TOTAL WAR: SHOGUN 2
FALL OF THe SAMURAI
First look An age of murderous modernity
Suddenly, I’m observing an increasingly chaotic battlefield from a spot just above and behind a single wheeled machinegun.
Slap-bang in the center of the screen is a
crosshair. Left mouse button depressed, I
drag this reticle along a line of charging
spearmen. Targets are knocked off their
feet, flicked like puppets into unnatural
poses, sent t wirling to the turf.
When the smoke clears, an entire
enemy unit has been blown away.
Directly controllable artillery isn’t Fall
of the Samurai’s most significant feature,
but it’s probably its most
irresistible and surprising. Nailing far-off
commanders is deliberately difficult though.
The camera accompa-nies larger projectiles,
but there’s no sniper-style zoom view. While
READ ME PUBLISHER Sega DEvELoPER The Creative Assembly LInk totalwar.com/ shogun2
there’ll be occasions in FotS when you get
to mow down rows of samurai with
machine guns, Creative Assembly is too
serious about their history for it to be a
regular occurrence. Despite the cinematic Last Samurai overtones, the game’s
primary focus is the Boshin War (1868-
1869) rather than the ill-fated
Satsuma Rebellion (1877) that inspired
much of the 2003 Tom Cruise movie.
Both sides in this low-key civil war were
enthusiastic modernizers, eager to lay
their hands on the latest Western military
tech and strategy.
In another tweak, clicking the “end
turn” button now advances your campaign a mere two weeks. With winters
now lasting six turns, ponderous or ill-timed invasions will be costlier than ever.
Longer cold snaps aren’t the only new
feature the humble Total War grunt has to
worry about. Now the poor
fools who do all the heavy
sword-slashing can be
slain between battles by
naval bombardment. Select
a friendly fleet on the cam-
paign map and a range circle
appears. Any army within this zone-
o’-death may be pummeled without
risk. You won’t devastate targets, but
hounding an invasion force as it trudges
down a long coastal road could become
the difference between victory and defeat
in a later battle.