Total War: Three Kingdoms first in-engine cinematic reveals Cao Cao and a delayed release

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Sega and Creative Assembly have released the first-ever in-game cinematic for Total War: Three Kingdoms, the historical(ish) RTS inspired by the 14th-century epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The story follows the adventures of the warlords and generals who struggled to unite China in the 2nd and 3rd centuries; the trailer focuses on one of them, Cao Cao, a "cunning strategic mastermind" and central figure of the Three Kingdoms period. 

Cao Cao is a talker, but also a doer: His talent for "grand speeches" is backed up by an affinity for "breathtaking siege battles and legendary duels." And he'll be pretty handy in a stand-up fight, too. The "romanticized version" of history in Total War: Three Kingdoms means powerful generals will have the ability take on large numbers of enemies single-handedly "and heavily influence battles." If you prefer something a little less fantastical, a Classic Mode will also be available, providing a "more grounded, historically authentic" experience. 

The trailer looks pretty decent, although I would have preferred more actual gameplay and less simulated Go between ancient rivals. Alas, it also brings with it a spot of bad news: Total War: Three Kingdoms had been expected to arrive in the fall, but Sega now says that it won't be out until spring 2019. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.