on Amazon, 25€ on Play.com and Getgames)

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Ok, yeah, you’re probably right. It all depends on the size of the thing. I was thinking of something along the lines of Rise of the Samurai.

  16. Keymonk says:

    They should make Sci-Fi: Total War at some point. That would be cool.

    • LeeTheAgent says:

      Creative Assembly IS working on a game using the Aliens license, so there is a chance…

  17. darkath says:

    So is this the long awaited “Vietnam” DLC ?

  18. ts061282 says:

    Who’s editing this schlock? This column managed to be both derivative and overwrought. Boo!

  19. Ergates_Antius says:

    Who’s making this again?

  20. Tams80 says:

    I think someone at Sega’s gone crazy. That exclusive content is well… lets just say the Steam exclusive content looks mundane compared to the other two.

    Anyway, as long as all the exclusive content can be bought later, I don’t care.

    Oh, and they aren’t watermarks. You can at least see through watermarks.

  21. cliffski says:

    if games publishers want to put something over their screenshots, how about some actual GUI?
    I’m sick of seeing ‘target renders’ which tell you NOTHING about a game, except, hey, it has a graphics engine. Well done…

  22. sephiroth says:

    Well as I tried to play a co op campaign last week with someone who picked the game in the steam sale and it terminally broke just as I was about to storm Kyoto with my massive army I’ll pass on this untill I hear that it actually works.

    what is it with turn based games and always failing about 4 days in just as you are about to win? happened with Civ 5 (er is it 5 i dunno the newest one anyway) and now shogun 2. I have plenty of people I can play fps or rts games with but these types of game not so much and when I finally get to try it out it doesn’t even work.

    overall I wasn’t as impressed with shogun 2 as I’d hoped to be sure it was good just not Rome good in my book, still I’m hoping for Rome tw:2 next so I hope this is the last of the shogun era for now but I’m sure they will milk it with DLC. STOP IT I hate dlc even when its good and it just makes me want to wait for a complete pack, how is this a good thing for you? how?

  23. Crane says:

    I want a Total War game set in the Three Kingdoms period of China.

    Bonus points if I can use boats covered in scarecrows to steal the arrows of my enemies.
    (Zhuge Liang 4 life, yo!)

    • Megadyptes says:

      The strategy parts of KOEI’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms games coupled with Total War’s tactical battles would be awesome.

    • CubeTruth says:

      Yes! Please yes! Three Kingdoms: Total War.

  24. Megadyptes says:

    It’s like Medieval 2 Total War: Kingdoms but a fiver more expensive and doesn’t require the base game to play. I don’t really get the big fuss about having the CA and Sega logos in the bottom corner of some publicity shots is about, a lot of rage about nothing really. Expandalone is also a fucking retarded word.

  25. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    I don’t understand the disdain for any Total War game release after Rome.

    I have played every single Total War game and I’m convinced they’re getting better and better. I know of no other strategy games that pull off so many different aspects of history and warfare as well as they do.

    Medieval 2. Great. Watching the map of Europe change all the time with different factions was fun.

    Kingdoms: Brilliant, the scenarios were fresh and fun.

    Empire. Fantastic. I loved the fell I got from managing a global empire where a loss in India could mean problems in America.

    Napoleon. Awesome, improved on Empire in most ways while refining it.

    Shogun 2. Truly, truly awesome. I feel that the faction I’m playing has an identity. The diplomacy for the most part I think worked quite well, better than any previous Total War. The multiplayer is a little broken, but when it works it’s a dream. Rise of the Samurai complemented it beautifully.

    Fall of the Samurai? I can’t see how doing a period of history that no one else has ever (to my knowledge) can be a bad thing. Very, very excited. Mixture of Empire and Shogun?

    Love it.

    • Archonsod says:

      I suspect it’s because Rome was the last of the ‘simple’ games, at least up until Shogun 2. The battles are very much still largely RTS, and probably the most complicated thing you had to worry about on the map was your relationship with Rome.
      Medieval 2 threw in the merchant system, heirs and the town specialisation stuff; Empire the huge sprawling map, more complex mechanics for the economy, units, rebellions et al; Napoleon reduced the map size but that’s about it.
      Some people appreciated the extra depth, some people saw it as micromanagement hell. I think the problem with Shogun 2 is it went too far the other way; they’ve stripped it back to a rather basic rock, paper, scissors combat model and the campaign AI is limited to “attack the biggest guy”. It’s too simplified to satisfy those who found the increasing complexity getting in the way of their enjoyment, and the removal of that complexity disappoints those who liked the direction Medieval and Empire were heading in.

      Then of course you have the usual fannies who baw about the bugs and stuff. Though then it’s a case of rose tinted glasses. AI incapable of using ships? First seen in Rome …

    • paterah says:

      I assume it’s because most people like swords and shields stuff which is why most of them are stuck at Kingdoms…Also to the people who whine that TW is the same….seriously?

  26. TheTourist314 says:

    I’m surprised there aren’t any Obama jokes yet.

  27. TemplarLord says:

    Mod tools CA. Mod tools and you just sit back and watch your sales skyrocket.