Total War Battles Review
- Focuses on strategic gameplay despite its 'castle defense' style of play; limits army sizes to reward calculated 'countering'.
- Base building adds a puzzle-element to the gameplay.
- Large campaign with 'exp'-awarding scenarios that teach new strategies.
- Slow pacing and restrictions on lane-switching can make battles tedious to play out.
- Base layouts can feel restrictive / awkward.
It would be too much to ask for a full adaption of the Total War series for the iOS platform, but Battles still manages to retain a focus on strategic elements despite borrowing a handful of tropes from established genres, making it a deeper experience than your average line/castle defense title.
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The Creative Assembly's Total War series has never really conformed to conventions, skirting around and mashing together elements of turn-based and real-time strategy titles, real-time tactics, and even RPGs. The end result is a deeply engrossing series where every decision you make can have a dramatic impact on the storyline and your progress. As such it's no real surprise to see the latest release for the iOS platform following in the footsteps of its PC-based kin.
It won't take long to familiarize yourself with the basics of Total War Battles: Shogun as it features elements of castle defense games, real-time strategies and yes, even the humble 'puzzler'. At its core the player must collect resources (money, steel, wood, and 'honor'), spending it on units that can then be deployed and given basic instructions in an attempt to overwhelm the enemy.
Of course, this wouldn't be Total War if it was as simple as spamming units to win. There's a limit on how many units you can have on the field at any time, making it critical to pick the best units to counter your opponent, while still maintaining a balanced army. From basic swordsmen to cannoneers and even samurai, the player has a lot of options to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses to be considered.
To generate these units you'll need to master another aspect of the game - base building. Aside from its base cost, each structure has requirements such as needing to be built next to another specific building to be placed. Bonus resources are also awarded for positioning the structure near a source (trees for the lumberyard, stone for the metalworkers, and so on). Outside of the campaign, players can participate in 'exp' missions, each one amounting to a sort of puzzle with the awarded 'exp' being used to upgrade buildings and the units they produce.
The game's slow pacing can make the game a chore to play at times, but it's a considered pace that still allows for critical lapses in judgment that can potentially mean the end of your campaign. It would have been great if the player had more influence over the storyline itself, but with any luck we'll see more campaigns to flesh the experience out.
While Total War Battles may not appeal directly to fans of the series as it has lost a lot of depth in its transition, but the focus on considered strategy has remained and should be a boon to fans of castle defense titles and strategy games in general. Definitely worth poking a sword at.
Description*** Featured by Apple in 'App Store BEST of 2012 - New Ways to Play' ***
Total War Battles™ supports iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, the New iPad, iPod Touch 3 and iPod Touch 4.
BUILD, BATTLE AND AVENGE!
Specifically developed for touchscreen platforms, Total War Battles™: SHOGUN is a new real-time strategy game from the makers of the award-winning Total War series.
Total War Battles™ delivers quick-fire, tactical combat balanced with intuitive building and unit management. All set in a beautifully illustrated Medieval Japan.
“This high-quality production dramatically streamlines the RTS genre for mobile play, while making sure it's packed with enough tactical depth to make its many skirmishes tense and exciting”
PocketGamer.com – 90% Gold Award
“A refreshing change from the App Store's barrage of angry avians, physics-based puzzler and match-3 games.”
TouchArcade – 4/5
“Total War Battles is a surprisingly beautiful and engaging mix of war gaming and puzzles.”
Slide To Play – 4/4
1. COMPETE FOR THE SUPREMACY OF MEDIEVAL JAPAN
Lead your clan to battle through more than 10 hours of story-driven campaign set in the world of Total War™: SHOGUN 2; winner of “Best Strategy Game of 2011” awards from Gamespot, IGN, Gamespy and GameTrailers.
2. BUILD YOUR ECONOMY
Deploy and manage your bases to generate resources and recruit units including samurai, archers, ninjas and cavalry. Each victory awards XP to spend on building and troop upgrades that could make a decisive difference to your future battles.
3. A UNIQUE TAKE ON REAL-TIME BATTLES
Total War Battles™ introduces a new real-time battle system that feels both familiar and fresh. The hex battle maps allow for natural unit movements and deep strategy. However, as followers of the “Bushido” code of conduct, your units can never turn back – this twist to classic RTS gameplay adds tension and intensity to the action, making each victory even more rewarding.
4. DESIGNED FOR TOUCHSCREENS
Introducing an interface designed specifically for touchscreens – drag and drop buildings and troops, swipe across the battle map with a flick, and pinch to zoom in and out.
5. 1Vs1 LOCAL MULTIPLAYER
Play against a friend in real-time on a single device in three different multiplayer modes.
6. SKIRMISH MODE
Play through six standalone battles in Normal, Hard or Shogun difficulty. Compete against other players on the leaderboards and unlock new Skirmish achievements.
7. STRATEGY FOR ALL
Total War™ fans will naturally enjoy the intense, deep and rewarding action-strategy gameplay, while more casual strategy fans will appreciate the Zen simplicity of the opening tutorial battles, scalable difficulty level and hint system that will soon make them a tactical master.
8. UNIVERSAL APP
This iOS app is designed to scale its appearance for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, which means Total War Battles™ takes complete advantage of the iOS device that it's installed on.
What's New in Version 1.4> iPhone 5 support: Full use of the iPhone 5 wider retina screen
> Gallery: Head to the options menu to access this concept art show
> Tweaks: Difficulty balancing on several maps and minor AI improvements
> Sunset: A new relaxing title screen
> Optimizations: Faster loading and improved stability