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Total War: Three Kingdoms delayed into spring 2019

Bad news: the launch of Total War: Three Kingdoms will come in spring 2019, pushed back from autumn 2018.

Good news: a new trailer has a selection of moving shapes, colours, and sounds that you might find comforting.

The Creative Assembly’s first foray into Chinese history for their strategy series needs a little more time to finish up properly, see. Better a better game later than a wonky one sooner, right?

The official company line, as Eurogamer report, is that “As the next major Total War title, we’re giving it the time it needs to reach the highest levels of quality.” Righto!

In the meantime, moving pictures and accompanying sounds:

That’s “in-engine”, they say, which of course isn’t quite the same as in-game.

It is interesting to here that The Creative Assembly are leaning into the “romanticised” view of the Three Kingdoms period, but not unwelcome. I find Total War most interesting when it does deviate from history – the games are hardly realistic in the first place, so why not? Though, sadly, I’m sure they won’t go as over-the-top as the Dynasty Warriors interpretation of Romance Of The Three Kingdoms.

Game director Janos Gaspar explained the sitch in a blog post yesterday:

“The popular modern view of these events is formed around Asian media, which largely draws on Luo Guanzhong’s 14th century epic. Although based on history, the events of the period in the Romance are pitched in vivid narrative detail and packed with drama, flavour, and explosive deeds of an almost superhuman nature. For a more realistic view of the period, we look to Chen Shou’s 3rd century text, Records of the Three Kingdoms, which offers a much more down-to-earth account of the period with lists of army compositions, tax levies and such.

“As a western studio retelling stories of such cultural importance in much of Asia, we have to be sensitive when handling the source material in Total War: Three Kingdoms. In many respects, we have to hold ourselves to as high a standard for cultural authenticity as we do for historical accuracy.”

But he makes clear that the game will have “a Classic Mode option before you start a campaign that makes the experience closer in execution to past Total War historical titles” for folks who want down-to-earth warfights.

Spring 2019 it is.

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