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Shogun II: Total War


tcharliel
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  • 2 weeks later...

Demo - Feb 22nd.

LONDON (15 February, 2011) – SEGA Europe Ltd. today announced that the eagerly awaited demo of the next title in the critically acclaimed Total War™ series, Total War: SHOGUN 2™ will be available on Steam from 22 February 2011.

SEGA and The Creative Assembly are proud to let gamers everywhere know that a demo for Total War: Shogun 2 will soon be available on Steam. The demo will allow all armchair samurai to test their skills in epic land battles and on Total War: Shogun 2’s gorgeous new campaign map.

Pre-order info

http://www.totalwar.com/news/4897

:)

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A reminder that the demo will be going live on Steam at/just after 5pm today.

Demo details.

Hi Everyone,

As all of you on this forum know there is a demo of Total War: Shogun 2 being released today. It’s quite unlike any demo we have released previously. This demo will be giving a snippet of campaign gameplay. It's a big piece, but a snippet none-the-less. Its great fun and the testers have certainly been enjoying it.

Rather than using, as we usually do, just one historical battle and a single tutorial battle, we're basing this demo on the campaign and battle tutorials. The campaign tutorial handholds the player through the first few turns of a campaign game, serves up three tutorial battles of increasing complexity, and then lets go of the player's hand, leaving them free to explore a mini-campaign.

To cut the size of the download down to something even remotely acceptable for a demo, we have had to make all battles, apart from the three tutorial battles and one big historical battle, auto-resolved battles. We did this because the data files involved in creating the battlefields are very large. The demo version of the game for example is approximately 5GB while the full version of the game is approximately 15GB.

For this reason players won't really get the full on Total War experience, but we hope it gives a much better impression of what the game is about than a single stand-alone battle does. For those of you looking to test drive the battles a little, we’ve included the historical battle of Sekigahara, so you can get a feel for the type of warfare Shogun 2 offers. The full game obviously offers a huge amount more.

That’s ultimately the point. This is just a taster of the final game; in every aspect what you’re seeing is the smallest example, so we’d urge you to keep that in mind as you play.

As many of you know for those of you that wanted to get a fuller, hands on, experience of the game we’ve been running community events worldwide.

http://forums.totalwar.com/showthread.php/8159-Total-War-Shogun-2-Demo-details

:)

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I played the campaign tutorial for about an hour and a half, fighting three battles. The first two were basically scripted tutorial things but the third seemed to be more dynamic - it was still a tutorial battle with specific setup and so on, but it pretty much let me get on with fucking up my army and completely failing to use specialist units properly and only scraping a close victory out of it. The AI did send out two units of cavalry from the fortress to attack my men but they did so sort of sensibly - I'd sent one unit of cavalry ahead to secure a key building (really like the look of that feature incidentally although not being able to go INSIDE the key buildings is a bit of a disappointment after Napoleon) and one enemy cavalry unit went for my cavalry while the other headed for some archers setup near cannons. To the AI's credit it swerved past both the anti-cavalry defences and the spear wall of yari ashigaru that I'd just positioned, so as to hit my matchlock monks and slaughter them. I slaughtered them back once the yari ashigaru were able to face them, though.

The interface seems great, with a nice balance between atmosphere/period appropriateness and user-friendliness. I like that all cavalry, even generals, can dismount/remount at any time now; I also like that they've finally added a dedicated button for dropping siege weaponry, so you no longer have to order your siege engineers to melee-attack an enemy to get them away from their cannons. All units can now go into loose formation, while certain other units retain unique formations (wedge for cavalry, the aforementioned spear wall for spear troops). Certain units like Kisho ninja seem to have a lot of abilities at their disposal like blinding grenades or battlefield stealth (even when running).

The new province-specific resources seem like a good idea, making certain provinces much more important (a province with stables for proper cavalry, for instance). Graphically - even though the highest settings aren't available in the demo, presumably for reasons of file size - it's nice, and details like arrows sticking in men are pretty cool. The 'fog of war' with the 2D drawn map changing to a full 3D thing as you uncover it is lovely.

Will need to look at the demo some more later. But first impressions are positive.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Alot of people, me included have had fun with Shogun 2 and convincing it to actually instal off the discs and not download the whole fecking 16gig from Steam.

When you first try and instal it after entering the code and registering it seems to launch steam, stop installing and just start the whole download. If this happens to you tell the download to feck off (pause it) right click Shogun 2, delete local game content and close Steam. Run the Setup.exe thats found on disc 1 (edject and re-insert the disc for lazy autoplay version of this step!) and then install again and this second time it actually does it from the discs. Stupid game/steam grrrr.

