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Total War: Three Kingdoms

Total War: Three Kingdoms puts emphasis on character bonds

It's all about the themes of the era like brotherhood and loyalty.

  • Text: Sam Bishop

The Total War series will be heading to the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history with the aptly titled Total War: Three Kingdoms, and when we talked to game director Janos Gaspar and senior designer Simon Mann at E3, the latter told us that characters are particularly important within the game.

"I think the interesting thing is with the source material we had," Mann explained. "So we had two main elements of source material - we had the romance of the Three Kingdoms and the records of the Three Kingdoms. Both of those are stories [...] of friendship, betrayal, rivalry, conquering, civil war, there's a lot going on with this and we've been able to pull a lot of mechanics almost from the pages of the books themselves."

"One of the other things that became apparent to us early on is that characters are important, but not just characters as individuals as you'd see in a role-playing game or something, but their relationships and how they interact with one another in the game is really important. These concepts of brotherhood, loyalty, honour - these are really strong themes and elements that run through both the romance and the records of the Three Kingdoms, and we really wanted to bring that into play."

"So we've actually added systems where every character in your faction, not just the faction leaders, will actually build relationships with other characters. They have things they like and dislike based on their personalities, and these will drive the people they got on well with or don't, which has a direct impact on your campaign. As the faction leader you're now having to manage your warriors; they're not just pieces on a board at this point."

Do you like this approach to managing personalities and people within your faction?

Total War: Three Kingdoms