Why Fall of the Samurai Is the Most Modern Total War Yet

Find out how traditional Japanese and modern Western values clash in the upcoming Shogun 2 expansion Fall of the Samurai.

Set 300 years after the events of Shogun 2, Fall of the Samurai lets you shape Japan's fate during the Boshin War, a civil war that changed the face of the island nation forever. It takes place at a time when the ruling Shogunate opened Japan's borders to traders from the West. With firearms, railways, and industrialisation pitted against the old-fashioned ways, Fall of the Samurai is the most modern Total War game yet.

Now that the borders are open, American, British, and French forces are willing to trade with you. Building your relations with a nation grants you access to units such as the Royal Marines or the US Marine Corps to add more firepower to your army. Countries will have an initial predisposition to either the Shogunate or the Imperials and will be more likely to trade and negotiate with you if you belong to that faction.

Trading exclusively with the foreign powers will grant you big bonuses in the long run. Befriend the British, and later in the game you can "borrow" the powerful HMS Warrior, a huge ship capable of blowing others out of the water with its cannons--a useful addition to any naval force.

Powerful ships can be key to your success in Fall of the Samurai.

Naval warfare has had a complete overhaul in the game. While you can still blockade enemy ports, you can now choose to lay siege to them as well. Ships that are within cannon range of land can be called in to fire on enemy towns and cities and reduce their production of units, which can be a great benefit on the battlefield. You won't be defenseless in the face of a naval onslaught, though; those who wish to defend their coastline can upgrade their coastal defences to deter enemy naval forces.

Historical battles are back and let you re-create some of the better-known fights from the Boshin War, such as the naval battle of Miyako. The real-time battles are bigger than ever, with the roster doubled to accommodate up to 40 units. With enough research points, you can unlock some powerful weaponry, such as the Gatling and Armstrong guns.

The Western traders introduce some devastatingly powerful weaponry to Japan.

Selecting a weapon and tapping the H key lets you go into the optional new third-person mode, where you can take control of the weapons and mow down enemy units yourself. While the Gatling and Armstrong guns hold some substantial firepower, they can be overwhelmed and destroyed by enemy forces if you're not careful.

The map has been expanded since Shogun 2 and reflects the changes in Japan at the time of industrialisation. Small settlements become towns and then expand further to become cities with huge factories that release pollution. As the map evolves, you'll notice the music changing from traditional Japanese to more Western-style orchestral music.

For the first time in a Total War game, railways make an appearance. Researching them lets you connect your provinces and enables you to move troops and resupply faster, increasing the pace of the game. You can also sabotage enemy railways or claim them for your own.

Move whole armies quickly and easily using the new railway system.

The realm divide feature makes a return in this expansion, but it has been tweaked somewhat. In previous games, if you got too big for your boots, other clans would turn on you. In Fall of the Samurai, though, it's less black and white. Become powerful enough, and you can choose to become the Imperial or Shogunate Vanguard, or choose to form your own republic. Becoming a Vanguard means that any clan who supports that faction will come flocking to your side. But beware, clans are always trading and making deals with others, and if you're not careful, your allies may defect to the opposing side.

As a stand-alone expansion, Fall of the Samurai does not require Shogun 2 to play, but if you have the game you can carry your multiplayer avatar over. Multiplayer has been balanced, so if you do bring your avatar from Shogun 2, you will not be at a disadvantage to those who are using the more modern units from this new expansion.

Fall of the Samurai is set to be released on March 23 for the PC. Are you looking forward to getting your hands on the most modern Total War to date? Let us know in the comments.

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Discussion

28 comments
Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I can't play Shogun 2 because of annoying Bugs, (I can't read the damn text.) I refuse to play ever since :evil:

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

I got FotS for my birthday on the 24th of last month. Great addition to Shogun 2. The first time I built a gatling gun and used it in battle I giggled like a little school girl with evil glee. It.....Was.....Awesome!!!

Angre_Leperkan
Angre_Leperkan

@simon1812 I haven't played FOTS yet, but from what I've read on it it seems like a mix between Shogun 2 and Empire Total War (except a little more modern). So, if you're looking for a traditional samurai experience, then FOTS won't provide that (Shogun 2 is set in the 1500's). But FOTS will offer the industrialization of Japan. It depends on what experience you're looking for; personally, I'll be picking up FOTS on steam when it goes on sale :)

simon1812
simon1812

ok if I get this "stand alone" expansion instead of TW:S2, what I would be missing? been waiting for the price to drop on Shogun 2, now along came the fall of the samurai, should I go for FotS instead and skip the previous game?

