Review by Gallavant
"Great game, a true sequel to Shogun"
As soon as it came out I rushed to the store to by this game. Mostly because I love strategy games (especially Turn Based Strategy) much and there wasn't any good TBS in quite some time. And I have played the first Total War and loved it. And then there were those excellent screenshots and previews. But after playing it for some time now I begin to wander is it really an improvement over Shogun.
Almost perfect ten. There are many improvements over Shogun. The use of ships was implemented (a big plus). And now it is possible to have an even larger number of troops on field. The player (or the computer) can now declare Crusades and Jihad's against the opponents. This leads to another improvement: the religions. Although it isn't a good as it seems. There are only three religions that are possible to play. Catholic, Orthodox and Islam (and a forth, with a little editing:). Many people are arguing why is so I won't get into details. And now you can assault the castle (I am not sure if this was possible in Shogun). And of course there is the not-so-shiny-side of the medal. Diplomacy is still very useless (I think that the only improvement is the royal marriage), the castle is not in direct control of the player and many countries that were left out(their provinces are still in the game but start as rebel). The Irish, the Finnish, the Scottish... Oh, and I almost forgot the swedes. Actually the game map is cut to the north (so Norway, Finland and Sweden are only small provinces)
The graphic haven't improved all that much. The strategy map is quite nice actually. It is the battle map that is bad (not that bad). The units are now a little more detailed. From far the battles are a real sight, but in close it looks like some blurry objects go up and down and disappear.
Much better than I expected. In the battlefield real war music plays. Unit scream and yell battle cries really increasing the atmosphere. And the clings of metal...great. Then when the first charges are complete the clinging overpowers the music and the same yells are heard over and over again. On the strategy map the music is just a bit better then the average.
The AI is good. Not great, but good. On the strategy map it makes the right decisions in the right time. But on the battlefield if defending will just stand there and on attack it never (rarely) charges.
Shogun had only Japan and about 20 units and almost nobody complained that that isn't enough. And Medieval has whole Europe (minus a part of Scandinavia) and more that hundred units. The game has 12 factions plus three time periods. And then there are the historical battles(I suggest The England an the France part of 100 years war), random and custom battles.
It is not what was advertised but which game is :) Excellent gameplay, great sound and graphic and large repeatability guarantee quite a few sleepless nights. It is a must buy for any Shogun fans (and TBS fans) and a very good choice for all strategy lovers.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/01/02, Updated 10/01/02
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