Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Review

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun takes you into Japan’s Edo period and lets you take control of a team of deadly specialists. Infiltrate mighty castles, snowy mountain monasteries or hidden forest camps and choose your approach: Set traps, poison enemies or simply avoid contact with your enemy.

Shadow Tactics is an interesting tactical stealth game that offers a huge variety of missions. It’s at its best when combining character abilities to lure, distract and take down guards without being seen.


After an event involving the shogun and a local warlord in early Edo, a hired assassin named Hayato is sent out to investigate. He quickly meets a charismatic Samurai called Mugen, who introduces him to several other characters.

In Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, you’ll play as five different characters – all with unique abilities and skills – in a variety of missions that require you to employ them in conjunction. For example, a sniper can bait a guard to turn around and eliminate an unsuspecting opponent, while a ninja can deploy traps and distractions to take out his foe.

Characters can also use guile and poisons to dispatch their opponents in the most effective way. A samurai whose sword can carry a lot of weight is lethal up close, while a ninja who can disguise herself can sneak past a watchful guard by hiding behind a wall or using her flute to lure them in.

It’s this ability to combine different types of stealth tactics that sets Shadow Tactics apart from other stealth games. Though the game’s gameplay has many strict rules, you have to be creative in how you go about executing your plan.

Despite a few minor glitches, this is a great stealth game that’s worth checking out if you’re looking for an alternative to the countless tactical action titles out there. You’ll spend a few hours with each mission, but they provide you with plenty of opportunities to flex your stealth muscle as well as challenge yourself in new ways.


Taking the classic stealth gameplay and cranking it up to eleven, Blades of the Shogun introduces five characters and challenges players to use each one in a variety of ways. The first mission in Nagoya has you jumping over rooftops and sneaking through a series of tight corners, using each character to their advantage.

The other two characters are Yuki, a whistler who lures in guards with a noise that’s reminiscent of bird calls; and Aiko, a vision-cone manipulator who can change outfits to walk among enemies undetected. Their abilities contrast significantly with Hayato’s stock ninja weaponry, but their strengths make up for their weaknesses, and the combination is often a winning one.

Yuki’s whistle, for example, is effective in attracting straw-hat guards and Samurai, but it’s not so useful for regular infantry unless they’re close enough to investigate. She can also set up a trap to take out a patrol when it steps on it, and she has a non-lethal blade that she can throw at targets.

Aiko is a much more stoic version of Hayato, and it’s this that sets her apart from him, although she does clash with her partner at times (they both have a very different approach to infiltration). She also has some very interesting abilities, including a way to teleport between locations, and she can even hide behind walls to keep her enemies from seeing her.

Overall, the story doesn’t have a huge impact on the game itself; it’s there to give you reasons to continue with the main campaign. But the game’s moment-to-moment gameplay is what makes it so exciting, and that alone is worth the money if you’re a fan of the stealth genre.


Set in feudal Japan, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is a tactical real-time tactics game that requires stealth and cunning to complete its 13 missions. It features five playable characters, each with their own unique skill sets: Hayato is a ninja; Mugen is a heavily armored samurai; Yuki is an apprentice ninja and thief; Aiko is a woman ninja; and Takuma is a veteran sharpshooter and alchemist.

Each character has its own abilities and strengths, which will vary depending on the mission. Samurai Mugen, for example, is a lethal swordsman and can fling a bottle of sake or a katana to distract opponents from his teammates, while Takuma relies on his sniper rifle to take down foes from afar.

The gameplay is similar to that of the original, requiring players to use a combination of tactics to complete each mission and come up with solutions to overcome any challenges along the way. The addition of a vision cone for each of the five playable characters makes planning your next move easier and encourages experimenting with combinations of the team members’ abilities.

Once you have a strategy down, it’s time to test it out on the ground. The opening mission takes the player through Nagoya, where they must leap over rooftops and exploit tight corners to sneak in and out of nooks and crannies.

It is a great way to get a taste of what each of the team members has to offer and learn their strengths and weaknesses in the process. The gameplay is a lot of fun, and it’s hard to put down once you start.

The game also breaks the mold when it comes to save scumming, encouraging you to back up and try again after making a mistake. This is a good thing, as the higher difficulty levels can be brutal. As a result, I’d recommend saving early and often.


Despite being a year old, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun remains one of the best tactical stealth games out there. It was deeply inspired by the Commandos series, but it did something very special that made it stand out from other games in this genre.

A team of deadly specialists are recruited by a new Shogun to fight rebellion in feudal Japan, and you’ll need their skills to infiltrate mighty castles, snowy mountain monasteries and hidden forest camps. You’ll need to choose the tactics that suit your strengths and weakness, and you’ll also be able to set traps, poison your enemies or completely avoid enemy contact in order to keep yourself alive.

The graphics in Blades of the Shogun are great, and the game’s atmosphere is incredibly detailed and immersive. You’ll feel like you are right in the middle of the action, and you’ll be able to see your surroundings clearly even when hiding from enemy soldiers.

This is a great example of how great real-time tactical stealth games can be, and it makes Blades of the Shogun a must-play for any fan of this genre. It’s not the greatest game in the world, but it is a very good one that will make you want to come back for more.

You can play Blades of the Shogun on a powerful PC, but it will require a relatively high-end processor and memory to run smoothly. It is recommended that you have a CPU that can handle the demanding game engine and that you have at least 4 GB of RAM installed in your system to ensure the best game experience possible.


Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is a bold real-time tactics game by Daedalic Entertainment and Mimimi Production that takes stealth to a whole new level. It’s a much more subtle and engaging experience than the Dynasty and Samurai Warriors series where you just button mash to hack and slash your way through each stage, but it still manages to be incredibly exciting.

The sound effects in Blades of the Shogun were recorded by Karl Learmont, Sam Spanswick and Jeff Van Dyck at Garner Maclennan in Sydney, Australia. The horse sounds were captured from a local mounted police force, while the archery and sword sounds came from a medieval club in Sydney that recreated battles wearing armour and wielding swords.

Music in Blades of the Shogun was composed by Jeff Van Dyck, who works out of his home studio on the Gold Coast, Australia. His musical score sets the mood with easy listening instrumentals, picking up the tempo when battle commences or you’re caught unaware.

Yuki’s whistle and spike trap combo is a very useful tool, especially since it can be used to lure straw-hat guards or samurai into taking notice of your position. It’s also a good way to sneak up behind them for a sneaky kill.

While some of the voice acting is a little puzzling, most of the characters are convincing in their parts that they play. However, I found Yuki to be a bit annoying at times.

If you’re having trouble getting the sound to work in Blades of the Shogun, make sure you have the latest audio driver installed on your system. It will fix any issues you may be having.

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