The Total War series might have started off with Shogun but there was no reason to go back to that setting again. The series has always increased the size of the map and added new elements to help fill it up. At first glance you'll think the map in Shogun 2 is huge but it really isn't. Even worse is that the east part of the island is made up of 4-5 huge sections and not broken up a bit more like the central part of the map. Its cool that the campaign map has the new visuals and they look great but there is a huge problem. The mountains. Naturally they are impassible but that means you will always have the same routes across the island. I find it to be a huge limitation to strategy. Quite frankly, the map is too small and too limited.
Your economy is as important as the armies you field. If you can't support the armies then you'll be defenseless. That all helps to make the game a balance act that helps to bring some fun into the game. Or it should at least but the economy is broken in this game. I upgraded every source of income that I could and I still couldn't keep up more then a army or two. There is simply not enough impact for upgrading resources. It is a horrible system. Trading is broken by the diplomacy. You could setup four trading partners in one turn and then in the very next turn, three of them could break the agreement and then you get a bad rep for breaking agreements. The game will only tell you the reason if the clan is conquered or lost their trade ports. This type of randomness will cost you a game like it did for me. I had three trading partners which brought in a total of 3-4k. I was not at war, I was not doing ninja stuff. I was just improving my stupid economy so I could field an army. I needed the trade income to help boost my bank for the high up keep of armies but within two turns, all my partners left for no reason. Nothing changed, they just simply dropped me and I got the bad rep for breaking agreements.
Agent units like ninjas and monks aren't worth the effort because the AI will simply destroy your agents. I seen an AI agent come in, take out ninjas like they was rice farmers. Even with perks and upgrades, my agents were no match for the AI. I simply stopped making them in later games and didn't notice any difference. The general upgrade system is a nice idea but the tree is too big. Once you get a general up to say 4-5 stars, you aren't going to risk them so the tree becomes worthless.
There was a patch for this game but since it locked out everyone who installed the patch, I'm going to take that as a bad sign from the dev that this game won't be supported very well. I mean, who releases a patch that locks out every single person who installed it? This game would have been great a year after Shogun came out but now, its a step backwards. Its so limited in scope, I fear that there won't be another great release like Empire.
Quite frankly, if you want to play a Total War game, play Empire.