You tried it with diplomacy, using good words, but in the end, the war spoke. Epic and exciting in its action, Creative Assembly returns to surprise with a fantastic strategy video game inspired by the Romance of the Three Kingdoms of China. Verdict? A must as you will see in the analysis of Total War Three Kingdoms.
Under a beautiful crimson sky … death. Hundreds, thousands of corpses, mute witnesses of a great battle waged just seconds before. And you, simply, breathe relieved. You smile, stunned, almost without believing the feat you have achieved; still enjoying that agonizing victory that seemed impossible. Everything was against you. The enemy was more numerous and was better prepared, but in the Total War saga, the numbers are not everything. Here matters the strategy, good tactics of war, ingenuity over brute force, and it is precisely these traits that make Total War: Three Kingdoms spectacular video game. It is so intense, so incredible and exciting in its action, that each new great battle in which you enter ends up leaving you exhausted as if you really had been there crossing swords with the opposing army. So yes, you smile, and you do not hide it, because immediately you feel the imperative need to tell someone.
You want everyone to know how incredible the battle has been; you want to tell how you neutralized the enemy cavalry. How, against all odds, using catapults with incendiary ammunition, you managed to break the enemy ranks just before crushing them with your elite guard. And you never end because there are so many amazing moments to talk about, so many little stories to share, that with each new game the stories of war grow and grow. The best? That not everything is a struggle; that the epic of Three Kingdoms goes beyond mere action because you can also work miracles using diplomacy or taking advantage of spies. Creative Assembly has not neglected a single detail in this great strategy game that surprises so much for the epic of battles in real time, as per the management options put on the table. The objective? Become the emperor of China, which is not easy, but one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you can experience today.
Total War, politics in times of war
you are a veteran of the Total War series, you know what awaits you. War! But not one either. War on a large scale; battles between multitudinous armies, among thousands of soldiers to whom you must command with an iron hand, and ingenuity, to take advantage of all their tactical advantages and thus defeat the enemies. But Total War is also diplomacy, trade, politics and management of a great empire on a strategic map in which, turn after turn, you must expand your influence without dying in the attempt. There are more than enough options to avoid it, also many dangers to avoid, and this is precisely one of the greatness of this new episode of the saga.
Although the fierce fighting is usually the most colorful, more now that the generals can fight a duel against their troops, Creative Assembly has done an extraordinary job in shaping the political tensions of China that we discovered in the classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It is a story of epic, of great heroes, of tragic deaths and great deeds orchestrated by a people that rose up against a tyrant. And as surprising as it sounds, all this you find in Three Kingdoms … with a nuance. Here you are the protagonist of a story that you write with your own actions. Will you be an honest and noble leader? Or will you let yourself be seduced by power and greed? Will you be good at your subjects? Or will you smother them with taxes?
Creative Assembly has not neglected a single detail
Each decision you make will mark the course of the game in a surprising way to the point of facing a popular rebellion under the banner of the Yellow Turbans or even participating in a civil war if part of the court is positioned against you. Nobody said that aspiring to the throne of the Chinese Empire was easy and Creative Assembly exemplifies it in a masterly way, endowing dozens of historical figures with their own lives, that here they will fight for their own interests; they will try by all means to ascend, to become high commanders of the faction and, of course, to do so with a salary equal to their ego. Do not you meet your expectations? Do not you give them the tribute they think they deserve? Some will simply leave, others … others will be able to join a rival army and declare war on you. Or they may betray you at the most inopportune moment, opening the way to your enemies, or directly giving your lands to other leaders.
It is a constant struggle not only against external enemies, which is expected but also with your own people, which you must keep happy to avoid greater evils. At this point, each city that falls into your power will grow with a variety of buildings that will bring various benefits to the faction. There are those that increase income, the amount of food that is generated in each shift, or public order and the ability to recruit new troops. There are even strategic buildings in very specific areas that will provide essential raw materials to train a more powerful army or enjoy certain tactical advantages. What I like most about Total War: Three Kingdoms is that this process of expansion feels natural.
If, for example, you spend months at war, the morale of the people will suffer, and the discomfort will grow between your ranks. If you do not have a word, if you promise things that you later do not meet, other factions will see you as a liar, someone dangerous, and therefore you will be on your list of goals to beat refusing to enter into dialogue with you. So I can only applaud Creative Assembly’s work for creating a solid management base that contributes to you rarely staying with your arms crossed, with the feeling that you have nothing else to do but to take turns. There are always new bonds of friendship to forge, new agreements to be reached with other factions, which you can place under your control making them vassals, or just the opposite! joining them in a great alliance.
The art of seducing with the word in the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms admirably enhances personal relationships between members of the court, who have their own aspirations and personal traits (greed, kindness, honor, cruelty, etc.), to the point that some will forge great friendships that will contribute to they are more effective, and others, on the other hand, will hate each other so much that they will not hesitate for a moment to betray themselves or, even worse, send everything to hell. These same relationships develop on a broader level with rival factions, with which we can interact in many different ways. And it’s incredible, of course, because with Cao Cao’s faction you can even manipulate the opinion of the rest of the factions so that they hate each other, or so that they have a greater appreciation for you.
There are many options when it comes to trade, also to forge and undo alliances, with arranged marriages that in many cases can contribute to expanding our lands in a surprising way. But if anything fascinates me, it is the work of the spies. You send them to other factions in disguised missions, and you pray for them to establish themselves, whether in administrative positions, the army or the court. Once there they will begin to build their cover, their secret life, being able then to manipulate the rival in different ways. You can improve commercial deals, or discredit certain characters, or in the middle of a siege, open the doors of the city so that your army enters without difficulties. And it is only the beginning.
