Simple yet complex. Narrower in scope, but more in-depth in strategy. A game with potential to be a masterpiece.
Unlike Medieval 2 that tried to include too many things all at once, and ended up a nightmare in terms of balancing and bug/glitch issues. (M2:TW was still a good game, just not very polished)
Unlike Empire which was too ambitious and was released unfinished with very unstable campaign and almost non existent multiplayer. (Again E:TW was a good game, just unfinished)
I've also played shogun, medieval, and Rome, but I would be too biased to mention them due to the nostalgia factor =).
Now lets list the good and the bad of Shogun 2.
- Highly Polished
- Very Few Bugs
- Almost every unit has a specific purpose and are useful in their own ways.
- Single player campaign AI much improved over previous titles in both tactical and strategic maps.
- Co op campaign very well thought out and lots of fun.
- Units highly detailed units and animations on higher settings.
- Persistent multiplayer armies and generals (highly addictive)
- Very Few Bugs
- Several multiplayer glitches (1vs1 and co op campaign works fine though)
- Few balancing issues (specifically cannon bunes)
- AI though good, still does stupid (???) decisions once in awhile, though it's rare.
- The Clan System for multiplayer. Right now clans compete to top clan for their tier, but it seems the clans with the most members are dominating their tiers. However each season only lasts 10 days, and at the end of the season the tiers will be re shuffled so clans of similar size and power will be matched against each other. So hopefully after 2-4 seasons the tiers/brackets will be much more balanced than now. Otherwise I think this is a very good system that will keep multiplayer entertaining for many months to come, only time will tell.
As far as I can tell, all the flaws Shogun 2 has right now can be easily fixed in time with small patches. Shogun 2 will not require complete overhauls like some of the previous iterations of total war. This game easily has the potential to be a masterpiece.
Also I've noticed many people saying they're uninterested due to subject matter... basically due to this not being euro-centric. However I suspect this lack of interest is due to ignorance of the subject, not the content of the subject itself. Let me just say this if you are a true fan of TOTAL WAR, the sengoku period of Japan is a prime example of just that... TOTAL WAR, and is rich in everything that has to do with war.
Anyways, simply put, if you like Total War, get this game PERIOD and be proud of the fact that you own a potential masterpiece in your collection.