7.5

Total war series are still great, though somewhat scaled down.

Creative assembly once again delivers a product that is addictive and replayable close to infinity. Now set in Sengoku jidai period, civil war between Japanese clans, the game manages to bring new and exotic setting for most western players, regarding that considerable amount of time passed since the first Shogun. Landscapes, concept art and music captured the feel of Sengoku Japan, and for someone unfamiliar with this period in history, the game has even a bit of educational value, which is something i personally find important. But the main purpose of the game, and that is strategic-tactical warfare, fails to match its predecessors, Medieval and Rome. Not that CA failed in this, its just the fact that samurai warfare wasnt as sophisticated as ancient European or medieval, and developers remained partly true to that fact. Clans used similar troops, Bushido code excluded abundance of tactics and regarded it somewhat dishonorable. Hence we got simplified tactics, battles and seriously impaired diversity of clans and units. Developers tweaked this by applying certain specialties to the clans, but this cant be comparable to differences between roman legions, greek phalanxes and celtic and german hordes. Ofcourse, Sengoku Japan is isolated place, and relatively small geographic area, we cant expect elephant riding troops or Mongol rocket launchers, but playing with almost the same factions against the same factions all over again can be a downplayed experience compared to MTW and RTW. There are some innovations though, for example very nice naval battles, and you can really feel something new and fun when attacking 24-cannon Portuguese ship with obsolete floating boxes carrying samurais whose only possibility is to trap it with old fashioned board and kill tactic. Diplomacy is also brought to a new level, and what once was necessary annoyance, now becomes interesting game within a game. Battle AI is something that still needs much improvement. Sometimes, you will purposely miss a clash on the field, wait for that large hostile army to enter a castle, and then go for assault, just because AI seems retarded when defending one. And this problem is not related to difficulty setting. However, the game is a must buy if you are crazy about samurais, as far as i am concerned, i look forward to ancient era setting once again, this time with naval battles...

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