The Total War PC game series, famous for a seamless mixture of real time and turn based strategy, had another marvellous title added to itself with the inclusion of Total War Battles: Shogun, a new realtime strategy game for Android.
While there are other great real-time strategy games for Android such as Townsmen, Equilibrium, etc., Total War Battles: Shogun is a truly impressive game involving a blend of real time and turn based never seen before. Unlike other PC titles which have been brought to mobile like GTA III, etc., this game is not a complete port of its PC version. It’s another game altogether with a completely revamped gameplay and controls optimized for touch with the story driven through with various twists and turns.
Total War Battles: Shogun has war. It has blood. It has revenge. It has probably the best storyline ever featured in any mobile game and that’s the prime reason why I was compelled to write a detailed review of this game. The gameplay is set in the 16th century Japan and follows the quest of who the Crane clan who seeks its from the backstabbing Takeda clan, which were previously their ally. As the story unfolds, Crane learns that the Takedas were actually forced to attack by another clan, Kinsai, whose evil plan is to conquer all of Japan with the help of other enemy clans. Crane is finally forced to march ahead with the army and meet other allies to help him stop theKinsai clan.
Total War Battles: Shogun employs real time mechanics for the game play. Although no where near to the original Shogun, Battles offers a huge collection of units, buildings as well as upgrades.
There are various military units such as ninjas, monks, archers, knights, etcetera and various buildings as well responsible for generation of resources needed to train units. The various military and special units are capable of only 4 actions — moving forward, up and down and halting. No units can move backwards once they have advanced. Enemy units are automatically engaged by melee units when they are present in the adjacent block of the map and ranged units like archers, matchlocks and canons fire at enemy in their line of sight automatically. The turn based system for upgrades in Shogun 2 is replaced by a store for the same.
Upgrades are bought with experience points which you earn in-game after each victory or buy with real money. Yes, the game does contain an in-app purchase system, which I initially found very strange considering that it’s already a paid game. But thankfully, completing the game easily without spending a buck is completely possible. Earning experience points in the game is also a very easy job and nowhere in the game you’re bugged to purchase them using real cash. The purchase button simply sits quietly at one corner.
The story, however, might get confusing for some of you when the gameplay starts hitting several twists. The strange Japanese clan and character names will surely add further to this problem. Nevertheless, this problem isn’t any bummer.
Also, if you’re expecting a fast paced game then Shogun might disappoint you initially. The game is a bit slow paced game and the units move very slowly to travel from one area to another. But trust me, you’ll get used to it in a few levels and the game pace will seem normal there after.
What’s really impressive about this game apart from the storyline is the rich graphics that it manages to pack in. The units, buildings, battle, terrain everything is highly detailed.
The main character sends commands and receives information by various in-game characters using letters, read out before each level in the writers’ respective voices. And the way the letters are written, the way they’re read out is trulymesmerizing. Kudos to the team responsible for the character voices and the amazing storyline.
The game also features a Skirmish mode and a Local Multiplayer mode. The Skirmish mode consists of a set of 6 independent mission, in each of which you have to complete a certain objective like killing an opponent general or surviving for some time and so on. Each mission can be played on three different difficulty levels.
On the other hand, the Local Multiplayer mode lets you share your screen with a friend of yours to go 1-on-1 with him. Sadly, there’s no multiplayer over LAN or internet.
While the PC version of shogun has a separate turn based and real time part of the game, the campaign map being turn based and the battle map being real time, the mobile version plays in real time all through the game. The world map is no longer playable and is only used to track the user’s progress.
All in all, Total War Battles: Shogun is a game that will be loved by a series veteran as well as a completely new player looking for a good time. The heavily constructed storyline, the detailed gameplay, the cultured artwork all of them together make a game that is unforgettable and one of the best strategy games ever made for phones. TWB: Shogun is a game you’ll love and love it you will.
Play Store: Total War Battles: Shogun ($4.99)