2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Worth every penny,
This review is from: Shogun: Total War Warlord Edition - PC (Video Game)
As a relatively late convert to the Total War phenomenon, I just purchased the Warlord Edition for the bargain price of $20. It has proven to be worth that and more - it has better gameplay, greater replayability, and more style than any $60 game out on the market today.
Total War combines the addictive empire building gameplay of Civilization with the immensely satisfying tactical combat of Myth. If ever there was a perfect game for wanna-be kings and generals, this is it. No silly individual unit micromanagement ala Age of Empires, No frustratingly simplistic rock-paper-scissors combat ala the Civ. franchise... this is gaming at its best - proof of the good a computer can do for wargaming...
Now for a few caveats...
The stategic aspect of the game is relatively limited... a very simple economic model with a limited tech tree - not a game for any bean-counters out there. Fortunately, I'm more interested in the guns than the butter.
The tactical AI is left somewhat wanting. Even on the "expert" setting, the computer AI isn't to difficult to outflank and defeat (at least, if you are have any knowledge of sound military practice)... in fact, the only difference between difficulty settings in battle seems to be that the computer's units become tougher (an more numerous)--- they don't get any smarter. This is an area that too many game companies let slide, apparently assuming that everyone wants to play against human opponents online. As a member of the "silent majority" of Single-Player gamers out there, I think a more robust AI is needed for future Total War releases.
If, on the other hand, you are a twitch gamer, or one who found Myth, Myth II, Close Combat, Antietam, or Gettysburg to be too difficult, you will likely be quite challenged by the AI in Total War. By the way, if you enjoyed any of these games, you will certainly LOVE Total War.
I guarantee you will not find a better strategic/tactical game until Medieval Total War hits the shelves.