The Games before Total War

posted in NEWS, PINNED NEWS, RETRO, RTS, TURN BASED | Posted by FireSword

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As you probably know Shogun Total War 2 is about to being released..
Before Creative Assembly shaked the pc gaming with Shogun Total War (the first not fully 3d), to play in the feudal japan, in the medieval age, in the Roman Empire or in the Napoleonic Age, there were other games, so here a little show of those games…



To play battles in the Feudal Japan, before Shogun Tw we had little choice: Cinemaware’s Lords of the Rising Sun. There was also a very old game from microprose, Sword of the Samurai, it need a mention also the Kou Shibusawa ‘s strategic games, mostly setted up in Ancient China, with one made in Japan, i will keep focus on PC so i won’t mention Kessen. Also Impressions Conquest of Japan.
Lords of the Rising Sun (Amiga) is freely downloadable from the official CinemaWare Site.


The first title that comes in mind is Defender of the Crown, as most of the CinemaWare titles, this one had a lot of minigame too, since battles wasn’t the main dish. Let’s not forget Age of Empires 2, there are a lot of Feudal games, but since we are talking about battles.. Lords of the Realms 1 and 2, the third was a disaster, also StrongHold, i recall also an obscure title which i don’t know how many of you will recall: KingDoms of England. Defender of the Crown is freely downloadable from the cinemaWare official Site.


Far before the Creative Assembly masterpiece about the Eternal City’s battles and the ancient world and the first total war in full 3d, there was Centurion. Most of the games based on the Roman Empire are city builders, we could signal as rts, Imperium, Nemesis of the Roman Empire and Age of Empires:Rise of Rome. Back to centurion, it was really cool, not to mention the mini game in the circus maximus (horse races). Also worth a check Praetorians.


Gunpowder and Naval Battles! Since this is a retro post, long time ago i recall Fields of Glory as a game to play with Musketeers and Napoleonic Battles. Here we go with the others games that were released before Empire TW: Imperial Glory (someone remeber it?), how not to cite Cossacks! (we have a multiplayer demo of it in the messed part of this site), Cossacks was in my opinion a much better rts than age of empires 3, Austerlitz which resemble Sid Meier’s GettysBurg, another great game.

I hope you enjoyed the images and the reading as much as i enjoyed writing it. So What’s next from Total War Series?
Will they cross the bridge, and will go for World War 1 and WW2? Or they will go Romance of Three KingDoms (300k soldiers)? Or they will go fantasy a-la Lords of the Rings, Warhammer or Wh40k? Most likely after Shogun they will do a proper Genghis Khan game, then will start the Rome Total War 2, the punic wars with Carthago will look much better with naval battles.. what is sure is that Total War will see many other chapters.

I am sure i forgot a tons of good games, if you want down here write a comment, please do not post link to abandonware site, it is not allowed in my country to post that type of links thanks. Oh almost forgot.. here the videos:

Lords of the Rising Sun
Sword of the Samurai
Koei’s Nobunaga
Conquest of Japan (no video)
Nemesis Roman Empire
AOE Rise of Rome
Age of Empires 2
Defender of the Crown
Kingdoms of England 2 (no video)
Lords of the Realms
Lords of the Realms 2
Fields of Glory
Sid Meier GettysBurg
Imperial Glory

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3 Responses to “The Games before Total War”

  1. By P.M. on January 29, 2011

    Ahh, Centurion, for such an old game, it is still fun to play, better than many modern games. For the land battles, I simply used Scipio’s Defense tactic and won every single battle that way. Now I’m inspired to go back and get the Cleopatra ending, I never got that one before.

    • and plenty of minigames.. chariot race, gladiators, together with land and naval battles (where you fight as the two fleet’s flagships)

      Out of curiosity, the image of the Colisseum is made with just 16 colors!! The golden age of pixel art.

  2. By Gransoporo on January 31, 2011


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