Reviews Total War: THREE KINGDOMS Reviews

lashman

Dead & Forgotten
Sep 5, 2018
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Game Information

Game Title: Total War: THREE KINGDOMS

Platforms:
  • PC (May 23, 2019)
Trailer:
Developer: Creative Assembly

Publisher: Sega

Review Aggregator:

OpenCritic - 82 average - 88% recommended

Critic Reviews


Wccftech - Chris Wray - 10 / 10
Total War: Three Kingdoms is as close to flawless as you'll find, with a fantastic balance of 4X strategy and character-focused development and emergent storytelling. The battles are frantic, with increased tactical opportunities through duelling. City development is more intuitive and less restrictive, though still requires thought and all of this takes place on a China that looks downright fantastic, where even the UI and menus look great. This is the Total War experience and a new high for the series.

CGMagazine - Preston Dozsa - 9 / 10
Total War: Three Kingdoms is another excellent entry in Creative Assembly's fantastic strategy series.

PC Invasion - Jason Rodriguez - 4.5 / 5 stars
Total War: Three Kingdoms captures the spirit and essence of the time period. It's filled to the brim with unique and thematic detail, with aesthetic beauty that's a wonder to behold.

Gamersky - 北方凛 - Chinese - 9 / 10
Creative Assembly successfully combines Three Kingdoms with Total War, and using the brand-new Romance Mode, bringing us to that chaos times. For those who love Three Kingdoms or Total War series, this is no-doubt a must-try game.

Digitally Downloaded - Matt Sainsbury - 4.5 / 5 stars
Quote not yet available

IGN Italy - Claudio Chianese - Italian - 8.6 / 10
Three Kingdoms is one the best, if not the very best, historical Total War games. The strategic gameplay is especially compelling, and almost Paradox-like in depth. Still, the lack of variety caused by the limited setting widens the gap with the much more spectacular, and overall enjoyable, Warhammer 2.

IGN Spain - Javi Andrés - Spanish - 8.6 / 10
Creative Assembly Studio knows a lot about strategies of war and fun. Total War: Three Kingdoms is a clear and sophisticated evolution. The series will continue on this path and lovers of the genre can be happier than those players who have never been in Total War.

The Games Machine - Daniele Dolce - Italian - 8.5 / 10
Total War: Three Kingdoms collects the legacy of the previous chapters related to the Warhammer universe, presenting many noteworthy innovations that show how that formula can also be applied in a historical context. There are also some good new mechanichs on the espionage and diplomacy side, too bad that the artificial intelligence hasn't been retouched accordingly, representing once again the weakest part of the entire offer.

GamingTrend - Codi Spence - 85 / 100
Total War: Three Kingdoms is a fantastic addition to the series, taking place in the Three Kingdoms period of China's history. The gameplay requires patience and strategizing, but is satisfying when successful. With plenty of aspects to manage, you won't be wanting for something to do, although it may be too much for some gamers.

GameSpot - Ginny Woo - 8 / 10
Three Kingdoms is the most ambitious that Total War has ever been, featuring an impressive variety of experiences thanks to its hefty source material.

Hardcore Gamer - Jason Bohn - 4 / 5
With an ever increasing amount of games getting console releases, the PC gamer can typically only point to having the best version of a title.

Guardian - Edwin Evans-Thirlwell - 4 / 5 stars
The battles are as gripping as ever but it's the character-driven melodrama that truly enlivens this first-rate strategy game

God is a Geek - Chris Hyde - 8 / 10
Cold, hard battle strategy meets the warmth of human interaction and politics to create an engaging and addictive experience.

GameWatcher - Marcello Perricone - 8 / 10
Three Kingdoms is a good game, and it feels like relearning an old game – it sticks to the Total War formula, but changes so many things around that everything feels different.

Shacknews - Chris Jarrard - 8 / 10
While I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been a big fan of the series, I found a lot to like in Three Kingdoms.

GamingBolt - Ravi Sinha - 8 / 10
Total War: Three Kingdoms could have scraped by with minimal new features. Thankfully, it combines the Three Kingdoms universe with a bevy of compelling features and improvements to deliver a worthy follow-up in the series.

MMOGames - Phil DeMerchant - 8 / 10
Despite its reduced scope from Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, Three Kingdoms still remains deep and engaging.

