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Andrew Smee

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Shogun 2: Fall Of The Samurai Preview: Gunpowder vs. The Sword

Creative Assembly offers an old-school expansion pack with all-new toys.

Jan 27th, 1868. A snowy plain just outside of Kyoto. The battle of Toba-Fushimi is about to take place. A small battalion of Imperial soldiers shiver as they face down a force of the Shogun's finest warriors advancing across a handful of rivers, hopelessly ineffectual at preventing the samurai from their coming attack. Hundreds of these majestic samurai warriors riding on noble horseback are drawing near. Playing as the Imperials, I'm hopelessly outnumbered. Traditionally, I wouldn't stand a chance. But these are hardly traditional times.

Wake Island. That was the map DICE put in the demo. A crescent shaped rock in the Pacific Ocean, it was home to a dusty airfield and no more than a dozen threadbare shacks housing some rusty tanks. The dangerous waters surrounding this lonely lump of sand included a submarine, battleship and, most spectacularly, a fully driveable aircraft carrier.