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New Total War: Three Kingdoms trailer debuts campaign map

Sega has released a new trailer for Total War: Three Kingdoms, introducing the campaign map for the next entry in the Creative Assembly’s long-running strategy series.

The video combines sweeping shots of the campaign map with brief cutscenes that add some context to the setting. Three Kingdoms is set during one of the bloodiest periods of China’s history, when the country was split between the Shu, Wei, and Wu dynasties, all of whom fought to become Emperor of the state (this eventually happened under the Jin dynasty. All that effort for nothing!).

It’s in-engine footage rather than in-game footage, but it nonetheless shows a far more colourful and distinctive campaign map than those seen in previous historical Total Wars, featuring lush green forests and rugged mountain ranges that reflect China’s highly unique topography.

The map also appears much more animated in general, with far more detail on besieged cities, and trade-routes bustling with merchant carts. There’s a particularly neat scene in which a city upgrades in one fluid animation, its walls rolling out and towers rising like a miniature mechanical contraption.

There’s not much to be gleaned regarding how Three Kingdoms’ campaign will play, although we do know that there will be two different campaign modes, one that is a standard historical campaign, and a “Romance” mode that provides the game’s heroes with much more powerful abilities—inspired by the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Three Kingdoms is currently scheduled to launch in the first half of next year. It’s the first historical Total War since the troubled Rome II, not counting last year’s spinoff Thrones of Britannia, which PC Gamer contributor Fraser Brown found to be a decent-if-flawed spin on the traditional formula, or the standalone Total War: Attila.