PC Gamer - Jody Macgregor - 78 / 100
Not the best Total War game but not the worst by a long shot.

Spaziogames - Italian - 7.8 / 10
Total War: Three Kingdoms maybe has the best campaign ever seen in the series, but it misses the point with the tactical phase.

Merlin'in Kazanı - Furkan Sakoğlu - Turkish - 77 / 100
Total War: Three Kingdoms is a definetly a Total War game. It has all the diplomacy, blood and intrigue inside. The game is a hard one if you are just getting into series, but a good step forward for fans.

PCGamesN - Phil Iwaniuk - 7 / 10
Changes on the battlefield don't make for a Total War experience to match historical and Warhammer entrants, but there's still a deeply involving strategic layer in Three Kingdoms that sits well with its licence.Phil Iwaniuk

TheSixthAxis - Jim Hargreaves - 7 / 10
Three Kingdoms is another solid instalment in the Total War franchise, but lacks a certain wow factor. Creative Assembly has made some clever refinements around the edges of that enduringly addictive strategic core, allowing fans to steep themselves in yet another historic saga. However, there's a chance that some won't gel with this new setting or the way Guanzhong's epic has been adapted. It's another fun and rewarding take on the series, though we'd struggle to call it a must-buy.

TrustedReviews - Jake Tucker - 3.5 / 5 stars
For Total War fans, there's lots here to enjoy. It's the best historical Total War game since Shogun 2, and one of the finest this series has seen thus far. However, for those drawn in by the bombast and spectacle of Total War: Warhammer, this game can feel flat by comparison.

Eurogamer - Chris Tapsell - Recommended
Ambitious and sometimes overwhelming, Three Kingdoms does a great job of capturing the complexity of China's vivid past.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Denis Ryan - Unscored
It’s the best Total War game, the best historical strategy game released so far this year, and its stories are so compelling I’m as excited to read about other people’s anecdotes as I am to create more of my own.
 

Ge0force

Collector of hidden agendas
Jan 12, 2019
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I've only played the Total War: Warhammer series so far, so I'm not sure what to expect. I have to admit this game looks amazing, so I'll probably buy it once it's on sale to give it a chance.
 

ISee

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Mar 1, 2019
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I'm very interested. Need to see how battles are in the final version before I make a decision.

edit: much better review scores then I expected tbh.
 
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ISee

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Mar 1, 2019
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I like Total Warhammer (2).
All Races have their unique units and overworld traits and play different (for the most part). The Vortex campaign was fun, I like magic and last but not least: It brought a lot of attention to the TW series of games. True, it wasn't complex and the battle AI was rather bad, especially during sieges (as always ^^). But over all, it is like able, especially for people like me: Ex-Tabletop players.

BTW: Any good YT playing this atm? So I can take look what changed in the last three months?
 

Hektor

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Nov 1, 2018
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Very happy to hear that the game turned out well.
With the delays i already began to worry.
 
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Derrick01

MetaMember
Oct 6, 2018
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We’re taking a slightly different approach to DLC for TW3K; based both on the exciting opportunities the Romance of the Three Kingdoms source material offers us and the preference we know players have for larger DLCs which adds considerable new replay.

What you’ll see initially for TW3K DLC are what we are calling ‘Chapter Packs’.

We’ll be taking notable chapters from Romance and creating new start positions that reflect their events. Adding a cast of new and familiar characters, features and objectives each time, that exemplify that chapter and the thrilling stories it tells.

While you’ll find a selection of new heroes and villains populating each new chapter, you’ll also see some familiar faces from the main game. However, they’ll be at a different point in their life, and are likely to have a very different set of needs and desires at this stage in their journey.

In terms of ‘size’ of content, you can expect a Chapter Pack to be somewhere between a Culture Pack and a Campaign Pack.

Ugh I knew they were going to sell extra scenarios, stuff that used to be in RotK at launch, as DLC. Saw that coming when it seemed like the dong zhuo scenario was the only one in the game.
 
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texhnolyze

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Oct 19, 2018
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Ugh I knew they were going to sell extra scenarios, stuff that used to be in RotK at launch, as DLC. Saw that coming when it seemed like the dong zhuo scenario was the only one in the game.
Wait, seriously? Only Dong Zhuo scenario for the base game?

So I can't start from the Three Kingdoms scenario from the get go? Darn, that's a deal breaker.
 

