Curious about the remarkable setting for Total War: Three Kingdoms? Welcome to a five part series delving deep into The Creative Assembly's latest strategy epic, which takes the series to a new historical era. In this first video, hosted by Esports Legend Paul “Redeye” Chaloner, members of the Total War development team introduce us to the world of Three Kingdoms, and explain how the games takes inspiration both from historical record and romantic legend.
Set in Ancient China, Total War: Three Kingdoms takes place during a period of unprecedented civil upheaval. The collapse of the Han dynasty, which had ruled China for 200 years, triggered a conflict that lasted six decades and saw multiple factions attempt to claim the title of Emperor of all China. “The Three Kingdoms conflict is one of the most interesting and most bloody conflicts in history,” says Peter Stewart, writer and narrative designer on Total War: Three Kingdoms. “Somewhere between 30 and 45 million people died.”
Such an enormous conflict makes the Three Kingdoms period a natural setting for a Total War game, and China itself provides a grand stage for the action. “It’s such an amazingly beautiful and diverse landscape,” explains Pavel Wohls, Project Art Director on Total War: Three Kingdoms “And also the period, this character-rich period is very unique for us.”
You can experience Three Kingdoms in two distinct modes. Records mode offers the historically-based grand-strategy campaigning that you would expect from any Total War game. Romance mode is inspired by the 14th Century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Romance mode gives Three Kingdoms’ warlords and generals much greater significance on the battlefield, transforming them from ordinary men and women into powerful heroes of legend.
Pre-purchase Total War: Three Kingdoms here.
Combining a gripping turn-based campaign of empire-building & conquest with stunning real-time battles, THREE KINGDOMS redefines the series in an age of heroes legends.
Out on the 23rd May.
Both sides of Three Kingdoms’ strategy take inspiration from the authentic historical records and the colourful embellishments of romance of the Three Kingdoms. The player’s campaign begins with the destruction of the Han dynasty’s Imperial Capital, as an attempt to depose the tyrant Dong Zhou – who claimed much of the fallen Emperor’s power for himself – fails.
From this point, you’re able to follow the trajectory of the Three Kingdoms conflict, or defy history and forge your own path through The Creative Assembly colourful depiction of Ancient China. “Because of the historical events, and because it is based in-part on the fictionalised version of those historical events, we do punctuate this with narrative moments that are drawn from the history,” says Dom Starr, senior game developer on Total War Three Kingdoms “And the player is allowed to choose to pursue these or to ignore them.”
Watch the video above for the full lowdown on how The Creative Assembly breathed life into Three Kingdoms’ distinctive setting.