Customer Review

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars distinct and novel concept, May 10, 2012
This review is from: Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai [Download] (Software Download)
The second downloadable content pack for "Total War: SHOGUN 2", Fall of the Samurai deals, naturally, with the end of the samurai era and the beginnings of modern Japan.

Fall of the Samurai takes place during the Boshin War of 1868. Unlike the Sengoku period of the default game, which was about warlords seeking their own power, the Boshin war is a dedicated "civil war" between those who support the Shogun and those who support the Emperor. The Imperial side is traditionalist, supporting a return to the old ways and the isolation of Japan. The Shogun's side is modernist, favoring greater trade with the outside world. While each side is made up of multiple areas and factions, the two greater sides are very concrete and meaningful in the game.

Like the standard game and the Rise of the Samurai DLC, "Fall of the Samurai" has its own aesthetics and gameplay dynamics that are largely independent from other versions of the game. One of the most noticeable struggles in the game's campaign mode is between modernity and tradition. Upgrading your technology can give you advantages - guns, artillery, industry - but doing so undermines Japanese history and culture. Remaining traditional presents advantages in the form of better morale and training for "classical" units like armored samurai. Traditional units are weaker at range, but if they can close into melee distance they vastly overpower unarmored riflemen. The balance between "modern" and "traditional" is established pretty well in the game's combat system. The broken, hilly terrain of Shogun 2's battle-maps means that modern forces won't automatically have an advantage, but if they can catch traditional armies in the open their range can make or break an entire battle.

While many of the campaign's elements are similar to Shogun 2's previous incarnations, there's enough new twists and turns to keep things interesting. The "civil war" dynamic is totally different from the "every warlord for himself" of the Sengoku period or the "spread your family's influence" of Rise of the Samurai. The split between modern and traditional defines most of Fall of the Samurai's gameplay, with foreign powers and trading becoming a major issue later on. Sea battles are more important now, as fleets can provide supporting fire for land-based battles or bombard cities. In some senses the classic "build structures in towns, move armies around maps" gameplay feels kind of dated and "gamey", but the battles themselves work great.

The aesthetic for Fall of the Samurai is based around maps of the period, using a more grey-toned style compared to the highly colorful styles of Shogun 2 and Rise of the Samurai. I've heard mixed opinions about this, but personally I don't like it at all. The 3d models still look great, but the campaign map is just very drab and dull-looking (intentionally so, but ugly is ugly). Overall, the game is definitely distinct as its own concept - a concept whose execution could have been done better, but a distinct and novel concept nonetheless.

Rating: 8/10.

We purchased this game with our own funds in order to do this review.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.9 out of 5 stars (35 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
$29.99 $10.19
Add to wishlist
Reviewer