Friday, 12 October 2012

Now Playing: Rise of the Samurai (DLC)

Rise of the Samurai is a DLC mini-expansion to the excellent Shogun 2. The core Total War game play mechanics remain the same – turn based map strategy combined with real time tactical battles. Compared to Shogun 2 and its other, larger expansion - Fall of the Samurai - ROTS feels rather basic and doesn’t really add anything new to the formula.

It’s still pretty good though. I probably prefer the campaign side of ROTS to the battles, which get a tad repetitive due to the limited unit roster. I tend to only play the ‘key’ battles and let auto-resolve take care of the rest. Like Shogun 2, ROTS features a Realm Divide mechanic. I don’t hate the concept of the Real Divide, it certainly makes end-game more interesting than the slow steam-roll of the previous TW titles, but I don’t think it was particularly well implemented.

Although I can only play on medium settings because my PC would melt during the larger engagements, the game still looks really good, and it continues the trend of the excellent ‘art driven’ approach of Shogun 2, something I hope the developers continue with in Rome 2.

I’ve been a fan of the Total War series since the original Shogun, and I thought it was great that they essentially remade the title for the tenth anniversary of the series. It’s a series that I think has consistently improved, expanded, refined and gained more depth with each successive title. There have been bumps in the road (Empire on launch) but overall, I’ve been pleased with how the series has evolved.

I’m really looking forward to Rome 2 next year, although I think I’ll be needing a new PC for that. In the meantime though, I’ve got to finish this ROTS campaign, and I’ve still not started a proper FOTS game either, so there’s plenty to keep me busy.


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