Those of you with heaping doses of nostalgia for the Total War series' humble beginnings will be happy to hear that it's finally time to dust off your big, impractically ornate helmets and ride back out to battle. Napoleon? Who's that? Isolationism and civil war are where it's at.
In fact, Shogun 2: Total War aims to be a trip down memory lane in more than name alone. The nitpicky complexity of recent series entries has been scaled back, so as to keep the focus on quick-witted strategy and tactics. Gone are the bloated unit lists of Empire, and in their places are about 40 basic units that each perform unique functions.
Also of note: the game's AI is apparently cribbing notes from the one and only Sun Tzu. So if you've ever wanted to test your militaristic mettle against the man who wrote “The Art of War,” this is probably the closest you're ever gonna get.
And lest all this talk of “strategy” and “tactics” turn your red manly man blood down from a furious boil to a lukewarm simmer, keep in mind that we're not talking about glorified virtual chess here. Up to 56,000 units can duke it out at once in Shogun 2 – resulting in the biggest, messiest melees this side of Peter Jackson's take on “The Lord of The Rings.” Minus the tree people, of course.
So far, no release date's been given. Creative Assembly's not leaving you completely empty-handed, however. Click through the link for a quick teaser trailer, which is hopefully meant to serve as a lead-up to next week's rumored E3 showing.
Despite what your middle school history classes may have led you to believe, the past is pretty interesting. After all, the past invented wars, backstabbing, and catapults. How can you say “no” to that? For those who’d still rather drain their brains with videogames than learn about history, though, Creative Assembly’s got you covered. See, with the newly announced Napoleon: Total War, you can do both.
The game’s the first in a new line of “story-based” Total War games. This one, obviously, is set to dig up dirt on the titular diminutive dictator, telling the story of his rise, fall, and everything in between.
Spanning three campaigns, the game will allow you to control Napoleon or his enemies all the way up to good ol’ Waterloo.
So basically, more of the Total Warfare you love, with a smidge of story on the side. We don’t know about you, but we could find worse ways to, er – knowing this series – probably spend hundreds of hours.
Developer Creative Assembly’s new-er RTS, Stormrise, isn’t a simple, no-strings-attached type of girl like its sister franchise-in-arms, Total War. No sir – while Total War only aims to please (and succeeds, by the look of things), Stormrise won’t relinquish the key to its post-apocalyptic chastity belt without a little wining and dining first. However, whereas Windows XP’s reliable charms might’ve brought the princess back to your castle back in middle school, Stormrise wants – nay, needs – more.
"Stormrise has been designed for DirectX 10 and Vista only right from the start," said Stormrise lead designer Artem Kulakov."Vista only. DX10 only. No fallback option. We have never suggested this or hinted at it, so it shouldn't be a surprise."
But why bet the success of a new franchise on a pie-in-the-sky setup that only 25% of PC gamers can even access? Short answer: consoles.
"DX10 has offered a lot of advantages over DX9," Kulakov added. "First of all, DirectX 10 allowed us to simplify the rendering engine. It matches capabilities of next generation consoles better than DX9, which is important for us considering that Stormrise is a multi-platform title. We had fewer driver-specific compatibility issues with Stormrise compare to our previous games released with DX9."
Person-with-bad-idea-during-a-recession-says-what? Consoles and RTSes (especially those of the obscure, generically titled variety) are notorious for their inability to play nice together. Really, it's like putting all of your eggs in one basket with a gaping hole in the bottom; the expected outcome is as clear as day, so why even do it?