Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Review

Shadow Tactics is a tactical stealth game set in the Edo period of Japan. The game follows the story of a new Shogun who seizes power over Japan and...

Shadow Tactics is a tactical stealth game set in the Edo period of Japan. The game follows the story of a new Shogun who seizes power over Japan and provides peace and prosperity to the people. In his fight against insurgents and conspiracies, he enlists five warriors with exceptional skills in one-on-one combat, sniping missions, sabotage, espionage, and assassinations.

Fans of both Battle Realms and the PlayStation 1 game Tenchu are in for a treat with this indie, crossover type of game developed by Mimimi Productions. While the setting is reminiscent of Battle Realms’ backdrops, the game play is quite similar to Tenchu where players must find their way through hordes of enemies using their stealth skills instead of directly confronting the enemy.

Crossover games are extremely popular on Steam, as well as on other gaming sites these days. Apart from Shadow Tactics, Lara Croft: Relic Run has been released, which is a 3D, endless runner version of the action-adventure game Tomb Raider. In addition to Lara Croft: Relic Run, the dual-wielding heroine also has a Tomb Raider game that targets the more mature audience.
While the latter isn’t currently on iTunes or PlayStore, it is being lauded as one of the best crossover games out there at the minute. The fan base that these games have garnered is the main reason why Shadow Tactics has such a bright future ahead.

While the concept behind Shadow Tactics copies its game play style from Desperados: Wanted Dead Or Alive and Commandos 2: Men of Courage, it’s still an enjoyable game to play given the array of tactics that players can utilize in order to achieve their goals.

The five deadly warriors employed by the Shogun have very different personalities and skill sets. During missions, a specific warrior’s specialty becomes crucial in either sneaking inside a castle or wiping out an entire enemy’s forces. For example, Team Leader Hayato is great for clearing the way by eliminating enemies one by one with his using his sly and shuriken skills, while the Samurai Mugen is better off fighting enemies in large groups. If an area is tightly secured, Aiko – who is a master of camouflage – can distract the enemy by disguising as a Geisha while the others sneak into enemy lines. If the entire team is being chased, street child Yuku can place decoys and mines to confuse the enemy while also weakening their army. Last but not least is the mysterious sniper, Takuma who provides support from distance due to his unbelievable shooting skills.

Like with any other game, Shadow Tactics begins with easy-to-complete missions but as you progress through the levels, the challenges become harder when trying to penetrate castle defenses, climbing snowy mountain monasteries, and infiltrating secret forest camps. Any of the five warriors can be used at any given time but the fun of the game is figuring out which character is best for the job. Players will undertake evaluations 90% of the time so if you’re a master strategist who has conquered lots of RTS games, you’re in for a challenge with Shadow Tactics.

Pros:
– Engaging story
– Challenging infiltration missions
– Lots of tactics available to players
– Beautifully rendered scenes
– Three difficulty levels

Cons:
– Bugs everywhere
– Can be finished within a day

Honestly speaking, Shadow Tactics has the potential to be “The Game of the Year.” This old school stealth game developed with a combination of great game play and stunning level designs is quite possibly what fans of the tactical genre games have been waiting for a long time.

Shadow Warriors is available on Steam for $19.

(Note: all images obtained from the game’s official page on Steam)

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