• The Romance of the Three Kingdoms series has been around a long time, and it’s amazing that every main entry to the franchise has released in the West in some form or another. Whether it’s the PC, or some console, there’s been a numbered entry for Western gamers to enjoy a strategy-simulation based on a series of one of China’s most classic pieces of literature. Of course, as Dynasty Warriors has gained popularity, it’s influence on the look of this series is apparent. But quite unlike the Empires games, this series does what that game should have, and just be a competent simulation and strategy game. Although perhaps the PS4 version could use some updates to improve it’s performance and controls.

    The game has two main modes of play to choose from. There’s the Hero Mode, which is a special story mode that not only introduces the characters in a chapter like format, but it also functions much like a tutorial mode. Elements are slowly introduced to the player on how to play as it lays the foundation of who’s who before letting you delve into the main scenarios. The main scenarios will have you taking the role of choosing several what if stories and seeing the results get fulfilled. You can use the Edit Mode to alter characters, or your own custom created officers if you want as well. But regardless of which mode you pick, the gameplay remains the same.

    Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII will have players making a variety of decisions as they make their bid to have their officers attempt to conquer all of China in the name of either unification or glory. You can train your soldiers so they can become more capable in the many battles you will eventually engage in. There’s also forging allegiances with towns and cities to expand your influence and to have a way to get extra troops to provide reinforcements in battles, or to more easily mobilize elsewhere. Of course to do this, giving them gifts is necessary, which can be earned through buying goods. And if you need money, you can always raise taxes or make a law which will generate the economy. Making allies also can forge bonds which can provide special effects in battle under certain conditions.

    Actual combat plays out in a real time strategy setup. You can move and attack troops by highlight one or more troops, after which they will move to the target and attack them. Depending on luck, they can perform pincer attacks to overwhelm the enemy. If you need to, you can pause the action and use special skills which can turn the tide of battle, assuming you have enough of the guage to consume. Some time duels between officers play out, which are basically rock-paper-scissors matches. It’s pretty fun stuff but there are some problems with this game. For one, the game clearly feels like the PC version was made first, and the PS4 version after. The controls are fine for the most part, but mouse and keyboard support is unavailable, and it suffers a bit for it. Another thing that’s a problem is that despite being on the PS4, the game has a framerate which dips well below 30 FPS most of the time, especially in battle. This gives one the feeling that the game isn’t optimized properly.

    But aside from these foibles, the game is a really solid strategy sim, with great music and a great story. But maybe the PC version is a better choice to play this title. Otherwise you can wait and hope the PS4 version will get some worthwhile updates.

    Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII - Review
    A good strategy game with simulation elements, with a good story and a tutorial-like Hero Mode to ease newcomers to the series.
    Our Score7.5
    • More fun simulation gameplay than seen in the Dynasty or Samurai Warriors Empires games.
    • More fun simulation gameplay than seen in the Dynasty or Samurai Warriors Empires games.
    • The framerate on the PS4 version chugs quite a bit despite the graphical quality.
    7.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

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