• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 15, 2011
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 62
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 62
  3. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Mar 27, 2011
    100
    It's the ideal example of evolution trumping revolution in creating great video games.
  2. Mar 23, 2011
    100
    Either playing solo, with friends or against them, Shogun 2 is the pinnacle of the Total War series. This is how you pay homage to a brilliant game that started a franchise, and I wouldn't be upset after seeing what the developer has done here if we saw remakes of Rome or even another Medieval Total War.
  3. Mar 22, 2011
    100
    The series has scaled down from Empire but lost none of the drama or excitement. The smaller scale makes it easier to appreciate all the things the game does right.
  4. Mar 21, 2011
    100
    A polished, smart, generous, elegant, and bold strategy game.
  5. Mar 14, 2011
    100
    From atop this Total War: Shogun 2, eleven years of experience are looking right at you. The gameplay The Creative Assembly crafted for this new title is breathtakingly rich, almost intimidating, but fans will still feel right at home since the new elements aren't plenty. For newcomers, the challenge can be hard to overcome because the ruleset of the game isn't very well explained, but Shogun 2 also becomes, because of this, an adventure that is all the more satisfying to conquer. Metacritic.
  6. Mar 23, 2011
    96
    Total War may be one of the more complex series out there, and in the past there have been many reasons to avoid it-- mainly stemming from the fact that at times it could feel unapproachable through simply the amount of choices given. The hardcore have always had it as a staple to call home, but this time around it feels as if everything finally met in exactly the right spots, and enough assistance that anyone can get into it if they want.
  7. Mar 7, 2011
    95
    Less truly is more when it comes to Total War. Shogun 2, with a smaller scale and tighter focus, boasts the best gameplay and design of any entry in the franchise. I can't imagine a realistic way that The Creative Assembly could have made a better case to win back fans put off by Empire. [Apr 2011, p.92]
  8. 93
    The mix of turn based strategy (with economical, political and diplomatic ramifications) and real time battles is still wonderful, but the need to balance timing and aggression is more important than ever. Aggressive players will feel a little cheated, while diplomats will hate Realm Divide stage. Still, Total War was always about realism and the AI's scripted actions make logical and historical sense.
  9. Apr 5, 2011
    93
    While it stuck to what Empire: Total War did and didn't come up with a lot of new things, it was still a lot of fun to play. If you have the dough, you should pick this up.
  10. Mar 23, 2011
    93
    In conclusion, Total War Shogun 2 is definitely a must have game for those who enjoy turn-based games, RTS or the original Total War games. It's huge improvement over its predecessors and from the very first moments of the game to the last battle of Kyoto, you will be captivated and wanting more.
  11. Mar 11, 2011
    93
    Best Total War Ever. That should say enough about how great a game this is. It's incredibly deep, complex and magnificent to look at. Still, take into consideration that it's not exactly the most accessible strategy game around, and that you need a ballsy computer to enjoy the game to its fullest. A great return for one of the greatest strategy series ever made. Bravo The Creative Assembly.
  12. Mar 28, 2011
    92
    Shogun II is a great game, able to resume, improve and innovate many of the aspects that made the franchise one of the most appreciated in the world of real-time strategy games. The only true failure is an artificial intelligence that doesn't always impress, but somehow this aspect is compensated for by a much deeper multiplayer component.
  13. Feb 24, 2011
    92
    It's a tighter, more focused experience than the continental sprawl of "Empire" and "Napoleon", sacrifices none of their intricacy, and brings improved AI to the battlefield. In the final count, it's consistently thrilling, grand in scope, surprisingly atmospheric, and bloody hard to put down. [Mar 2011, p.75]
  14. Mar 28, 2011
    91
    With Total War: Shogun 2, Creative Assembly has gone back all the way to its Japanese roots, and as you can see it was not a mistake.
  15. Mar 23, 2011
    91
    More of a masterpiece than check-in for the series.
  16. Mar 18, 2011
    91
    It's the finest Total War game CA has ever made, with a beautifully focused campaign and involving multiplayer too. [Apr 2011, p.94]
  17. Mar 14, 2011
    91
    This is a wonderful strategy game, one of the best we've ever seen. A logical evolution of the concept of the veteran series that has achieved great results.
