Sega cashed in on the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo hype to announce the latest installment in Creative Assembly's long-running Total War franchise, Shogun 2, for the PC. A return to its roots, Shogun 2 will revisit the era that launched the franchise in 2000, and Sega announced today just when gamers can begin brandishing their bushido blades: March 15, 2011.
For Shogun 2, Creative Assembly will be returning to 16th-century Japan, during the tumultuous Sengoku period. Players assume the role of a Daimyo, or clan leader, who must engage with fellow warlords, be it through conflict or diplomacy, to reunite the sundered island nation.
As for changes under the hood, Creative Assembly noted that it has made substantial refinements to the game's artificial intelligence, "developed according to Sun Tzu's principles in the Art of War." Those who prefer matching their battle acumen against living, breathing opponents will also have a number of new multiplayer modes, which support up to eight in competitive and cooperative engagements.
The studio has also introduced a new character progression system with Shogun 2, allowing gamers to assume leadership of one of nine clans and level up their own warlords and emissaries through battle. Other features played up by the studio include deformable terrain based on weather conditions, as well as coastal battles in naval combat.
For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Shogun 2: Total War.