There’s a new Total War game on the horizon, this time backtracking from high fantasy and back to the series’ historical routes. The latest trailer gives us a glimpse of some of the environments Total War Three Kingdoms will highlight in the ancient Chinese settings.
Yes, we’re very excited about the pandas.
The trailer follows the grand strategist Zhuge Liang or the Sleeping Dragon. An incredible strategist, diplomat and politician, Liang would turn the tide of a civil war in ancient China.
He is one of the heroes at the centre of Creative Assembly’s latest Total War title, which is shaping up to be an interesting mix of everything learned from the historical and fantasy Total War games.
Total War Three Kingdoms
Total War Three Kingdoms is the latest game in the Total War franchise, but for many die-hard fans, it’ll be a triumphant return to the world of historical Total War titles.
The franchise has long held history at the forefront of its design. Touting historically accurate testudo formations and period-correct Mongolian armour. However, since 2016 the franchise has been firmly planted in the pseudo-medieval high fantasy world of Warhammer.
Three Kingdoms is set to pull the franchise back into the history books, by focusing its grand strategy squarely in ancient China between the third and fourth century AD. The period saw a massive upheaval in China as the Han Dynasty fell and the country was locked in civil war for the better part of a hundred years.
The period is mostly known as the Three Kingdoms due to the three primary forces of Wu, Wei and Shu who fought for control of the land.
If this all seems familiar to you, it might be because the cult classic Dynasty Warriors games have focused on this period of history since the late 90s. However, there are two vastly different accounts of the time period. The historical accounts dating back to the third century and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms – a historical novel from the 14th century.
The latter novel focuses more on the heroes that on the history and takes some liberties there as they become larger than life god-like beings capable of flattening whole armies.
The game will also highlight two different and distinct modes, depending on how you like your history. If you’re here for the history and want to see the Three Kingdoms era as it is according to historical texts, then classic mode plays more like a traditional Total War game as generals lead retinues of soldiers.
However, if like me you’re a (sometimes guilty pleasure) Dynasty Warriors fan, then Romance Mode is the way you’ll go. There, hero units play much closer to how they have in recent Total War: Warhammer titles, with massive abilities and the power to turn the tide of battle single-handedly.
These hero units — like Zhuge Liang — have me really excited to see how this blend of history and romanticism will change the Total War formula.
Stay tuned for more news and our full review when the game releases on March 7.