  18. 90
    Beautiful, complex and varied historical strategy which offers hours of fun in single player and multiplayer modes. [Issue#203]
  19. Apr 26, 2011
    90
    Total War: Shogun 2 combines the best aspects from every Total War game ever made. It's less complicated than Empire yet it brings more to the table. Creative Assembly has shown that, even after ten years, this franchise is only getting better.
  20. Apr 17, 2011
    90
    It is refined, lean, smartly designed, and still an epic, where tales of your conquests can be so exciting that that alone could warrant a purchase.
  21. Mar 31, 2011
    90
    When I start complaining about a lack of stat-tracking in a Total War game, however, it's a sure sign that its hooks have sunk pretty deep. The campaign is repetitious, but that's partly because I'm playing a lot of it. I want more multiplayer features because it's good enough to be taken seriously. All these complaints stem from one central fact: while Shogun 2: Total War could be a better game, it is nonetheless a great one.
  22. Mar 31, 2011
    90
    No one can touch Total War and Shogun 2 simply furthers the point. [Apr 2011, p.48]
  23. Mar 29, 2011
    90
    Total War: Shogun 2 is a worthy successor and continues a legacy filled with success. Everything that is good in this franchise is here and has been improved.
  24. Mar 29, 2011
    90
    Creative Assembly's most polished game to date, and serves as a reaffirmation of the values that made the series the revelation it was more than a decade ago. It seems only fitting that those values were reaffirmed in a game based on the same setting as way back then.
  25. Mar 29, 2011
    90
    A fascinating game. Through the seemingly endless collisions and alliances between the game's factions, you constantly find yourself placed into unplanned yet unique situations, and forced to make unpleasant choices.
  26. Mar 28, 2011
    90
    Creative Assembly trimmed some of the fat while boosting the flavor to make Total War: Shogun 2 one of the tastiest entries in the franchise yet. It's much more accessible than the last few Total War games without sacrificing any depth or strategy.
  27. Mar 25, 2011
    90
    Shogun 2 is the best installment in the Total War series. Well-known patterns, due to many years of evolution and constant introduction of new elements, have reached their peak in Creative Assembly's new creation. Even though the game isn't perfect, I have to admit, I had enormous fun with it. The newest Total War's force of attraction is astounding.
  28. Mar 23, 2011
    90
    There may not be any truly revolutionary additions here, but the tightly-focused map, extensive streamlining, and rich opportunities for strategic gameplay inject a welcome freshness into the series.
  29. Mar 22, 2011
    90
    If you're a fan of turn-based empire games, you will love Shogun 2 for its deep strategic dilemmas and easy-to-use controls. If you're a fan of military history and tactics, you will adore commanding thousands of troops in realistic battle simulations. If you like samurai, there are literally thousands here for you to play with.
  30. Mar 21, 2011
    90
    Shogun 2 is a tour de force, plunging even the most detached and practical of real-time strategy fans into the heady waters of the Shengoku Jidai.
  31. Mar 17, 2011
    90
    Artistic, formidable, and action packed, this remarkable strategy game is the best Total War yet.
  32. Mar 17, 2011
    90
    Creative Assembly is flirting with a new audience with its totaly new and fresh multiplayer component and a streamlined overhaul of the Total War series. But underneath the polished surface lies the Total War we know and love and Shogun 2 has not lost the depth and complexity that has been established over the last ten years.
  33. Mar 16, 2011
    90
    Shogun 2 is an expertly tuned turn-based strategy game filled with exhilarating real-time tactical battles against a capable artificial intelligence or others online.
  34. Mar 16, 2011
    90
    Shogun 2 is the best game in the award-winning series! It looks fantastic and the campaign is really good. The AI isn't the greatest though.
  35. Mar 16, 2011
    90
    Polished to the core with freshness and excellence, Total War : Shogun 2 is a mastered lecture of design of every kind, reinforced by a fully renewed multiplayer. Better and deeper than we could expect, this episode sits on the very top of the franchise, by far.
  36. Mar 15, 2011
    90
    A shrewd and often brilliant game that reaches its destination with most of its goals realised, not discarded and left in the dust like the forced march of its predecessors. [Apr 2011, p.94]
  37. Mar 15, 2011
    90
    Shogun 2 is an homage to Shogun: total War. We'll never look back though, knowing that Shogun 2 is simply a better game, thanks to the strongly improved gameplay and a turn-based section that knows even more depth this time around.
  38. Mar 15, 2011
    90
    Creative Assembly delivers another solid RTS, deep and stratified, full of visual beauty and dense as no other.
