Okay, I admit it. I may have been a little too hard on Shogun 2.
The more I play Shogun 2, the more I’m starting to think Total War games have a fundamental mechanical flaw. Yes, yes, we’ve all seen the botched attempts of the Rome-Medieval-Empire era – schizophrenic AI combined with a more fluid, realistic campaign map which in practice led to some infuriating gameplay tics – but with each of those games, the problem appeared to be specific to the game in question. Usually it was the CA’s crappy AI coding. In Empire’s case it was also a case of sprawling scope and the series first flirtation with the gunpowder era producing – aha – a serious misfire. But Shogun 2 is the first game to make me think that Total War games, in their current form, simply will not work.