Derrick01

MetaMember
Oct 6, 2018
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Wait, seriously? Only Dong Zhuo scenario for the base game?

So I can't start from the Three Kingdoms scenario from the get go? Darn, that's a deal breaker.
As far as I know the only scenario in the game is dong zhuo, with the yellow turbans being preorder DLC. I could be wrong there but I honestly haven't seen any other scenario talked about or shown in any vids from people playing it. Now that we know they plan on selling more as DLC I have to say my hype's taken a blow too. Sega/CA just can't help themselves.
 

texhnolyze

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Oct 19, 2018
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As far as I know the only scenario in the game is dong zhuo, with the yellow turbans being preorder DLC. I could be wrong there but I honestly haven't seen any other scenario talked about or shown in any vids from people playing it. Now that we know they plan on selling more as DLC I have to say my hype's taken a blow too. Sega/CA just can't help themselves.
It's totally ironic.

The game is called Total War: THREE KINGDOMS. Where's the freaking Three Kingdoms scenario? Do they even know what is Three Kingdoms all about?

Yellow Turbans and Dong Zhuo are far too early in the timeline. Even if they add the Three Kingdoms scenario later, it won't be until a year or so. I guess I'll just wait for the complete edition.
 
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ISee

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Wait, there are only two factions to play (with the pre-order DLC)?
That would be a serious deal breaker
 

Ruvon

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May 15, 2019
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As far as I know the only scenario in the game is dong zhuo, with the yellow turbans being preorder DLC. I could be wrong there but I honestly haven't seen any other scenario talked about or shown in any vids from people playing it. Now that we know they plan on selling more as DLC I have to say my hype's taken a blow too. Sega/CA just can't help themselves.
That's the biggest issue I have with the Total War serie, this tendancy to release the games piece by piece. After the first pricy purchase for the core game, each additionnal part is digging into your wallet for the price of a good indie game. It really feels greedy.

Warhammer serie was introducing a controversial concept : you need both games to have the full experience (not mentionning all the DLCs factions)...
 
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ISee

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Yes, mortal campaign should be available in TW1. Yes, TW2 should have had all TW1 races included. Yes there is a lot of BS going on, like with the Blood DLC!

But the faction DLCs in Total Warhammer are actually quiet enjoyable. Every faction has unique units, mechanics, items, art styles, story, a unique campaign, sometimes new magic. They aren't clones of other factions with some variances.
Compare Vampires, Vampire Cost and Khemri. Three undead factions that play very differently. Even lords can change the flavor of a faction dramatically.
There is so much stuff in the Warhammer lore, I can forgive them for not including everything from the start tbh and they put a lot of effort in those faction DLCs. I'm very excited how they are going to rework chaos and demons in TW3.
 
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Derrick01

MetaMember
Oct 6, 2018
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It's totally ironic.

The game is called Total War: THREE KINGDOMS. Where's the freaking Three Kingdoms scenario? Do they even know what is Three Kingdoms all about?

Yellow Turbans and Dong Zhuo are far too early in the timeline. Even if they add the Three Kingdoms scenario later, it won't be until a year or so. I guess I'll just wait for the complete edition.
Yeah it's weird. They get around it because the game starts with a bunch of different factions and I guess when it gradually reduces to the last 3 the game transitions into it being about 3 kingdoms fighting each other. Almost like they're trying to live up to the name without having the appropriate scenarios in play.
 

prudis

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Sep 19, 2018
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well its total war game first and foremost so having the wide variety of faction to play is the most important for grand campaign aka the earlier the better
.... the later stage just 3 kingdoms duking it out isnt really all that interesting as an "Grand Campaign" but pretty cool idea for side scenario
 

ISee

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Mar 1, 2019
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Instead of improving the DX12 mode, they removed it entirely. Which is a bit disappointing.
Still, performance seems to be a lot better here than in Total Warhammer 2. The battle benchmark doesn't seem to be as "epic", but a lot of things have changed and it looks significantly better imo. The game seems to be a bit single thread limited, but chances are high that you are going to run into GPU bottlenecks first anyway! Even on Ryzen based Systems.

It looks very nice! Especially the Depth of Field effect gives it a nice, "filmic" look.
(maxed out beyond the ultra preset)

Campaign performance is a lot better too! Which is even more important imo.



