Total War: Three Kingdoms shows off its most villainous leader

Dong Zhuo is Total War: Three Kingdoms' larger-than-life villain and the subject of the latest let's play from Creative Assembly. Historically, he briefly sowed chaos throughout China after installing a puppet on the throne, but he was assassinated by Lu Bu. Check out the video above to see how he gets on in this do over. For more on the other factions and warlords featured in the game, check out our Total War: Three Kingdoms—Everything we know article.

The big fella doesn't have many fans. Most of China seems to dislike him, but he doesn't care; he's rich and powerful, and that's what really matters. His economy is the strongest at the start of the game, and he has access to advanced mechanics and units early on. This almost makes up for everyone hoping he falls off his horse. 

He's a great example of the big changes Creative Assembly have made to their leader system. He's got a personality and reputation both historical and legendary that inform the systems he uses to conquer China. 

Reflecting his unpleasant reputation, Dong Zhuo plays like a tyrant. You've got to throw your weight around, killing off officials, forcing people to make shitty deals and snatching up vassal states. You've got the Emperor in your pocket, remember. 

Being a bully in Three Kingdoms doesn't just mean gobbling up loads of territory and getting into fights, though it helps. There's an intimidation meter that rises as Dong Zhuo murders employees, burns down a settlements or commits other evil acts. It's a resource, essentially, that he can use to coerce other leaders and passively increase public order. 

Check out an overview of his features below.

You won't be able to step into Dong Zhuo's shoes straight away, but defeating his army in battle or reaching the rank of Emperor will unlock him. His starting position, despite his advantages, promises to be a tricky, so having a campaign under your belt should make it go a little bit smoother. 

Total War: Three Kingdoms is due out on May 23.

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

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 or talking about his dog.