Preview

Sengoku Preview (PC)

I'm sure I wasn't alone in showing some surprise when Paradox announced Sengoku, their latest hardcore strategy title from their internal studio. Whilst a game based in feudal Japan using the same model as in Crusader Kings actually makes perfect sense if you think about it, we already have Crusader Kings II on the way, so it was a bit odd that the company would also announce this.
 

The flags denote playable characters, and their place in the hierarchy
Many of you were also quick to accuse the company of trying to copy or follow Creative Assembly with their recent release of Shogun 2... well, you've probably already made up your mind either way, but if you think they have nothing better to do than copy other people's games then... well... you're just being silly. It would be fair to say though that, if you're looking for a quick summary of Sengoku, that this is Shogun 2 meets Crusader Kings. It's based on the new version of Clausewitz engine that's going into CK2, although the actual make up of the game is similar to Europa Universalis: Rome.

In Sengoku though, it's less about bloodlines and more about the politics. You don't need to worry so much about inheritance, and who you marry, and all of the more intricate familial relationships in Crusader Kings - so long as you have a designated heir (and we don't think it has to be a blood relative), then the game will continue. You get to pick a noble family, either the head family of a major clan, or a family that serves a major clan (much like the Kings, duchies, baronies etc... from CK).

There are many parallels between the clan management of Sengoku, and the management in Crusader Kings. You get to grant land and titles to anyone under you, or family members, you can develop your provinces, you can exchange hostages, if you're lower down the pecking order you can try breaking away and forming your own Clan, or submitting yourself to another Daimyo... there's a 'court' system as well, although there are less slots to fill than in Crusader Kings, and you can even hire ninjas for dirty work.
 
Characters are similar to how they are in CK2, but obviously themed towards the setting
A central concept is Honour, which is pretty much identical to Prestige in CK - however Honour is much more of a usable resource in Sengoku. To perform some actions, you actively have to 'spend' honour, and certain actions will generate honour for you as well. A key element to the game will be 'maintaining' a decent pool of honour, as some actions can't be performed with too low honour, and if it gets too low your Clan leader will be forced to commit Seppuku.

Other core themes involve religion, as well as western influence. Gunpowder units will eventually show up, and there are three religions in the game - Shinto, Buddhists and Christianity. We're not sure completely how it's going to work yet, but from what we can tell this is going to be a delicate balancing act. There are buildings you can construct that will appease one group, but not the others, and so you need to choose carefully. We're not sure if there'll be an 'official' religion or not, but it does form a key part of Sengoku's meta-game.

Speaking of management, province management will be split into two - City and Castle. Each bit can be developed and improved on, and once again it's about choosing what improvements you want where. The military system as well also has some important features to it, mainly the presence of a standing army as well as a levy, so there will be different ways of using both. Much like in CK, as far as we can tell there's no navy or anything, or even whether naval invasions are possible.
 
Plots are just one of the political meta-games you can get involved in

There's not much else to say at this point, we only got to see a very early build, with the basic concepts in place as well as the world map - although Paradox hopes to have the game feature complete by June. It's coming along nicely so far, and from what we've seen it's not detracting resources from other internal titles, so it will be a decent addition to the roster. Sengoku is coming to PC only, and will be releasing sometime in the Autumn.


Most Anticipated feature: The enhanced political side of things should be interesting.

Comments

By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 13, 2011
SirRoderick
Interesting concept this. Japanese CK? I'm sold.
By Thibby (SI Core Veteran) on Apr 14, 2011
Thibby
I don't know it looks a bit like a more strategic TW-campaign map. But I like TW as it is now so I will probably skip this game.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 14, 2011
SirRoderick
I'm guessing you're not familiar with Paradox games? It will be nothing like TW.
By JustCommunication (SI Core) on Apr 14, 2011
JustCommunication
Yeah, the Shogun 2 comparison was just there so that the uninitiated had some frame of reference. The only thing the two games have in common is the setting. That's abotu it.
By Thibby (SI Core Veteran) on Apr 14, 2011
Thibby
No idd I'm not really familiar with them, is it more like Hearts of Iron then?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 14, 2011
SirRoderick
Not really, no. Crusader Kings is what you're looking for, but that's a rather old game.
See this one for a 5 part tutorial that's quite good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7vXXKXQSSU
By Eversor (SI Elite) on Apr 15, 2011
Eversor
Looks good. Like Rome Total War.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 15, 2011
SirRoderick
Please tell me that was a bit of a joke? It is nothing at all like RTW.

It has a strategic map, yes /comparison.
By JustCommunication (SI Core) on Apr 15, 2011
JustCommunication
Well, the engine could now considered to be on par to Rome: Total War's engine... so Paradox have finally entered 2004 :D heh.

But yes, this is from the same guys who made Hearts of Iron. Another frame of reference could be the Sims, so think a grand strategy game, with family management, in 15th century Japan.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 15, 2011
SirRoderick
Wow, that is one confusing analogy! Well done :)
By JustCommunication (SI Core) on Apr 15, 2011
JustCommunication
It can be a confusing game at times :P at least, CK 1 was.
By Eversor (SI Elite) on Apr 15, 2011
Eversor
Not a joke. I mean the strategic map.
By Thibby (SI Core Veteran) on Apr 15, 2011
Thibby
The Sims xp It's just a mix of a lot different games xD
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 15, 2011
SirRoderick
It not a mix in my mind. It's unique. And that's a problem when you try to describe it to someone :)
By Nicolas19 (SI Core Veteran) on Apr 24, 2011
Nicolas19
CK in Japan... sign me up! Too bad its months away, though.