Posts Tagged ‘Total War: Shogun 2’

The Best And Worst Total War Games

At its best, the Total War series casts a spell over you. Your empire rises from nothing, surrounded by enemies who are poised to trample it into the dust. Each decision on the strategic level is a gamble on the immediate future, where “one more turn” isn’t just a stepping-stone to a new upgrade, but a perilous step onto thin ice. Each time you take to the battlefield is another do-or-die moment, a possible Hastings or Austerlitz that can open the road to conquest or plunge you into a desperate fight for survival.

But the Total War series has also been defined by massive, abrupt swings in quality. While the series has been on a linear trajectory in terms of graphics, the quality of the games underlying those vivid battlefield vistas has varied wildly. Total War at its best is interactive Kurosawa and Kubrick. At its worst, it’s a middle-school history textbook as told by Drunk History and filmed by the cast and crew of The Patriot.

So before the series (temporarily) leaves history behind for the grimdark faux-history of Warhammer fantasy, let’s put into order the times that Total War was at its best… and why sometimes its lows were so very low. We’ll save the worst for last, because if there’s one thing that every Total War fan loves, it’s an argument over which games were the biggest disappointments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Nobunaga’s Ambition Sphere Of Influence

Love of history starts with a love of good stories. The complexity and doubt come later, when you have heard the same stories so many different ways that the veneer of the Great Men narrative starts peeling away from the foundations of messy, conflicting fact. But that love of a good story never really goes away.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence [official site] succeeds or fails based on your willingness to hear, and take part in, just such a story. There’s a storybook quality to this game that can prove disarming and captivating even as the game itself can sometimes be so repetitive and straightforward that at times it plays almost like a Facebook strategy game. Like its title character, who scarcely has time for anything but his plans for national unification, Nobunaga’s Ambition has its gaze fixed on the great themes of its era: warfare, diplomacy, family, and betrayal. It’s a little hazy on the details of economy, foreign policy, and tactics.

Read the rest of this entry »

Totally Teutoburgic: Tons Of Rome II In-Game Footage

Starks vs Lannisters, eh?

You’ve been told plenty about Total War: Rome II, but you haven’t seen all that much of it. Not in living colour, full motion, high-resolution video with digital sound and smellovision. How the heady scent of historical battle fills my nostrils! It’s just like my office is filled with sweaty Roman loincloths. But then again, when isn’t it?

These narrated 11 minutes of man-stabbing cover the same scenario our Jim reported on from GDC – which is to say the battle of Teutoburg forest, in which a bunch of German chaps rather unexpectedly gave three Roman legions what for.
Read the rest of this entry »

Dying Total War Fan Immortalised As Rome 2 Unit

The videogames industry isn’t all sexualisation, lies and Doritogates, you know. Sometimes nice things happen because they are nice things. Case in point, the Creative Assembly giving a fan with not long to live a chance to play pre-alpha Rome 2 code, advise on its development and be recreated as a proud soldier of the Roman empire in-game. Tragically, the chap did not survive his battle with cancer, but this seems a touching memorial.
Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Assembly’s Moddessy: Shogun 2 Unbound

Mods move in mysterious ways

Creative Assembly invited key members of its modding community to its Horsham based headquarters last month for a secret meeting. Seated around a conference table, modders looking over at developers whose work we had been rummaging around in for years, one question was on everyone’s mind: Why?

We now know what they were planning to announce: the Assembly Kit for Shogun 2, a full modding suite combined with full Steam Workshop support. After a short round of applause from the modders, there was one more question: What on earth took you so long?
Read the rest of this entry »

Total-er War – Shogun 2 Now On Steam Workshop


Modding’s been a bit of a sore spot for Total War fans in recent times, but Creative Assembly – to its credit – has spent the past few months fixing up that rather glaring crack in its series’ armor. And certainly, Total War: Shogun 2‘s dedicated (and not-entirely-uninituitive) map editor was a nice start, but people demanded more. More breadth, more tools, more tiny virtual ant men throwing away their tiny virtual ant lives in the name of history. So Creative Assembly listened. Specifically, Shogun 2’s now packing full Steam Workshop support, some seriously upgraded map-making tools, and a brand new “Assembly Kit.” Find out about all the new ways you can make sweet, sweet war to your friends after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

David Icke’s Total War

TOTAL LIZARD

“The world is so crazy that it is considered ‘controversial’ to call for an end to people killing each other, but not to make money from selling video games about Total War.” This is why former TV sports pundit and nemesis of the giant lizards that secretly control society, David Icke, is very cross that he’s not been allowed to use a piece of music from Total War in his stage shows. While the notorious Icke might have become a lecturer on all manner of conspiracy theory-based socio-political topics since his, uh, awakening, he’s unlikely to ever escape the lizard-shaped albatross that he hung around his own neck back in 1999. Or the thing about being the son of God. Or the thing about how we’re all being remote-controlled by the moon. Or the thing about how Bush, Blair, the Queen and chums are holograms.

Or… well, anyway, SEGA/CA own the rights to ‘anti-war song’ We Are All One by Angela & Jeff van Dyck (as used in Medieval: Total War II), which Icke had hoped to use in his upcoming talk/show at Wembley, ‘Remember Who You Are.’ They’ve since blocked this from happening.
Read the rest of this entry »