Shacknews - Steve Watts

Total War: Shogun 2 has been out for a few years now, but if you missed the boat or have just been holding out for a good deal, you may want to mark your calendars for March. Sega is releasing a "Gold Edition" that bundles the game and two of its expansion packs.

The package will include the "Rise of the Samurai" and "Fall of the Samurai" expansions in North America. If you happen to live in Europe, your Gold version includes everything but the Blood Pack, making it the more attractive of the two. Both the game and its expansions got positive receptions.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

For the first time in over a decade of the Total War series, developer The Creative Assembly has released an official editor to let players create their own battlefields. The delightfully-named TEd, Total War Editor, is available now for Total War: Shogun 2 and its expandalone and its expandalone Fall of the Samurai.

Playing god with friendly old TEd, you can sculpt the terrain then populate your creations with props from trees to railway lines. If you're determined and inventive enough, yes, you probably can make de_dust. You can play your levels in custom AI battles or in multiplayer, where they're automatically shared with the other player.

"Total War has enjoyed a strong and dedicated modding community down the years, and we want to do more to support that," TW brand director Rob Bartholomew said in the announcement. "With TEd at their fingertips, we're expecting to see new battle-maps for Shogun 2 that will equal our own in popularity."

If you own Shogun 2 or Fall of the Samurai, you should find TEd in your Tools tab on Steam.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Sega is cross-marketing its Total War games, by letting you download a free pack in Total War: Shogun 2 by playing the iOS title, Total War Battles: Shogun. Upon completing the campaign in the mobile game, you'll get a key-code to download the Sendai Clan Pack for Shogun 2 via Steam.

Playing as the Sendai in Shogun 2 gives you a few stat adjustments; you'll get +10 to diplomatic relations and a 2-turn reduction time surrendering castles, plus -1 resistance to occupation and -3 unhappiness from differences of allegiance. Not a bad trade-off as a free giveaway for finishing the mobile title.

Finally, the iOS game will be adding a skirmish mode sometime soon. This will let you pick a difficulty level and go straight into battle, complete with the full roster from the campaign mode and new legendary units. So once you have finished the campaign and cashed in your free DLC, you can keep battling without all that story getting in the way of the bloodshed.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Sega has announced an iOS spin-off of its popular Total War: Shogun 2 title for PC. The mobile strategy game is called Total War Battles: Shogun. It's set to launch on April 19, and is being developed in-house by The Creative Assembly, the same studio that handled the PC title.

The game was built explicitly for the devices, and packs in a full campaign and a two-player mode. The battle system has been simplified a bit for the touch devices, but still relies on real-time strategy mechanics.

You'll be gathering resources, building structures, gaining experience, upgrading your troops, and attacking enemies on a hex grid, all with finger swipes and taps. The campaign is roughly 10 hours long. When you take on multiplayer, each of you will claim one side of the tablet and send units to attack your opponent. Creative Assembly is planning regular content updates after launch.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

As you can't have a proper samurai showdown without absurd arterial spray and dismemberment, The Creative Assembly has released a new Total War: Shogun 2 downloadable content pack which amps up the bloodletting to the requisite level. If you'd rather be a sneaky ninja, though, the Hattori clan previously exclusive to the Shogun 2 Limited Edition is now sold separately.

For $1.59, the Blood Pack adds gruesome new animations and effects. Units can be decapitated or have their limbs severed, squirt blood when hit, get drenched in blood, splat on the ground, and generally make a lovely mess. The DLC actually has a higher rating than the base game, so you'll need to be a proper grown-up to buy it.

The $4.99 Hattori Clan Pack, meanwhile, lets you be the sneaky Hattori, described as "masters of the shadowy arts of assassination and bribery," in both single-player and multiplayer. It also packs a new battle scenario, based upon historical events, plus snazzy armor and an XP boost for your General's avatar.

The Creative Assembly is working on a standalone expansion for Shogun 2, Fall of the Samurai.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

What goes up must come down. And now that we've had the Rise of the Samurai expansion for Total War: Shogun 2, it's only natural that we get the newly announced "Fall of the Samurai" expansion as well. It will focus on the clash between the Imperial throne and the last Shogunate in the 19th century, when samurai culture met modern weaponry. As the name implies, it didn't end well.

The announcement on the Sega Blog calls it "significantly larger" than anything else produced for the game. It will bring in America, Britain, and France as new threats in a civil war, along with six playable clans.

New features include railway networks, ironclad warships, improved siege battle mechanics, new land and sea unit interactions, the ability to call offshore artillery, and coastal gun emplacements. You can also access three new agent types: Foreign Veteran, Ishin Shishi, and Shinsengumi.

Multiplayer will introduce a new Conquest map, with a new avatar that includes 40 retainers, 30 armor pieces, and a 19th century skill tree. Players can also use multiple avatars now, to create multiple careers across the game and its expansion.

The standalone expansion is due in March of 2012.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Sega announced today that Total War: Shogun 2 is getting a new downloadable campaign, titled "Rise of the Samurai." It will include both single and multiplayer modes with a bevvy of new unit types. The samurai will rise in September, but pricing for the expansion wasn't revealed in the announcement.

Total War: Shogun 2 'Rise of the Samurai'

The expansion will add six new clans, including 16 new land units and 10 new naval units. Each of the new land and naval units are deployable online, along with 10 mons and retainers. Four new hero units include the Tetsubo Warrior Monk and the Onna Bushi. You'll also get four agent types, complete with skill trees, like the seductress Shirabyoshi and the Junsatsushi Inspectors.

The story will take place 400 years before the story of Shogun 2, and will detail the Gempei War, which pitted clans of the Taira, Minamoto, and Fujiwara families against each other. The conflict ultimately brought the samurai to power in Japan. If you like some historical education mixed with your strategy titles, natch.

Shogun 2 received a positive reception here at Shack, with some slight reservations for strategy novices.


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