While most of what I know about ancient Chinese history comes from the Dynasty Warriors games, that’s a pretty good foundation to start with, judging by Total War: Three Kingdoms‘s new trailer below. We get to take a whirlwind tour of its impressively pretty campaign map, courtesy of warlord Sun Jian. If nothing else, it’s very pretty, and it being rendered in-engine gives us a brief peek at what the game will look like, assuming you have a decently beefy PC.
Credit where it’s due, Creative Assembly’s artists have created a landscape here that is almost unmistakably Chinese, or at least evokes memories of every bit of Three Kingdoms-related media I’ve ever seen, read or played. Broad rivers, long roads, dense forests and mist-shrouded mountains all come together nicely. Even if it’s an exaggerated depiction of the terrain you’ll be leading your armies across, it feels authentic, and when it comes to the Total War series (especially the Warhammer ones), I’d say that feeling trumps gritty realism nine times out of ten.
Narratively, the trailer gives us a brief look at Sun Jian, “The Tiger Of Jiangdong”, presumably one of the playable campaign characters. After finding himself in possession of the Imperial Seal – an ancient artefact – he becomes convinced that he has been chosen by destiny itself to unite China under his family’s rule. Needless to say, most other rulers disagree, so you’ll have to kick over their sandcastles until they change their tune, or until you can remove their argumentative heads from their shoulders. Just not Guan Yu. Besides, his beard is in the way.
Total War: Three Kingdoms is launching in Spring 2019, and you can find it on Steam here.