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

Love this one. They did the gunpowder right this time. Only thing it needs is a good cover system (a better take on Empire/Napoleon's). Anyone else smell the possibility of an American Civil War game? Boxer Rebellion? Mexican Civil War? The War for Independance of South America (Simon Bolivar)? Seems to be a big step to get to WWI though (trench warfare, gas attacks, tanks, true long range artilery, guerilla warfare etc...).

nyran125
nyran125

4gb ram Win xp or Win7 , AMD 6870 and a 3.0Ghz or higher quadcore and your set.

soulfulDAGGER
soulfulDAGGER

Would be nice if game companies or games themselves offered "points" so players can use to get real world items, like computer accessories, etc. The whole achievement system in all games should be converted to real world rewards. Many people would like to upgrade their PC's. This incentive would help and ultimately be rewarding for the developers, manufacturers, and players alike.

soulfulDAGGER
soulfulDAGGER

Can't wait to play this one. Sega really has a great series here. Anyone complaining about their PC...some Best Buy's have a trade-in-your-old-electronic's program. I'm pretty sure you can get in store credit. You don't have to buy a whole computer. Just get a quad tower with at least 4 gigs RAM. Then add a good graphics card. Next a power supply. Finally a monitor. Many of those you can buy when they are on sale. Get one thing at a time. You don't have to buy everything at once.

kosh1979
kosh1979

hope they are going to tweak a little bit the performance and reaction of the units (specially the cavarly) in real time battle. and some other problems as well, see how the ai armies are entering the battlefield as reinforcements some times (straight line have mercy...) for the naval battles we ll see... its good to see some new management additions such the railways, good thinking. also the turns should be good to be optional for monthly or 2 month basis, give us a chance for a slow death... At least the Total wars give respect to the single player campaigns... ChaosUndivided i think the real fun & economy of units comes from playing battles yourself We are going to play it just like all other TWs!!! Yes a Rome2 would be great...

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

Battles are fun but after a few I just end up using auto resolve in all Total Wars otherwise I will never see the end.

JakeX28
JakeX28

NICE! I have this game on Steam. But I can't play it because I don't have a good enough pc yet. :-( Some day...

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

Looking good. Nice preview Lucy.

Joesocwork
Joesocwork

I'm looking forward to it. The tweaks look intriguing and even slightly appear Civ'ish. As long as the gunpowder doesn't overpower the strategy in mutliunit combat I'm eager for the game.

bsmith12
bsmith12

This looks an interesting move into the modern age, as CA progresses through to the modern age it would be a real blast if they would make a game that lets you start in the classical age (early Roman maybe) and build a nation through to the recent past early 20 th century possibly

silver_viper219
silver_viper219

cool! but i for one prefer those total wars where u get to play with different nations against each other on a vast map of the world like Rome, Medieval and Empire. Shogun2 is a great game too technically but i dont like when all sides are just alike in appearance and units and weaponry. i rly hope they create something like Rome2 TW with a big map (maybe like empire or something) and include Persian Empire in it (the whole borders!)...

silver_viper219
silver_viper219

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

silver_viper219
silver_viper219

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

Not interested in the modern setting, although the tweeks made to naval abilities and Realm Divide sound interesting. Too bad these changes won't effect the other Shogun 2 campaigns.

JeffreyCor
JeffreyCor

So the only advantage to having Shogun 2 is in MP? That stinks. I don't give a crap about a stupid avatar! How about giving some actual advantages in the SP game such as some of the new features in this standalone EXPANSION to the game it is expanding?!

PrinceOstrava
PrinceOstrava

*Has flashbacks to Empire Total War* ..........dear god no.......

RZweers
RZweers

Even though I will end up buying this game and will enjoy it, the TW Rome game (modded or not) is still the only game I keep playing in the long run from the entire TW series. I'd love to see a TW Rome2 (Hellinistic) or a pre Hellinistic TW game.

E-i-N-e
E-i-N-e

The Total War series are an absolute pleasure to play and have been one of the most strategic games I have ever played for the PC, they're really defining the genre. Though I really want this expansion as it looks a treat, I'm not willing to pay the price that they're asking even if it's considered a fair price among the developers and the gaming community. They do deserve compensation for their efforts don't get me wrong, I just don't want to pay that much for it. When the price comes down a little I'll definitely pick this expansion up.

paladin125
paladin125

Yeah, this sounds great. The new features they plan to add I think will add a nice new depth to an already awesome game and I love that its set in this time and place - not many other games really are. I look forward to playing it and all other Total War games that come out in the future.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

I love shogun it's a great game just not enough unique units compared to the other games (I really miss the sword saint from shogun1 they were insane lol) but this expansion seems to be fixing that and some other issues One thing I'm really looking forward to is being able to recreat the last samurai films final battle and winning as the samurai

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

@Suisser The rumors are that they are working on rome2 now which would be awesome since it was also my favourite total war (infact was playing it last night)

Suisser
Suisser

I really hope that the Total War series does not get more modern then this. Napoleon and Empires where my least favorite due to the fact that it was gun warfare oriented. I find the charm of the game to be the way that you need to organize melee troops to gain the advantage. With gun warfare you make lines and hope your men shoot better then there men with less tactics then melee combat. - I personally would love to see a remake in Total War: Rome! i found that this was the best one ever made, with the options of being the Factions that you annexed. i was a little miffed when this feature was removed from the series to be replaced with DLC. I understand that the company did this because that's what everyone else is doing but i find it a shame that this is happening more and more.

weaslerz
weaslerz

cannot wait, Shogun 2 is a fantastic strategy game

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Colour me impressed I've always been interested in the Total War series, this is probably the most impressive of them all! I look forward to it.