After several delays, Creative Assembly‘s next major historical title, Total War: Three Kingdoms, will finally be releasing on 7 March 2019. Set in the Three Kingdoms period in ancient China, it will introduce new gameplay mechanics and content for players to engage with.
There will be 12 playable factions in Total War: Three Kingdoms at launch (15 with the addition of DLC factions). Each faction will be led by a notable warlord, general or leader, with their own respective advantages and playstyles:
- Cao Cao – Leader of Kingdom Of Wei
- Sun Jian – Leader of Kingdom Of Wu
- Liu Bei – Leader Of Kingdom Of Shu
- Ma Teng – Leader of Xiliang Faction
- Liu Biao
- Zhang Yan
- Yuan Shao
- Zheng Jiang
- Kong Rong
- Yuan Shu
- Gongsun Zan
- Dong Zhuo
- Gong Du (Yellow Turban Rebellion Warlord Pack DLC)
- He Yi (Yellow Turban Rebellion Warlord Pack DLC)
- Huang Shao (Yellow Turban Rebellion Warlord Pack DLC)
Hero Mechanic: Unlike previous historical Total War titles, Total War: Three Kingdoms will feature more of an emphasis on the leaders and generals of each faction, similar to that in the Total War: Warhammer games. With the Hero mechanic, generals will each have unique traits and abilities, as well as carry unique weapons and armor.
Romance Mode: The Hero mechanic is especially important in Total War: Three Kingdom‘s Romance Mode, where generals are capable of mowing down armies like gods on the battlefield, following the romanticized version derived from “Romance of The Three Kingdoms”. Imagine it to be something akin to Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors games, as generals can now be commanded separately as a unit of their own.
Classic Mode: Total War: Three Kingdom‘s Classic Mode will offer players the traditional Total War experience, where generals are only as human and vulnerable as any soldier in their army. As such, they cannot be separated from their accompanying army units like in Romance Mode. This mode is for those who prefer more realistic and tactical battles.
Revamped Character System: Agents are no longer assigned specific and dedicated roles like Spies, Warriors, or Diplomats. In Total War: Three Kingdoms, all of them can now perform all roles with no limitations, as they are now special Characters. These Characters are not randomly-generated, but instead, can be recruited from named generals and governors in the player’s faction.
Redesigned Diplomacy System: The diplomacy system in Total War: Three Kingdoms will be much more complex compared to past entries. Diplomatic standing with another faction (and options during diplomacy) will now count on many factors, including the player’s faction rank, how much of a strategic threat the player’s factions is, and more.
During diplomatic negotiations, money will not be the only currency available, as there will be tradeable items, resources, and pacts to bargain with. Vassal state mechanics have also been expanded, and there are now two distinct forms of alliances with other factions: Coalitions and Military Alliances.
Guanxi System: The Guanxi System is a new dynamic approach to the relationships between Characters and their factions in Total War: Three Kingdoms. These Characters’ personality traits and social connections will affect their value as a leader and their happiness within the player’s faction. What this means is that Characters will be closer to being individuals with their own desires, and not just pawns like in previous games.
Initial Dilemma: A new gameplay mechanic in Total War: Three Kingdoms that presents a choice to the player in how to determine their chosen warlord or faction’s story. For example, an option will be given to players whether they want to follow the story as dictated by history or to create their own what-if story instead.
Reforms System: It’s essentially the technology, art, and tech tree mechanic from past Total War games, which has been combined into one massive skill tree combining all three aspects in Total War: Three Kingdoms.
Dueling: A new exciting mechanic in Total War: Three Kingdoms allows players to choose a general or warlord to engage in epic one-on-one duels with the opposing faction’s general or warlord. The victorious faction will gain a morale boost that could turn the tides of battle.
Total War: Three Kingdoms will mark a new era for Creative Assembly’s long-running RTS franchise. It is slated to release for the PC on 7 March 2019, with later unspecified dates for the macOS and Linux platforms. In the meantime, check out the beautiful new art direction and visuals from the upcoming game in the trailer below.