Japan in 1542 was a land in disarray. The previous shogunate to
rule the country had collapsed, dividing the nation into seven warring
factions. The warrior who would become shogun would be determined
by samurai warfare on an epic scale.
If you haven’t read Sun Tzu’s Art of War, you’re
going to get a real-time strategy lesson with this simulation game,
entitled ‘SHOGUN: Total War.” You will command thousands
of samurai warriors, incorporating a unique AI (Artificial Intelligence)
that respond to many of Sun Tzu’s guidelines (actually utilizing
220 rules) to determine game behavior and reaction.
This is a combined strategy-tactical combat sim that allows you
to take almost any role, whether daimyo, chief, or general of any
one of seven Japanese clans, each modeled on real history. Each
clan is given a color designation for depiction on a strategic map.
The game proceeds in four seasonal turns per year, during which
you build your armies and their logistics bases, maneuver and conduct
diplomacy. The sim incorporates a 3-D tactical engine to resolve
battles, one at a time.
In the strategic portion of the sim, your concern centers on building
your domain and assembling forces, preparing for the battle. Each
clan makes its moves simultaneously, creating a lot of “if’s”
in your game plan. You are plagued by ronin (rogue samurai) which
are really bandits, who can cause you to waste assets while subduing
them. You fight battles in 3-D battlefields, where the accelerated
graphics, accompanied by weather and terrain variations, provide
challenging tactical problems.
The game is best played in high density (1024x7680) mode, with
full-install (1.4 GB) setting. The best feature is that no two games
will ever be the same, considering the different force configurations
that you can choose and the variations of terrain and weather added
in to your options. Getting bored? Go on-line with up to 4 players.
If you want more information on on-line play against other warlords,
go to http://www.totalwar.com.
The film clips of Akira Kurosawa’s epic movie “RAN”
are used in the game. Realism is the operative word in this sim.
Use of Sun Tzu’s writings was a stroke of genius. Incorporating
this classic book into this tactical-strategic sim provides a unique
learning experience for military buffs and historians.
The graphics in the game are revolutionary, since epic battles
are reproduced on a scale that is historically correct and technically
accurate. This is one sim that will never become boring, because
of the unique AI capability and variations in role-playing, terrain,
and weather. EA (Electronic Arts) always has provided us with outstanding
flight sims, and this historical battle sim is another excellent
product from a publisher dedicated to new directions in sim development.
Recommended requirements: Windows 95/98, P II/300 MHz or faster,
64 MHz RAM, 8X or faster CD/ROM/DVD drive using 32-bit Windows 95/98
driver, 1.4 GB hard disk space (full install), 8 MB PCI or AGP 3-D
Graphics Accelerator using 3dfx or Direct3D compatible chipset,
modem. Publisher: EA Games.