The game is place in Feudal Japan on the 16th Century. Clans rise up and fall while trying to get a hold of Kyoto (which was the central city in the island of Honshu in Japan). Based on history, getting a hold of Kyoto means you will be able to get hold of the whole island and have proven yourself as the superior clan. Japan split into clans with different specialties and their warlords would then try to expand their territory with alliances or with war.
I like the fact that they put the seasons in. When it hits spring, most of us will be all like "It's so lively, and they cherry blossoms look beautiful." When it hits summer, most of us will be like "It's lively and green plains and forests." When in autumn "It looks better plus it makes the sun look better." Last but not least, winter where most of us say "Damn, better think this through".
All in all, the setting was all good and very realistic.
The graphics are just astonishing! It improved. It is now better than ever.
Some people say the requirements are heavy. Although it may be true, as long as you meet the minimum requirements, you may be able to run it.
(System Requirements, courtesy of Wikipedia)
2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor, or AMD equivalent (with SSE2)
1GB RAM (XP), 2GB RAM (Vista / Windows7)
256 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card (shader model 3); 256 MB DirectX 10/10.1/11 compatible graphics card (shader modesl 4, 4.1, 5)
1024×768 minimum screen resolution
20GB free hard disk space
Intel Core i5 processor (i5 680) (or greater), or AMD equivalent
2GB RAM (XP), 4GB RAM (Vista / Windows7)
AMD Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 or Nvidia GT 240 series graphics cards or equivalent DirectX 11 compatible graphics card
1280×1024 minimum screen resolution
20GB free hard disk space
Even with just a good Core 2 Duo processor, at least 1-2 GB RAM and a good GPU, then your game is as good to go. Even with the lowest settings the game looks good. Everything is clear and lively. Even if there is no extra detail the game is already good as it is. This is good for a person who wants performance while sacrificing the quality. Unbeknownst to him/her though is that the game still looks good even with the lowest setting possible. There would be still people who have kick-@ss rigs. With the highest setting, the game looks more realistic. It's as if you were there in Feudal Japan fighting alongside your warriors.
In other words, graphics, totally awesome.
The gameplay would be very unique if you are a new to this. Basically when you read RTS it automatically means, build a base, make an army, then meet the winning objectives. But no, it doesn't roll that way. You didn't really expect Civilization elements on this game and neither did I on my first try. The fact that you have to think and act likes a shogun is what makes the game exciting. You won't anticipate the other clans to always act hostile. There would be times wherein they would go all-out war on you and the next turn they would like to have peace with you. In other words the game is unpredictable.
The armies are very unique. When you save Bow Ashigaru, there would be Bow Samurais. When you say Katana Samurais there would be No-Daichi Samurai (please correct me if I'm wrong, can't read those Japanese names fluently). This makes the army flexible. You don't always see the same units. Instead you have a mass list of units to come available and make a huge mass of different classes. Each also has their own benefits like having the ability to fire flaming arrows and such. But what makes this army even better is when you have a general, or a daimyo. They are like the head of your army and your provinces. They are superiors in different means. Plus the different modes such as the Siege modes where some armies are better off to have range units to destroy the defenders and have a few melee units to fend of the attackers and capture the province. Your army would then prove itself on how you use it.
Lastly, the place where you put your army is all necessary to be noticed. There would be forests to hide your armies and reinforcements. There would be mountains to get your army to higher ground and to have a good view of the place. Everything in this game affects your strategy and gameplay.
I would suggest RTS Gamers to get this game as it has already proven its worth. It is a very good game especially of you are in to history based games and thinking games. It won't be a waste of time. Certainly not going to be a waste of money. Most of all, it is worth the wait.
(I apologize if it's kinda screwy, since it is my first review. I also apologize if there is nothing about Co-op since I haven't experience it yet but according to some Let's Plays, it's all good)