You know, I was just thinking. what is an rpg . Is Skyrim really an RPG? Or is it really an action/adventure game? What about Batman Arkham City? That has lots of elements from RPG's barring the narrative changing.
I was thinking about it, and Shogun 2 actually has more options than most RPG's. If you look at Skyrim, it nearly always comes down to combat. Mass Effect as well, it says "make your own story". But really, you are just following the very linear path of an existing preconceived story, that practically always results in combat gluring yourself to a wall on the same levels. In both Bethesda games and Biowares, there are times when you can totally bypass combat but these are very rare, the over-welming majority of the time, you will be pew! pew! or swishy swashy.
In Shogun 2, you can marry to strengthen relations. exchange hostages. Cause rebellion. Sent in agents like a Shirabyoshi to seduce targets. Junsatsushi to request the allegiance of towns and pay off other agents. Win by spreading influence. Use monks to incite revolts. Send in Assassins to damage property, open gates, assassinate targets. You can damage land and properly to reduce income and incite revolved with an unhappy populous. You can kill off the populous, burn and ****, taking more loot. But increase the chance of rebellion. Set up peacefully with less income but a more happy populous. Become vassel, protecting the clan but dragging them and them dragging you into a war. Set up on trade lines taking all the enemy loot.
I'm sure I'm still forgetting alot of stuff here but I'm sure you get the point, the game has many variables, it also has a progression tree. Thats far more balanced than Skyrims, which is ridiculously unbalancaed. So aside from being the best strategy game, I would say it's also the best RPG of the year. I'd say the RPG elements in Arkham City tend to be better implimented than Skyrim as well, if only, in that it's a far more balanced game.