The east meets the west in Total War: Shogun 2’s expansion Fall of the Samurai. It should be noted that Fall of the Samurai is astandalone expansion and does not require the Total War: Shogun 2 to work. That allowed The Creative Assembly to create a much deeper and richer Total War experience while focusing on the conflict between the Shogunate and the Imperial throne taking place in the 19th Century.
Total War: Shogun 2 is one of the finest Strategy games on Macand The Fall of the Samurai expansion promises to improve it even more. But does it deliver? Read on.
Note: As always, this game was reviewed on Mac hardware. Read on for the full specs.
Enter Fall of the Samurai
As with other Total War games, you are given choices straight from the get go from the main menu. You can choose the campaign, specific historical battles (which could also require specific DLCs) or custom battle. There are also multiplayer modes, such as the multiplayer campaign or the avatar conquest mode.
When you select the main campaign, you are taken to the map screen that shows you the overview of your current empire for the clan that you have selected. You are presented with five pro-shogunate and five imperialist clans to chose from. Each clan has a piece of land and a couple enemies to deal with. As in all Total War games, each clan has specific attributes ranging from movement speed to increased income from tax. You also can decide whether you want to play a short, long or domination campaign.
One of the new additions to Total War is called your developmental level. As you start out, your clan’s developmental level is at level one, and as you research and your empire grows, your development level increases. But there is a downside to that. Your people are not fans of development and you will have to make sure that they do not become unhappy to the point of cause an uprising in your provinces. On the other hand, you have to develop your clan in order to progress through the game and outlast your opponent. Development is a two-edged sword that needs to be handled with skill and finesse
Overall, there are many similarities with the base game of Shogun 2, like trade, diplomacy, clan management and research. And this isn’t a bad thing. It simply means that if you have ever played a Total War game before, you will feel right at home here. But you will feel, as I found myself, delightfully intrigued by the nuances within this game.
Outside of the main campaign are other options to play that are just as fun and challenging.
Multiplayer also made its way onto the scene here and it offers two different modes. In the Avatar conquest mode you build an avatar and select a clan and then battle others online to increase your skill and unlock rewards for your clan. End game for that is to become the last man standing, as it was, and rule the kingdom. The other mode is the Multiplayer campaign, which lets you battle others online in a land, sea, or siege type battles. There are three modes in the multiplayer campaign: Head to Head, short co-op, or long co-op.
Downside to the multiplayer is good luck trying to find someone to play with. As Fall of the Samurai is not as big as other multiplayer games such as COD the availability of players can be a bit scarce.
One thing that should be noted is that Steam offers as an additional install (for FREE I should add), a first in Total War history: the Total War Map Editor. This editor lets you create and share land, sea, or siege battle maps with others. And the best part is that these maps can be used in the single player custom battle game as well as in multiplayer. Pretty cool right??
Fall of the Samurai Mac Performance
Jus as they did with the base Total War: Shogun 2, Feral Interactive did a great job with the Mac version of Fall of the Samurai. Minimum requirements are not particularly low, but this is only because the game looks great and includes tons of actions:
Mac System Requirements:
- OS: OS X 10.9 (64-bit) or higher
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0GHz
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 512 MB or ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 MB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
- Retina MacBook Pro, 15-Inch, Mid 2014 (latest version from Amazon)
- OS: OS X 10.10.3
- CPU: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB
- RAM: 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Fall of the Samurai continues what the core game did: it’s a great strategy game with incredible graphics, new goodies to play with and a more visceral feel. Unfortunately, some of the things that were lacking before still are, namely, the lonely Multiplayer dashboards.
I specifically went and looked for negative reviews on this game and they were very hard to come by. The first negative review that I came to was, and I quote, “Why are you looking for negative game reviews for this game? GET IT NOW!”
With that being said…why are you still reading this review? Go get it now! And Enjoy!
Note from Ric: This Review comes from Josh Cunningham, one of Mac Gamer HQ’s most loyal contributors.