Total War: Shogun 2, by Sega, 2011, $49.99 (PC)
Set in 16th century feudal Japan, Total War: Shogun 2 covers less ground than previous entries in the Total War series, but its sole focus on the warring factions of Japan allows for a stronger emphasis on strategy and unit relationships.
The action begins shortly after the Onin War, when the island nation split into various houses, each controlled by rival clans led by warlords known as daimyos. As your chosen clan’s daimyo, you must manage your land and resources and position your forces to clash with rival clans, conquering more and more territory until you emerge as Japan’s supreme military ruler, or shogun.
A staple of the Total War series is its intriguing blend of turn-based strategy and real-time strategy gameplay. Shogun 2 honors that precedent, and with a careful eye toward historical tactics and weaponry of the era, it faithfully re-creates the combat and broader warfare of feudal Japan.