Check out the first footage of Total War: Three Kingdoms in action

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Total War: Three Kingdoms is the latest outing from Creative Assembly’s series of best selling strategy games that educate you about fun historical times and places and all the different ways that you can CRUSH their people under your iron will. TW:3K is set for release in spring 2019, and transports the series to Ancient China during the reign of child Emperor Xian of Han, as I’m sure you all remember from history class. I hate to rehash 190 AD when we all know it like the back of our hands. Anyway, like you already know, the child Emperor was manipulated by regent Dong Zhou and various factions would need to rise and fall and make fragile alliances to fight back against this tyranny. You know: Total War basics.

Today, we get a look at some of the pre-alpha gameplay via a new video. They didn’t have video in 190 AD. That’s a fact I know. A history fact.

From this video, we learn about the special attention given toward how commanders and their abilities affect the flow of combat. There’s a city under siege and you can see how generals with different buffs and debuffs handle their unique formation types and troop movements.

Also new to Three Kingdoms are duels, which allow one hero to challenge another to single combat… to the death. A well deployed commander can neutralize one of your enemy’s strongest forces and sway the battle in your favor.

Check out the gameplay video below:

You can follow the game via the Steam store page which is available right here where the words are different colors.


  1. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    I hope the graphics look like that when it comes out, or it can look like that with the options turned down, IMO it looks perfectly fine if not spectacular. And my poor PC might be able to run the game then. But historically (ha!) CA games aren’t the best optimised, especially the first in a new setting, so I may end up missing this one for technical reasons if nothing else.

  2. Fingolfin says:

    This pretty much confirms that Three Kingdoms will play more like the Warhammer titles than the historical ones. It seems more focused on heroes and MOBA-style abilities than actual tactics.

    While there is no point in denying Total Warhammer is fun, the highest points in the series are still Napoleon and Shogun II (including FotS), and that’s a bit sad considering how many years ago these games came out.

    • Werthead says:

      They did say that there will be two campaigns: “Romance” which plays like Dynasty Warriors, basically, with hero units with superpowers who engage in duels, and “Historical” which plays a bit more like how historians think it really went down (and presumably will be a bit less Warhammer-ery).

      If they pull that off, fair enough.

  3. Zenicetus says:

    Hero duels are an interesting addition. It goes against how you usually treat a General in the historical TW games, because they’re too precious to lose. But I know this ties into all the Romance/3K lore they’re leaning on to dress up the game. I suppose we’ll get enough info to know when it risk it.

    I hope there’s an auto-resolve for the minor fights. I don’t think I’d want to watch a non-interactive, predetermined duel movie (assuming that’s what it is?) more than a few times.

    A couple of things were worrying in the siege battle. Trebs taking down the wall in one volley? Maybe it was just edited past the initial volleys to look more exciting. Also, the guys on ropes climbing the wall were moving REALLY FAST. Battles happening too fast is a perennial complaint for the historical TW games, so I hope this was just sped up for the video. And I see that guys being thrown 50 feet in the air after a cav charge is still a thing. Maybe people like that, but it always looks silly.

  4. NetharSpinos says:

    I can imagine that there will be at least a few people out there with a reasonable amount of knowledge on the era; Dynasty Warriors/Kessen remains a popular series, and games can have the wonderful side effect of provoking a thirst for knowledge.

    Having said that, DW will certainly influence my approach to playing Three Kingdoms. An offer to duel Lu Bu, for example, will most likely be met with nervous laughter and a desperate search for more archers.

  5. mlj11 says:

    “Sao Sao” must be turning in his grave.

    • BaronKreight says:

      Have you played any chinese game translated into english? oh dear

    • thetruegentleman says:

      It’s pretty much right though? Tsow Tsow isn’t exactly the easiest thing to pronounce in English.

      And while I’m at it, Cao Cao would probably be more flattered about the fact that people a world over are trying to pronounce his name right than angry that they’re getting it slightly wrong.

  6. dsch says:

    If you’re going to report on this game, you should at least mention that there’s going to be a more Warhammer-like “romance” mode and a traditional “historical” mode.

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