Creative Assembly has just released another new trailer for the upcoming continuation of their epic Total War franchise, Total War: Three Kingdoms. This new trailer focuses all about the tyrant Dong Zhuo, and how the player has the potential to change the course of Chinese history.
Dong Zhou is a fascinating character. On one hand he’s a power-mad tyrant desperately clinging to the last vestige of Han dynasty power, and on the other he believes himself to be the savior of China. It’s this dichotomy and tension which Total War: Three Kingdoms aims to emulate with the complex political and subterfuge systems built into the game.
In history, Dong Zhuo seized power from the child emperor of the Han dynasty and began his rule by massacring many suspected traitors. Dong Zhuo’s rule was brief and characterized by cruelty and tyranny. In the following year, a coalition of regional officials and warlords launched a campaign against him. Historically this campaign failed due to internal discord and luck on the part of Dong Zhuo. Ultimately, after several more years of terror, Dong Zhuo was assassinated by Lu Bu, Dong’s adoptive son and trusted aide. But perhaps you can change the course of history.
The incredibly complex relationships and tensions of the source material even play out in-game in new ways which are unique to this entry in the franchise. There’s the Classic Mode, which allows players to play out history in their own ways, using the relationships, alliances and histories as set by the developers. You can of course alter history in many ways, but the relationships and military alliances are much more static.
Then there’s the Romance Mode which puts a much more dramatic tone on things and influences the course of gameplay in different ways. In Romance Mode, a system inspired by the source material on which the game is based. Total War: Three Kingdoms is based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel by Luo Guanzhong, and that sets the stage for tons of melodrama and artistic liberty. In this mode, the player can make decisions that alter the political and social landscape in unpredictable ways.
One option, as it relates to Dong Zhuo, is the developing secret relationship between Lu Bu and Diao Chan. Do you decide to marry of Diao Chan and separate them, or allow their love to bloom? Every choice you make can have deadly consequences, so choose carefully.
If you’d like to know more about how Dong Zhuo and the other characters will work together in these different modes, I suggest checking out the official website.
No matter what mode you choose, you’ll have to contend with many competing warlords and factions, as this period in history is one of the more contentious and deadly in human civilization for quite some time. Are you prepared? We’ll find out when Total War: Three Kingdoms releases on March 7.