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Total War: Shogun 2 standalone expansion Fall of the Samurai announced

New military powers threaten the old ways.

Standalone expansion Fall of the Samurai has been announced for Total War: Shogun 2.

It will be released in March 2012. As mentioned, you won't need the original Shogun 2 game to play it.

Fall of the Samurai tells of an approaching industrial age, as British, American and French military muscle is coveted to the detriment of classical samurai warfare.

Sounds a bit like that Tom Cruise film Last of the Samurai. I liked that.

Fall of the Samurai offers six new clans, including modernists Satsuma and classicists Nagaoka. You'll be asked to negotiate with America, Britain and France.

The campaign map has "expanded" and "improved" to new far north provinces. There are "all-new" technology trees, railways and naval bombardments - a first for a Total War game - to make use of.

There are 39 new land-based military units, including the devastating Gatling gun. The US Marines and presumably moustached British Royal Marines make an appearance.

In keeping with the age, 1863, navy has become of crucial importance. There are 10 new ship types that include steamers, torpedo boats and ironclad battleships. And while you may be able to shell coasts, the coasts - via coastal batteries - can also shell back. Be careful.

On top of that are three new agent types, four new historical scenarios, new siege-battle mechanics and a "huge" but unspecified upgrade to multiplayer.

Eurogamer awarded a hefty 9/10 in its Total War: Shogun 2 review.

"Those after a sumptuous, weekend-whittling strategy epic heaving with flavour and challenge can reach for their uchi-bukuro with confidence," concluded reviewer Tim Stone.

"This is a corker."

The first Fall of the Samurai trailer.