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Reviewed: Shogun: Total War
Author: Chris Kim       Date: June 28th, 2000
Page: 4

Final Breakdown


A solid battle-engine recreates some of the most intense and exciting moments in Japanese warfare. True tactical advantages and strategies are imposed upon the player with some impressive strategies that actually dictate the turnout of the war. Various weather effects that can directly affect the battle make for some intense gaming. Add on a good, but not great campaign, and Shogun is an impressive strategy game.


While the sprites used to model the units is not too impressive, the environment and terrain are very good-looking. Using the sprites was understandable since most graphic cards wouldn't be able to pump out the polygons necessary, but that isn't it the main focus of the game. Environmental effects such as fog, rain, and snow all are very realistic and impressive looking along with some good looking vegetation.

Sound and Music:

Great sound effects fill the air that adds to the immersion of the game with realistic swords clanging, death cries, and arrows and muskets being fired. Voice acting is terrific and further immerses the player in the gaming environment. The only area lacking is some music, which is a bit too quiet to be clearly audible, although it is a nice little serenade for that authentic Japanese feeling.


The skirmishes based upon 5,000 Koku to purchase all the units that players will need, and massive amounts of people at once playing (eight to be exact) will only heighten the overall gameplay experience. Connections through EA's own service will be available for all your multiplayer needs, and games are always going on so finding an open game is not a problem.

AI and Difficulty:

An impressive set of AI skills is offered in this game with a very adept and skillful CPU opponent. The AI is dynamic and can adjust its strategies and abilities to match that and counter-attack the player's tactics. This makes for some very interesting single player gaming. The difficulty settings are very evenly matched and balanced for fun gaming.

Controls and Interface:

This is pretty much the opposite of what a great interface should be. Games should be easy to jump into and shouldn't be overwhelming. Shogun on the other hand, is a glob of mess to get into and is very difficult to get immediately into. The biggest problem is with controlling and managing groups of armies together. There are some tutorials available, but they do little to familiarize the player with the interface for tough battles.


Imagine, you are standing on the front-line of a thousand samurai and you are rushing in as a loyal soldier to your clan to defeat the enemy, grab that adrenaline and sense of importance and that is what Shogun: Total War feels like. It is an excellent game with massive battles and a true 3D engine that makes combat exciting and intense. It's one of the most impressive real-time strategy titles currently out there and offers a lot to fans of warfare. If combat and true battle tactics are your thing, don't miss this one!

Pluses (+)
  • Massive Battles
  • True Battle Tactics
  • Good Terrain Graphics
  • Fun Multiplayer
  • Minuses (-)
  • Cumbersome Interface
  • Sprite Based Units
  • Limited Diplomacy Features
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    Added:  Wednesday, June 28, 2000
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Page: 4/5

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