  39. Mar 15, 2011
    90
    It's wonderfully colourful and completely unique, and it should provide the usual hundreds of hours of gameplay for the hardcore. Those worrying about a retrograde step being taken for the series shouldn't have done so - it's a classic, no question.
  40. Mar 13, 2011
    90
    A brilliant reinvention of the series that maintains the epic of scale of battles and yet increases the accessibility and focus.
  41. Mar 11, 2011
    90
    A homecoming for The Creative Assembly; an opportunity to show how far the series has come in the ten years since its inception and, as far as we're concerned, it's a homecoming of ticker-tape parade proportions. This latest Total War marks a peak in the series not so much for its landmark features but for the amount of love and sheer dedication that's been applied to the setting. Truly, it's a beautiful recreation of Feudal Japan with gameplay to fit that billing.
  42. Mar 11, 2011
    90
    This is the most fully featured Total War to date, and a great homage to the game that launched the series.
  43. Mar 11, 2011
    90
    Those expecting revelatory improvements in areas like AI may be mildly disappointed by Shogun 2. Those after a sumptious, weekend-whittling strategy epic heaving with flavour and challenge can reach for their uchi-bukuro with confidence. This is a corker.
  44. Mar 11, 2011
    90
    Shogun II is a comeback to the past, but it's also a game able to show the path followed by Creative Assembly in these years. Well-balanced, with a superb multiplayer mode and with the always-present attention to detail, Shogun 2 is the new Shogun of strategic games.
  45. Mar 10, 2011
    90
    Shogun 2 is like a melting pot for all the ideas, gameplay and concepts we've seen in the previous games of the Total War series. Its pillars are quite similar to Empire's, but this game has improvements in many areas, and the setting is so charming, that it feels like something unique.
  46. Jul 14, 2011
    89
    There is a je ne sais quoi elegance on how the game is presented and how well put together the game as an entire corpus is. Although it's still mired by some version 1.0 bugs, Shogun is highly playable and deserves a place on any Total War fan's hard drive.
  47. Mar 16, 2011
    88
    Foreign accents in games often sound unconvincing, or even borderline racist, but the Japanese-inflected English you hear in Shogun 2 is respectful and well-acted. The music and sound effects are visceral and period-appropriate.
  48. Apr 28, 2011
    87
    Even though it is clearly still a work in progress, Shogun 2 is a beautiful, deep, incredibly stylish, enthralling game.
  49. Apr 4, 2011
    87
    Shogun 2 takes the series back to its roots and got rid of a lot of complicated and confusing details. Now it's possible to concentrate on the really important tasks again: battles, ruling the country and cursing.
  50. Mar 30, 2011
    87
    It might take every last bit of power for your computer to make it shine, but samurai combat and ninja assassinations never looked better. You don't need a geisha's help to convince you that this sequel is worthy.
  51. Mar 11, 2011
    87
    Shogun 2 isn't revolutionary, but it improves upon its previous Napoleon iteration. Its new focus helps give the game a little extra innovation, however the campaign feels limited.
  52. Mar 15, 2011
    86
    Shogun 2 is without doubt a worthy part of the Total War game-series, but it has almost all the shortcomings of its predecessor. This is somewhat disappointing, but especially by the improvements in the Multiplayer-part, it's still quite a lot of fun.
  53. Apr 16, 2011
    85
    Shogun 2: Total War is a great addition to the Total War series, and is definitely one to pick up if you're a fan of Sengoku-era games, or have the slightest interest in RTS titles.
  54. Mar 30, 2011
    85
    Ignoring modern trends for simple and easy games, Creative Assembly offers an enticing gameplay for hardcore followers and newcomers alike. Shogun 2 has indeed evolved into a superb and tighter experience than its predecessors.
  55. Mar 21, 2011
    85
    As a lovingly crafted remake of the 2000 game Shogun 2 is almost perfect. And yet from the standpoint of a Total War series evolution it leaves something to be desired. [Apr 2011, p.11]
  56. Apr 5, 2011
    84
    Shogun 2 is a wonderful example of deep rich strategic gameplay with both battles and resource/province management requiring more than just research upgrade clicks.
  57. Apr 16, 2011
    82
    More focused than Total War has been in awhile, but still as strategic and deep as the series has ever been.