Curious find: FXAA performs a lot better than TAA in this game. At least on my nvidia GPU (no new drivers out yet)





So much for my first, technical impression. I'll need a bit of time to form an initial opinion about the game itself.
 
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ISee

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Just a warning, if you are coming from Total Warhammer, with no Total War experience and/or no 4x experience the learning curve will be steep. A lot is different and more complex.
The biggest problem here is the UI, it looks very nice and fits the setting, but it isn't intuitive. You have to deal with not self-explanatory symbols and you'll spend time hovering your mouse over symbols and using the "F1" information/explanation overlay.
There is plenty of stuff to manage during the campaign, like food, population, public order, taxation, replenishment and army supplies. In contrast to TW 2 you don't replicate the same building structures from region to region, you need to think about your production line based on the pros/cons the province has.
Characters like/dislike each other and will buff each other based on that relationship, they have wants/needs that must be full-field, you need to give them political assignments in your empire, they have skills that influence units.
Diplomacy was reworked, formations in battle are back (based on hero "skills")...

Those parts are great and but it can be a bit overwhelming, at first.

The game sometimes doesn't know what it wants to be though, a simulation strategy game or a fantasy simulator.
It makes sense for Total Warhammer to have those game breaking, unit destroying heroes, but in a realistic setting? It'not my cup of tea.
I get it, individuals and heroes are important in the source material, but seeing a single character destroy regiments "musou" style breaks my immersion a lot. There is of course the "records" mode, but you loose certain story stuff that way.
Army management is what I dislike most. Binding units to leaders just doesn't feel right. Yes you can separate them during battle, but it feels more like a limitation that needs to be overcome than a cool feature.
 

hankenta

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Dec 9, 2018
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Rob Zacny's review is out and is very positive.
You live in suspense when you play Total War: Three Kingdoms. All your friends and allies will one day turn on you, but you never know when. The genius here is that it doesn’t only happen once as everyone enters the final stages of the game, but every time the stakes get higher as the chaotic free-for-all of the late Han period gives way to the Three Kingdoms that give the period its name, and Total War its most satisfying strategy game in a decade. It is, at almost every moment you spend playing it, a game where all hell is about to break loose, or already has—In spite of your plans or often because of them.

I had been looking forward to reading his review after him hearing talking about the game on Waypoint. Really curious to hear the thoughts and discussions from the rest of the Three Moves Ahead crew when they get around to it.
 
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gabbo

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Dec 22, 2018
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So is this im
Rob Zacny's review is out and is very positive.


I had been looking forward to reading his review after him hearing talking about the game on Waypoint. Really curious to hear the thoughts and discussions from the rest of the Three Moves Ahead crew when they get around to it.
I only own Shogun2, but have always wanted to dive deeper into this series. If this is the best since (whatever they're defining as as the last great one), maybe I'll take the dive at some point on this one.
 
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Phoenix RISING

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Man, this game is so fun. It really is a 4x "lite" but not so overwhelming for someone like me who conquers maps by sheer military brilliance rather than econ and diplomacy.

I wish there were a list of "NPCs" that I should look out for. I know 0 about Romance of the Three Kingdoms. I know 0 about China (they keep us dumb and ignorant in the US about China so it's an easy country to hate). So they're a bunch of names I can't pronounce, but I'm learning the in-game personalities of several folks, and responding to them accordingly.
 
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Phoenix RISING

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No need, they're the ones with golden names, the most important ones have portraits that stand out from the randomly-generated ones,
OH CRAP!!!!

I actually missed one last night, then!!!

He was a blue strategist.

I'm still trying to figure out who are best generals for fighting (right now I only have Champions and Vanguards), and the best folks for civics (I have strategists and Yellow, whatever they are).

And then even within the RGBY color codes, they have additional modifiers??? For example, Blues can be manipulators, peace keepers, and so on.


Man, trying to play a game like this efficiently is stressful. Like, I had Shogun 2 down to a science. This game throws a ton of variables at me, and there's a million names that seem to change every other turn for these factions.

I was literally siging a Han city for two turns when they struck a vassal deal (or something) with someone I had a non-aggression pact with. LAME!!!!

I'm playing with Cao cao, which isn't easy like the game said. I can't fight anyone without stepping on anyone else's toes. In fact, I needed permission for military crossing just to fight an actual enemy.

