Creative Assembly actually said the very same thing of the first Shogun Total War. Here are some quotes from wikipedia: "Sun Tzu's The Art of War is central to the game; its precepts are quoted often and its strategies recommended." "the teachings of Sun Tzu's The Art of War are integral to the tactics used by the game artificial intelligence"
True, very true. Back then though AI wasn't what it is today. After playing the hell out of the demo I can say the battle AI in Shogun 2 really is pretty damn good. The demo is actually a REAL demo this time and not just a single battle. There's a small little Demo Campaign with a small island you have to conquer. The only thing that pisses me off about the demo is that even though you may have to fight more than 3 battles to win the entire island they limit you to only being able to personally command (aka Play) 3 battles. Aside from that this is the best Demo of..well, anything, that I've played lately.
Seems like a disgustingly well-made game to me. The demo is a bit restrictive (click this, go there, do that, don't touch anything else), but I get the feeling that with everything "unlocked" it would be insanely fun. Also missing some AA settings in tactical combat, while the graphics are great they can get a bit "pixel-lish" at times. LOVE the new combat animations for everyone, it really looks much, much better than before. Not sure how to feel about the arts tree, it's hard to get an overview of what units come from where just by looking at it (it lists what buildings it unlocks, but not what units).
I agree with everything here except the "pixel-ish" comment. I'm running the demo with everything on "Ultra" except for the couple options that won't go over "High" and I haven't seen any pixelation at all. In fact everything looks f'king FANTASTIC to me. This is easily the best looking war game of it's kind I've ever seen (and played).
Honestly, this felt just like playing E:TW only with different units. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but what does the game have to make it stand out from the previous?
I gotta disagree with you on this one, Annatar. To me the prevalence of fire-arms in Empire makes it feel completely different than the rest of the series, including Shogun 2. True there is the "occasional" matchlock unit in Shogun 2 but they're no where near as common as in Empire. I've fought against a few in the demo but they're pretty restricted in availability. Even in the full game the only way to recruit matchlock units will be to convert your religion to one of the European religions so that the traders will trade guns to you, but, that will greatly displease your peasants and likely destabilize your country and economy. In the full game matchlock units are "supposed" to be quite rare.
To me this game feels more like Rome and Med2, but particularly Rome, which I LOVED.
To make it stand out from the others in the series I think that would fall back a lot on the setting. It's even way different than the original Shogun when it comes down to "presentation". The game is presented beautifully, incredibly so. Plus when you add in Ninja and Geisha and the unique way the Japanese handled naval engagements I definitely think this game has enough merits to stand on it's own as the Best in the Series to date. Needless to say after playing the demo I'm completely stoked for the actual release.
Personally, I am very skeptical about the game. I played the demo, somehow it looks worse graphically than ETW - strange lighting, faces look rubbery, mêlée animations are stiff and jerky. Charging soldiers run, and then all stop before attacking. Yari ashigaru (peasant conscripts) use katana for close combat (wtf?)
I looked through the encyclopedia, and prevalent fantasy elements stick out still - women armed with naginata listed under "heavy infantry", invisible black-pajama-clad ninja plague the battlefield, samurai armed with matchlock guns (true samurai despised firearms).
My predictions about this game:
Upon release, the AI will be broken/horrible - they will correct some stuff with patches, but especially strategic AI will remain broken. It was so with all the previous releases from RTW on.
The game will be full of bugs - I case of M2TW, shield were subtracted from defense rather than added. It took devs months to correct. Config files contained trivial typos that broke features of the game. 2h units were unable to hit anything due to slow animations.
This game will be similar to Civilization 5 - even the GUI looks similar. Under the guise of "streamlining" and "accessibility" (read "budgetary constraints"), features will be culled, while the AI will be still incompetent.
I am even willing to bet!
Man, Kama, I couldn't disagree more I don't think. What settings are you playing on? To me it looks graphically superior to E:TW in every way possible. Look a little further up in this post here and you'll see my thoughts on matchlocks in the game. I thought the Ninja that were used in the demo were used pretty well. Also I didn't see ANY of that "Charging soldiers run, and then all stop before attacking" you mention. I've played the historical battle at least 10 times now and haven't seen that happen once, at least not to me. Did you initiate an ability before the actual attack or something?
As for the predictions:
If the AI is as good as the demo in the full game the battle AI will be very "decent". It won't be mind boggling or anything, but I don't think it will be as broken as E:TW's was.
Bugs: Yeah, there will probably be a few. It's honestly still too early to tell at this point, but, one thing they did say "Your enemy will put troops on ships and launch successful invasions from the start", which has always been broken in every other single TW launch to date.
Comparable to Civ V: I don't know, I didn't play Civ V. I couldn't stand the combat mechanics of the Civ games, hated them since Civ 3.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Shogun 2 will be the BEST game in the TW series to date and it will be heralded right up there with the likes of Rome and the first Shogun. I really can't wait until launch day. Hopefully I won't be too sick or low on meds and I won't have to spend most of the day in bed that day, because the demo of Shogun 2 got me hooked.