  58. Apr 14, 2011
    80
    A triumphant game. It's wonderfully complex and detailed, and vibrantly decorated with historical trappings that will satisfy anyone with a passing interest in military strategy. While the presentation and multiplayer are a little rough around the edges, there's more than enough content to make the game a more than worthwhile experience.
  59. Apr 7, 2011
    80
    The series is back where it all began and Shogun 2 is both at tribute to the original and a testament to how far the series have come. It's a solid game with excellent gameplay, but prone to becoming a bit monotone after several playthroughs.
  60. Mar 23, 2011
    80
    Simply refines the challenging gameplay armchair tacticians have come to associate with the Total War franchise. [Issue#107, p.92]
  61. Mar 18, 2011
    80
    Shogun 2 is a magnificent looking game with huge play and replay value. In terms of ambition and progression for the series, it arguably takes half a step back, but the huge leap forward in graphics and gameplay more than makes up for it.
  62. Mar 14, 2011
    80
    A vast improvement from recent Total War missteps, and revitalizes the glory of the original Shogun, while adding so much new and interesting content that you might not even remember said original. And this one, finally, does right by newcomers, making things as easy and as polished as a game of StarCraft II.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 952 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 255
  1. Mar 15, 2011
    10
    Been playing since release, what can i say...i havnt slept...its pretty awesome, best total was since medieval 2! Looks amazing even tho theres no dx11 untill they patch it, then it'll be a 11/10! Full Review »
  2. Mar 15, 2011
    10
    Totally immense. Been waiting for this ages for ages, at last it is here and I just can't put it down! The graphics are sensational, out of this world! The siege battles were just amazing, probably the best bit of the whole game! I literally cannot put it down, I don't think I will be leaving the house for the next few weeks! Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2011
    4
    I've played every single Total War game to date. And I can tell you what they all have in common. Everything. Its been 11 years, starting with Shogun and after spending another wasted 50 on Shogun 2, I hope it ends on the sequel to this classic series. Total War has dozens of wonderful and amazing design features. It will always be a fun game. Its idiosyncratic habits.. are fun. Its campaign is both a fantastic time sink and a great source of entertainment. I'm not a fan of multiplayer in these games so I'll leave that to another reviewer. I've extolled how adequate I think the game is so far now for my actual review and opinion.

    It can (and after 1-2 years will) crawl under the porch to die, unremembered and unloved. I Just PLAYED this game! They called it Napo.. wait Empire:TW! The units are different (Not so different considering my avid fandom to Medieval II:TW and Rome:TW. The strategies are still the same. The buildings logical conclusions are still the same. The only new feature compared to its predessesors is the addition of food management, a crucial resource that limits the amount of castle and market upgrades you can ultimately have. One new thing. Lots of old.

    Archer vs Melee vs Cav vs Archer with two differerent melee types to counter each other. The same unit stat points- new textures and more of a load for my video card. And a poorer preforming product. I can get the same unit set and the same buildings in Medieval 2, except ultra fast battle speed works as fast as intended.

    A definite downgrade is the replayability of the Grand campaign. Before you had very unique races and an extremely large map. Now its devolved into Clan A gets better bows, Clan E gets better seige and don't ever pick clan F because they're specialty, ship upgrades, is worthless once a super powered European Galleon appears and you capture it, literally winning every naval engagement without any upgrades. Look, I appreciate the game looks even better than it did before (although I'd expect such a low incremental upgrade to visuals from an expansion pack, not a year or two of work). This though, this is got to stop. The AI is still rotten at making decisions, trade alliances and vassals are still bugged and the final stretch is, as with Empire, autoattack win next turn autoattack. Maybe I'm just hung up on that one time in Medieval 2 when the Mongols invaded and attacked me at Damascus. I had a 2000 strong army in a fortress against 8000 bloodthirsty Asians. I remember being so proud of myself, turning away their massively larger army after an amazing battle, filled with both tactics and strategy. And I remember the very next turn, with my brave remaining 400 soldiers that just defeated a full stack of Mongols.. Another 8000 stepped up and laid siege. This is what Empire and Shogun 2 lack. There are no game changing occurences and aside from the appearance of the Black Ship the whole thing could take place in 1200 or 2100, no historical events actually occur.


    Yes the graphics are pretty.
    Yeah its still TW.

    But you've played it before. Pick it up for $30 if you must but please, for my revenge against Creative Assemblys latest uncreative venture- don't pick this game.
    Full Review »