After securing the North of Langye following a protracted campaign against The Hans and the Yellow Turban Rebels at the early portions of my campaign, my band of misfits consisting of the idealist strategist Liu Bei, the regal God of War Guan Yu, and the ever jovial Drunken Brawler Zhang Fei were finally ready to venture down south when we were given a rude awakening.
Cao Cao, who moments earlier was seemingly positive and supportive of our idea of pacifying the northern threat was suddenly not too keen with us venturing out of our comfort zone and offered us an ultimatum.
His stance? Swear fealty or risk open war with him. What’s wrong, CC? Scared of a little competition? Or are you just uneasy with my potential link-up with Sun Jian? Do I abide with Cao Cao’s strongarm tactics and at that, risk upsetting my own allies – Kong Rong and Yuan Shao or seek for glory?
I hovered the cursor over my armies cards, made sure everyone’s fully replenished and made the call.
My version of Luo Guanzhong’s masterclass literature piece is going to end up more to my liking.
In Total War: Three Kingdoms, developers Creative Assembly presented a familiar, yet refreshing take on the long-standing Total War series, ensuring it remains as one of, if not the best turn-based, real-time strategies game franchise out there. Returning to Asian shores after a nine year hiatus since Total War: Shogun 2 hit the shelves, TW:TK isn’t just the prettiest looking strategy girl in the block, but also the most ambitious and grandest of all Total War games to date. And it lets you rewrite the ever-favoured Three Kingdoms story to your liking.
Total War: Three Kingdoms drops you right in the thick of the political turmoil in China in 190 AD which saw the new emperor, an eight-year-old Emperor Xian, ascending to the throne with the warlord Dong Zhuo pulling the strings in the shadows. This led to an oppressive rule and chaos throughout the lands of China, dividing a once mighty nation to splinter into many smaller domains governed by ambitious warlords and generals, vying for higher positions of power.
From here on, you can choose from a selection of twelve different and distinct faction-leading characters, each with specific traits and abilities that will greatly influence one’s play style.
Unlike Total War games in the past where factions were only differentiated by a set of specific units and starting locations on the map, Three Kingdoms added several more layers to an already convoluted setting. But don’t let this fact scare you. In fact, it made Three Kingdoms much more enjoyable and immersive than any Total War game I’ve played before.
At the start, you can choose to play the game either in Records or Romance mode, with the former being more historically accurate while the latter infuses tons of creative liberty into the characters, just as they were portrayed in the books.
Records mode stick closer to familiar grounds of Total War pre-Warhammer, while in Romance mode, your heroes are more elaborate and are pretty much supermen on the battlefield. Yep, your Generals gets a Dynasty Warriors treatment minus the button mashing.