Total War: Shogun 2 Mac Review
Age of Empires is a great game, but if you’re more of a general rather than an economist, it doesn’t quite do the trick. But worry not, for Total War: Shogun 2 for Mac is exactly what you were looking for. Shogun 2 sticks to the Total War script, delivering real-time combat with turn-based tactics.
As many of the top strategy games available for Mac, Feral Interactive was in charge of Total War: Shogun 2 for Mac which was released on July 31, 2014.
Enter Total War: Shogun 2
Total War: Shogun 2 promised real-time combat with turn-based tactics. But what it also delivers, is a story. It has a script to rival the biggest soap operas shown on TV. Having only briefly played the Total War series before, the barrage of information that greeted me every time I played the game was slightly shocking. Combine the complicated script with the number of gameplay elements, and you end up with a thoroughly confused player.
However, as you continue to play the game and start to understand and assimilate the mechanics of the gameplay elements, a thrilling experience starts to emerge from the confusion and perplexity.
I wasn’t ever very good at history, so do forgive me as I try to simplify the complex political situation of Shogun 2. The game is set in 16th century Japan, which is divided into many factions ruled by the shoguns. The Shoguns are the sort who love to expand their territories, and they frequently wage wars with other Shoguns in a bid to gain more land. The shoguns control the land and are responsible for the people they rule over. But the shoguns themselves are controlled by the Emperor.
As one of the 10 daimyo, you have to use the units under your control, and attempt to take control of all of Japan. Not only do you have to deal with producing military units, but also take care of the people you ruler over in your territories. Different shoguns have different military unit specialties, and building an army to their strength, and to the enemy’s weakness is what will prove to be the trump card in battles.
The gameplay is very much like Conquest, the strategy board game. You can move your troops from place to place to deal with invaders or to invade. Trade treaties can be signed, allies can be formed, taxes can be controlled, and money can be invested in research efforts to strengthen military or economic aspects of your rule. On attack, you can either choose for the battle to resolve itself, or take charge of your troops on the ground, controlling the ebb and flow of attacks to maximum efficiency. Not only can you terrorize your fellow daimyo on the ground, you can also engage in naval warfare, forcing them into signing peace treaties at a heavy price.
If you’re new to the series, the overload of information can be quite unnerving, and perplexing. But dig deeper, and you’ll start to appreciate the game, and its small details and intricacies. For a strategy game, this is nearly flawless, and definitely the best of the Total War series.
Joy of joys, multiplayer gaming is also on offer, but at the time of writing, I was simply not able to connect to any game due to a different game version, according to the game. But you can play campaigns co-operatively online via Steam.
The name Total War: Shogun 2 doesn’t deceive. It implies Japan, and the game transports you to 16th century Japan. The cut-scenes, loading bars, and even the typography and accents used by the in-game narration are very Japanese. It’s a thorough job, and even the gameplay controls are placed conveniently. It’s very easy to navigate through the various menus and issue commands. All that you need to know about what's happening is present onscreen, and traveling across the map is also very smooth.
The only real gremlin is the way the information is presented. As aforementioned, the manner in which excessive amounts of information is presented on the screen is unnerving and confusing. It takes quite a while to get used to all that text and info-graphics.
The cut-scenes are of quite a high standard, and feel well produced and shot. You can almost feel the emotions and the lust for power of the daimyo as you attack your neighboring territory. The sounds and the background music are superb and the immersion is quite impressive for this sort of game.
Total War: Shogun 2 Performance
Total War: Shogun 2 is a heavy game with some seriously heavy system requirements. But even though my machine barely met the system requirements, it ran reasonably well. This once again proves that Feral Interactive knows how to port games to other platforms. There were a few stutters here and there, but it runs smooth enough, with very few drops in frame rates.
Naturally, as you bump up the graphics settings, the game gets noticeably slower.
Minimum system requirements:
- OS: 10.9.4
- Processor: 1.8GHz
- Memory: 4GB Memory
- Graphics: 256MB*
- Hard Drive:22GB HD space
- Other Requirements: The following graphics cards are not supported: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, Intel GMA series, Intel HD3000, NVIDIA 7xxx series, NVIDIA 8xxx series, NVIDIA 9400 and NVIDIA 3xx series. The following cards require you to have 8GB of system RAM: Intel HD4000.
My MacBook Pro 13”:
- OS: OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks
- Processor: Intel i7 2.9 GHz
- Graphics Card: Intel HD 4000
- RAM: 8 GB
- Game Modes
- Initial overload of information
- Spotty Multiplayer
Total War: Shogun 2 is one of the best all-around strategy games on the market, and definitely the best of the Total War series. The gameplay is extremely impressive, and even new players can easily get into a rhythm with this game. This game guarantees hours and hours of gameplay. None of them repetitive.