Proxy war is awesome. Trying to get my second one started now to knock off the two factions that are the most powerful.


The most frustrating part of this game is that armies can seemingly run circles around you. I was trying to corner-pin one army between two of mine, and he seemingly was able to thread the needle. When I went to fight him, he'd run away (decline). When that happens, I wouldn't have enough movement points to try and fight again.

This game is much more wide open than Japan, where if an army tried to pass you, they'd still get caught in most instances.

grrrr.
 

prudis

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Blood DLC , finally
Campaign effects:
  • New campaign event-pictures depicting blood and gore
  • New blood effects for battle-resolution combat animations between characters

Battle effects:
  • Human dismemberment: limb-lops and beheadings
  • Equine dismemberment: leg lops
  • Charred bodies
  • Blood sprays on weapon impacts
  • New death animations for characters vs infantry
  • Dead bodies as battlefield set-dressing
  • Blood scaler: increase or decrease the level of gore to your tastes
:wd_herewego:
 
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Phoenix RISING

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Blood DLC , finally

:wd_herewego:
I was never a huge fan of blood in the Shogun games. It's like, whatever. Nothing really changed when they added it.

In fact, in the original, blood was already in the game. IDK why they decided to patch in/out of Shogun 2.

What they need to work on is Yuan Shao vassalizing everyone. It's better in the current version of the game (I'm playing the beta branch), but you still have to fight half of China...instead of all of it. I guess that's an improvement?

My Sun Jian campaign is much more fun than Cao Cao. I still don't know how to make money besides trade and mobilizing a small army.
 
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prudis

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Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – Eight Princes Chapter Pack

  • New campaign set 100 years after the Three Kingdoms period began
  • Eight new playable princes with substantially different playstyles…
  • Supported by unique buildings, assignments and court options
  • New elite units: pummel your foe with mighty cataphracts!
  • Shape your faction development with four new alignments: Wealth, Spirit, Might, and Mind
  • Key public order and faction-rank changes to reflect this unique conflict

The year is 291 CE, and a generation has passed since the tumultuous events of the Three Kingdoms period began. Despite the tripartite division of power which brought the conflict to a stalemate, and the brief unification of the kingdoms under the Jin dynasty, civil war is no more than a heartbeat away.

For the Jin is a dynasty divided. Its many ruling princes are hungry for greater power, each with ambitions – and methods – of their own. Eight stand above all others… will they rally to their emperor and empress? Or carve a legacy for themselves that will echo through the ages?

The Eight Princes Chapter Pack is set 100 years after the events of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, and features a new cast of playable factions led by the foremost princes of the Jin Dynasty. These Eight Princes offer feature substantially different campaign mechanics, focussing their playstyles in fascinating and unique ways

 

Phoenix RISING

A phoenix always RISES!
Apr 23, 2019
445
604
93
35
Ann Arbor, MI
www.geeksundergrace.com

Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – Eight Princes Chapter Pack

  • New campaign set 100 years after the Three Kingdoms period began
  • Eight new playable princes with substantially different playstyles…
  • Supported by unique buildings, assignments and court options
  • New elite units: pummel your foe with mighty cataphracts!
  • Shape your faction development with four new alignments: Wealth, Spirit, Might, and Mind
  • Key public order and faction-rank changes to reflect this unique conflict
The year is 291 CE, and a generation has passed since the tumultuous events of the Three Kingdoms period began. Despite the tripartite division of power which brought the conflict to a stalemate, and the brief unification of the kingdoms under the Jin dynasty, civil war is no more than a heartbeat away.

For the Jin is a dynasty divided. Its many ruling princes are hungry for greater power, each with ambitions – and methods – of their own. Eight stand above all others… will they rally to their emperor and empress? Or carve a legacy for themselves that will echo through the ages?

The Eight Princes Chapter Pack is set 100 years after the events of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, and features a new cast of playable factions led by the foremost princes of the Jin Dynasty. These Eight Princes offer feature substantially different campaign mechanics, focussing their playstyles in fascinating and unique ways

Bruh.

I have not even finished my Sun Jian or Cao Cao campaigns, and they're raining DLCs.
 
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prudis

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Dynasty mode brings a brand-new free game mode to Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, designed in collaboration with Intel®.

This new horde-style mode allows players to test their survival prowess against waves of enemies with ever-increasing difficulty levels using an army comprised solely of three hero units.