Romance Of The Three Kingdoms Xiii


WTF Buying two 700 year-old, 750 page novels to lớn better grasp what the hell all of this is about.

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I’m a person who takes videogames fairly seriously. I’ve been playing for around 25 years, and i pride myself on having varied taste. So, it’s not every day that someone lượt thích me runs into lớn a franchise with at least thirteen entries & a thirty-year history that they have sầu absolutely zero experience with. Like many, my initial thought about the long-running Romance Of The Three Kingdoms series was that it was some sort of Dynasty Warriors title, since it’s made by the same guys và they tend to make games that play a lot like Dynasty Warriors. However, if the setting & the outlandish characters characters were removed, ROTK is probably the most un-DW game in existence.

So why the sudden interest in a seemingly impenetrable series? I’m coming at this review with a slightly more personal slant khổng lồ it, as life currently has me teaching English at a primary school in Luoyang, Henan Province, Trung Quốc. Luoyang is one of China’s four ancient capitals, và it plays an integral part in the story that the original historical novels were based on. The books are also possibly the most read non-religious text in history, so playing a game khổng lồ possibly learn something and better connect with my friends, colleagues, and the đô thị around me made taking on Romance Of The Three Kingdoms XIII quite intriguing.

It’s been out for about a year on the PS4 and PC, and it recently received the boringly-named Fame And Strategy expansion paông chồng. The Xbox platsize has never exactly been a hotbed for Japanese nibịt strategy titles, but Tecmo Koei decided to bundle it all together so that Microsoft’s boxes could finally experience feudal Đài Loan Trung Quốc in all its number-crunching glory.

To give a brief description of what this game is, exactly, and how it plays would be… nearly impossible. There’s a lot going on, and even with a twelve sầu hour tutorial, players may still be overwhelmed. It would take ages to lớn fully detail every single system at play here, so I’m not even going to lớn try.

The meat of the game is selecting an avatar and working khổng lồ rule all of civilized Đài Loan Trung Quốc. There’s much more khổng lồ it, however. After choosing one of over seven hundred characters, the scenario itself can be modified heavily. The time period, strength of each faction, and even things like if the player character can die of old age or not can be phối individually. The sheer vastness of the options means that any player who ends up digging this game will have sầu near infinite trả lời value ahead of them.

The chosen character falls into lớn two groups: Generals feature a traditional strategy role with full control over the kingdom & being in charge of that whole take-over-Trung Quốc thing. For those who wanna try something a little different, there’s also an advisory role where suggestions are made to the general. Gain favor due to lớn (hopefully) sound advice, and rise up the ranks in hopes of becoming a governor. 

The best aspect of this lathử nghiệm entry in the series is that it represents the best possible time for newcomers in the form of Hero Mode. Added khổng lồ the traditional main chiến dịch are a series of short scenartiện ích ios designed lớn teach the player everything there is lớn know about playing Romance. These range from rebuilding the destroyed đô thị of Luoyang while learning how to properly cultivate a thriving culture (as well as building an army) khổng lồ thwarting an emperor’s rule by manipulating a love sầu triangle, hence teaching the player how lớn coerce relationships and properly spy on enemies.


This mode also does a great job of introducing the player to various rock-paper-scissors themed mini-games involving everything from horsebaông xã combat lớn spirited debates on important local political grievances (For real. It’s kinda amazing). The player’s chances of winning these games are increased by an individual character’s rating in things like military prowess or communication skills. it may be difficult to lớn defeat the legendary warrior Lu Bu in combat, but talking circles around hlặng in the palace could prove sầu just as effective.

Lo Kuan-chung’s seminal historical fiction series is a daunting undertaking, but ROTKXIII does a good job introducing players khổng lồ it without buying 1,500 pages worth of paperbaông chồng (lượt thích I did). It hits the major beats of the story in hero mode while portraying the motivations of the houses of Wei, Shu, và Wu khổng lồ an audience who may have no idea who any of these people are. Numbers heavy strategy games lượt thích this usually don’t focus on their production, but ROTK‘s lavishly produced setting & score does an amazing job of transporting players into lớn Feudal Đài Loan Trung Quốc circa 220AD.

