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Total War: Three Kingdoms' Mandate of Heaven prequel DLC is coming in January

Creative Assembly is trying something a bit different in its Mandate of Heaven DLC for Total War: Three Kingdoms. In previous historical Total Wars, new campaigns have been kept apart from the grand campaign, but this time you'll be able to start with the prequel DLC and keep playing. 

This means its six new playable factions, which includes the crumbling Han Dynasty, will be able to seamlessly continue their bid for power in the main campaign. Five of the original factions will also be present in the earlier campaign, as well as nine new characters and 40 new units. 

Mandate of Heaven kicks off in 182CE, with the old Han Empire struggling to contain the Yellow Turban rebels. The new factions are split between the Han and the rebels, but as one of the other warlords you'll also be able to slide in and claim the titular Mandate of Heaven for yourself.  

It seems like the campaign will only continue to grow, as future DLC will add more start dates, not unlike Crusader Kings 2. Normally I'd be worried about what that would mean for turn times, but Three Kingdoms has the best performance and quickest turns of any modern Total War, and even the notoriously slow Mortal Empires has been given a boost.  

Along with the DLC, a free update will introduce fixes, balance tweaks and a new warlord. They'll both be available on Steam on January 16.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.