Shadow Tactics sneaks into spotlight


John Flatt

Screenshot of the main menu players will encounter when they first open Shadow Tactics.

Out of the darkness, a child’s laugh and a short, sharp whistle sound. The guard is drawn to the edge of the thick brush. Suddenly, a snap and he falls to the ground, his comrades never noticing his demise. From the shadows, a blade in the dark, a quick lunge, a short stab and another soldier falls to the ground. All of this action happens within the span of a few seconds in the real time strategy game, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun.

Made by German game developer, Mimimi Productions, Shadow Tactics follows the stories of Hayato, Yuki, Mugen, Aiko and Tukuma. The game is set in Japan’s Edo Period, in which the player controls a group of assassins employed by the shogun to assist his armies in a war against a group of rebels.

The game’s best feature is the amazingly well done character development and storyline.

— John Flatt, 10

The player meets all of these characters while playing, each having their own evolving story line that becomes more evident with each mission. Each of the characters has their own unique abilities and play style. 

The game’s graphics have little to no impact on the story because it is played from a third person top down angle. The soundtrack for the game is amazing and fits perfectly with the game’s feel, creating an atmosphere which immerses the player into the story. The soundtrack is available on both Spotify and iTunes, as well as other music sites.

The game can be classified as a stealth game, although some of the game’s detection mechanics are hard to get used to and can be overly sensitive. This weakness can affect game play as planning can be ruined if the enemy detects the player, yet the game is still not only playable, but addicting.

The constantly changing detection means that a player never plays the same way twice and is forced to come up with better ways of sneaking past or eliminating the enemy. This perpetually changing experience leads to endless possibilities in surmounting a problem.

The game’s best feature is the amazingly well done character development and storyline. At first, characters are simply pawns in a strategy game, but over time they develop a personality and a backstory, which can be inspiring and heroic or sad and crushing.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is well worth its price tag, and is available on Steam for $39.99, and on G2A for varying prices. The game provides hours of fun, and players will find themselves lost in its enthralling atmosphere. Despite its shortcomings, Shadow Tactics is one of the best strategy games I have played. This game submerses the player into a bloodied era and takes a trip back to a darker time, a shadowed age.