The new expansion also adds a side-story to lớn the hero mode, which could best be described as tín đồ fiction, & serves to introduce the new gameplay wrinkles. With Fame And Strategy, the player’s deeds spread throughout the l& with a fame ranking which influences how other characters in the world interact with them. Random events like the occasional natural disaster have sầu also been added lớn spice things up, but the randomness of these portions may put off players who meticulously plan everything.

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The story và interactions are told through still images of the characters speaking to lớn each other, which I usually find bothersome, but thanks to lớn the absolutely incredible character artwork from Hiroyuki Suwahara và little touches lượt thích subtle breathing animations, they spring khổng lồ life. The game also features dual audio for voice tracks, but not the kind one may expect –the options are Japanese and Mandarin. Trust me, go for the Chinese. The voice actors really get into it, particularly in the confident/menacing heavy laugh category.

The graphics from a technical màn chơi are…understandable… given the scope of what’s going on, sans for the fairly egregious slowdown that happens constantly. There are a lot of numbers being processed under the hood, so they probably didn’t have sầu the power available for extra polygons, but I wish it was a little more colorful in-game, especially when compared khổng lồ the vibrant hand-drawn artwork used throughout. The two don’t juxtapose well considering the varying levels of browns và greens used in the overworld. Also, zooming all the way in on combatants as they vì battle may result in a slight chuckle — they resemble poorly-animating sticks flailing their way khổng lồ victory.

The fact that it works as well as it does on a controller is quite admirable, but it’s also clear that a mouse & keyboard would be the preferred option, as there are just too many options and submenus on-screen at once. Add in multiple characters, và it can be difficult to lớn highlight the right one without zooming in, given the general impreciseness of using an analog stiông xã as a cursor. There’s also a lot of ‘press X và then toggle with X to vày X’, and the screen can be completely cluttered with various commands.

If what I’ve described sounds appealing, prospective rulers can expect to lớn pay a whopping $69.99 for this bundle on Xbox, but I can confidently state that this is, without question, the most complex console game I have sầu ever played and there is absolutely nothing else lượt thích it on the system. That alone makes it noteworthy, & potentially worth a look for anyone wanting lớn try something new. Romance Of The Three Kingdoms XIII is a deep, highly rewarding strategy title that insists on persistence, patience, và a high commitment. I’m unable khổng lồ speak on behalf of ROTK die-hards, but as someone who came in completely bereft of knowledge of the franchise, this thirteenth entry does a solid job to bring in new players, which, considering how damn intricate it can be, is commendable. Rating: 7.5 out of 10

— Jarrod Johnston


Disclosures: This game is developed và published by Koei Tecmo.  It is currently available on the PS4, Xbox One, và PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Xbox One. Approximately 20 hours of play were devoted khổng lồ the single-player mode. The Hero Mode was completed along with extra time spent in the main mode. There are no multiplayer options

Parents: According khổng lồ the ESRB, this game is rated E10+ & contains Violence, Mild Language,Use of Alcohol. This is a historical simulation game in which players assume the role of a ruler uniting the kingdoms of ancient Đài Loan Trung Quốc. Players manage economic/domestic affairs & engage in military campaigns against neighboring kingdoms. Combat is usually depicted from an overhead perspective sầu, with players deploying military units (e.g., small armies of soldiers, cavalry) on a battlefield. Slashing effects and cries of pain can be heard during battles. Players can also zoom-in on battles, and engage in brief mini-games of one-on-one combat with generals. The game contains some alcohol references in the dialogue (e.g., “A man should sing the praises of his wine” và “When drunk he would whip his men.”). The word “bastard” appears in dialogue.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: Subtitles are available, and there are no necessary audio cues. As an extremely text-heavy game, players with hearing issues should have sầu no problems.

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Remappable Controls: This game’s controls have sầu two presets khổng lồ choose from, but they are not fully remappable.