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Why am I even downloading the demo of this? I've bought so many Total War games and always end up playing them for somewhere between 6-10 battles and then giving up because it gets too boring and too hard at about the same time. Yet the next time, I get drawn in all over again.

Why can I not love them properly?

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So I've been playing this for basically the past three hours.

First impressions? It's fucking great. I hemmed and hawed before starting a game as the Oda clan, since they get better ashigaru troops and also because Oda Nobunaga is one of the few Japanese figures of the period I know. He starts off aged 12 in the campaign, with his dad Nobuhide as the Daimyo. In the three hours I've played, I got through 14 turns, up to 1548. The campaign map is beautiful, and seeing the new character system in full... it's one of my favourite new additions. Your characters gain traits naturally, but as they 'level up' you can also assign points to skills yourself. There are far more skills than points, and each skill has multiple levels, so you can either super-specialise a general/agent or make them a kind of jack of all trades (to some extent). You can also choose which retainers to hire, which is very cool.

AI definitely seems improved, both on the battlefield and on the campaign map. I've had enemies charge me despite being outnumbered when it becomes clear that they're losing an archery duel (and so to hang back for longer would be even worse for them), and their behaviour in sieges is much improved as well. They attack from all directions at once and come on fast and hard. One of my best battles so far was a defence of a fort against an army twice my size, rushing troops to threatened areas and manoeuvring my archers around to maximise their killing potential.

The atmosphere and mood are second to none. Everything from the art, to the music, to the tooltips and advisors and writing... it all comes together. Missions, clan management, and even clan traits all add in to this, too.

Loving it. I'm going to have to tread carefully with this game if I'm to get my dissertation done...

Oh, and have a few screenshots. These are all DX9 since the DX10/11 stuff hasn't been added to the game yet (it's going to be patched in shortly after release) and anyway I wouldn't have a DX11 card.

tCLwl.jpg

General's speeches are back, and fully voiced in Japanese.

HR567.jpg

The new coastal battle maps can be very impressive. This is the aforementioned fort battle, which took place on a high clifftop in the snow.

Eo7Xm.jpg

This was a misty, thundery battlefield.

tDVMI.jpg

The new flare effects on the sun are gorgeous.

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Closest to a comedy bug that I've heard of is an issue someone on SA had where they told their archers inside a fort to 'skirmish', that is, keep distance from enemies. And when enemies climbed the walls, the archers ran out of the fort gates and let the entire enemy army in. :lol: Which can sort of be explained by the fact that they had nowhere else to skirmish to, but it's still funny.

I'm also looking forward to getting stuck into the avatar campaign mode, which is multiplayer and has persistent general and unit stuff as well as a province-based campaign map. It looks fantastic.

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Why am I even downloading the demo of this? I've bought so many Total War games and always end up playing them for somewhere between 6-10 battles and then giving up because it gets too boring and too hard at about the same time. Yet the next time, I get drawn in all over again.

Why can I not love them properly?

The problem they all have is they don't really teach you how to play the game, beyond explaining the mechanics. Not all of us have read The Art Of War! If you're not a veteran, it's really difficult to judge whether you made the right choice or simply got lucky, and when you lose it's not really clear why, at least not until you've played many battles. I'd love a bit more handholding with regarding to tactical decisions etc.

FWIW the demo seemed great, but as soon as it got through explaining all the mechanics and said 'over to you', I was instantly lost and struggling to do something other than selecting every unit on the battlefield and pointing at the nearest enemy unit. Do any of the Total War games have a decent training mode that could see me through this? I actually own all of them thanks to Steam sales but I haven't really played most of them beyond an hour or so.

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I had a quick game before i had to go out last night. Initially I found it confusing, sure it's still total war but all the icons have changed again lol.

It also decided every graphic setting should be on "ultra" and it destroyed my machine, I had to lower several settings to get it playable.

Still looks lovely though, as mentioned above the atmosphere is fantastic and I really enjoy being able to level up my Ninja (I've gone Hatori clan for extra deviousness).

Im looking forward to getting stuck into this! Maybe because I have read the Art Of War :)

Oh i thought the tutorial voices were a bit much as well it was like having a constant background stream of consciousness going on.

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I was perilously close to getting it last night (it's £24 on getgogaming which I believe just gives you the code to redeem in steam) but held off to wait for a bit more feedback. I've been playing Medieval 2 again recently with some mods, and got back into Empire with the latest Darthmod - I genuinely love that game and think it's now (thanks to the mods) one of the best ones they've done.

Looking forward to reading some more feedback, does the campaign map feel big enough? Couldn't really get a feel for the scale of it in the preview videos etc, also how are the sieges with the climbing samurai? Looked a bit hokey to me (even if it is in line with lots of japanese paintings) but I don't suppose it's any worse than the crazy spiderman sieges in Empire.

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