The Generals contribute to the surrounding troops tactical advantages that can change the course of the fight
Surrounded by enemies, in clear inferiority, I used one of my spies to poison the garrisons contrary, which allowed me to reduce the number of its troops brutally. If I even surrendered lands in my favor, snatching one of the best cities to the rival faction. It was spectacular! One of those moments that leave you hallucinating and that demonstrate the enormous potential of Three Kingdoms. I said it before. Not everything is action, struggle, and of course, not everything is brute force. Know how to anticipate rivals; Going several turns ahead of them will allow you to overcome the war more easily. Know your enemy, study his weaknesses, and build an army capable of repelling him in combat.
The heroes take the reins of the fight obviously
it will be time to fight, and at this point, Three Kingdoms has seemed fantastic … with some nuances. The combat is as spectacular as ever and shows that the strategy is above the cold numbers. However, I have missed a greater variety of combat units. There are plenty to choose from but few differences between the 12 factions fighting for control of China. The great novelty? The generals, who here acquire the rank of heroes, very much in line with what is seen in Total War: Warhammer. They alone will be able to face dozens of enemies and emerge victorious, contributing to the surrounding troop’s tactical advantages that can change the course of the fight. But this does not mean that they are immortal; they can die, and if they do, it will have negative consequences on the morale of the host.
Creative Assembly bets to emulate the stories of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms turning these generals into legendary warriors that in the middle of the fight, in the heat of the battle, will be able to challenge their fellow men in martial arts duels. It’s a show. Hundreds of soldiers waiting, facing each other, saving the moment to attack. And before them, two warriors, their leaders, who cross swords while performing an incredible deadly dance. When one of them falls or flees, hell breaks loose. Everyone runs, they scream, they raise their arms! and you must control that chaos by positioning the troops correctly, using their best skills, because only then will you be victorious from that carnage. The result is an exciting power struggle that feels like a great epic.
There are five classes of generals specialized in different fighting styles, so with three per army, you should look for a good balance. Or not! You can create specialized armies in the fight at a distance, or you can turn to the cavalry. Or combine several, to always attack as a team. The options are frankly right, with heroes in the skin of strategists who, level by level, unlock new tactics and combat formations, and others like the champions, who are perfect for engaging duels and quickly defeating their opponents. The sensations in front of the battalions are fantastic, and the fact that you can equip new weapons, equipment or even change horses to improve the statistics of your generals, contributes to making the action even more exciting.
In the end the game reaches a level of epic hard to forget, deeds that you think you will never relive, but the good thing about Total War: Three Kingdoms, the best thing about this strategy videogame, is that this great and incredible battle that you successfully overcame It is more than one of many. In this sense, while the multiplayer of Total War: Three Kingdoms is essential to fully enjoy its extensive tactical options, few flaws can be put to the artificial intelligence of some rivals who know how to surprise and stand up both on the battlefield and on the game board. It is true that there are times when the enemies act in a somewhat imprecise way, with actions lacking in logic, but in general, they respond to a great level. And nothing better than to get involved in the historical battles to discover it while you enjoy some exciting action scenes.
They miss naval battles, which once again develop automatically, which is more serious considering that the biggest battle of the conflict took place on water; but it seems that finally, Creative Assembly has given up when it comes to building battles of the style. Some fans may miss Agents seen in other titles of the franchise, but the truth is that diplomacy and espionage are so enhanced, that I personally have not missed them. Do not you like the idea of having generals with so much power? Three Kingdoms allows you to bet on a more traditional style of play, with the generals protected by a personal entourage as happens in other chapters of the Total War saga. The duels are also over and, on the other hand, the troops will suffer more acutely the effects of fatigue.
After overcoming innumerable dangers, the main campaign will face three great kings for the throne of China, and at that point, everything learned will be essential to win the victory. Depending on the faction chosen, the challenge will be more or less hard, but the trip is always exciting. It is true that it could have innovated more in the sieges, introducing new combat mechanics, but in general, Three Kingdoms is a video game that catches and excites like few others. Not to mention its powerful staging, with great respect for tradition and Chinese history, leading us to fight against thousands of enemies in scenarios of unparalleled beauty. It also does it with great optimization, without bulk errors, and operating efficiently on a wide variety of equipment.
The user interface presents an extraordinary finish
The user interface also presents an extraordinary finish, facilitating the management of the empire. The tutorial is at this point suitable for even the novice users to enter without problems in the profound strategic action of Total War. On the other hand, in the sound, the videogame is at a great level, with a varied repertoire of melodies that perfectly match the action that recreates. The cinematic scenes, with an illustrative style, arrive with voices in Spanish high quality, while the dialogues among the generals respect the original performance in Chinese. Many lights and few shadows for a video game that honors the legacy of the Total War series. It is true that certain options are missing and it would have been great to run into some new siege mechanics, but there are few strategy titles that surprise, excite and entertain as much as this epic recreation of China’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Becoming the emperor of China is an exciting challenge with which it is difficult not to have a good time. With its always spectacular multitudinous battles, the presence of heroes endows the action with a more epic component that feels great, but it is without doubt in the management of the empire; in diplomacy and espionage, where Total War: Three Kingdoms shows its greatest strengths, giving us more than enough options to reach glory by following our own path.
- Exciting and spectacular pitched battles where strategy is everything
- The generals turned into heroes in the Romance mode of the Three Kingdoms
- Abundant diplomatic and espionage options. The management of the empire is the best
- They are missing a greater variety of troops and naval battles
- Beyond the heroes, there are few changes in the way of proposing the war