Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: First Impressions Review.

  1. #1
    The drunken Duke Member Suraknar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Navigating the realm of Ideas
    Posts
    684

    Default First Impressions Review.

    Hello fellow ORGanites!

    I just wanted to share some of my impressions of TW:Three Kingdoms, I know that a TW on the mainland China (be it on the Romance or Gengis Khan/Kublai Khan etc) has been a very long time wish. And many mods and mod projects in the past went towards that direction. It has been a wish of mine as well.

    So I jumped in to this one head first, and Pre-Ordered just one day before release.

    Note that I have not been following any Social media/Twitch/Youtube about the evolution of the game, I am not the type to do so. I just play the game when it is out or unless I get involved in Alphas/Beta Testing etc. So the game is brand new to me and I had 0 Knowledge about it and its systems or gameplay before I got it other than the fact that well it is about China's Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

    So here are my impressions:

    Game Loading: was comparable to other titles, about 10-15 seconds in my case before the intro launched, I have the game installed on an SSD drive and I was expecting the background unpacking of files as usual.

    Intro Video: Very well done intro video which excites and motivates and immerses the player in the setting.

    UI:
    My fist positive impression was the improvement of the UI, it is sleek, and of a minimalist design which is efficient and very fast. Love it!

    Music in the UI: I was struck by the music, it is simply lovely to listen to!

    Video Options: My first action was to teak the video options for a desired experience before launching a Campaign. So played a bit with various Advanced settings and running benchmarks (battle and campaign). I finally settled for a mixture of Ultra and High settings, Unit Size Ultra, TAA, Anisotropic 16x, at 45 Fps battle benchmark.

    Tutorial:
    There is no Tutorial Campaign available. Yes I maybe a Vet in TW games but I always like to discover what is new through the tutorials. So I just started a Campaign, I set the Advice level to High.

    To my delight I was offered Tutorial options within the Campaign itself. So there is a Tutorial which is embedded in the Campaign and it is good for both new players to TW and new players to Three Kingdoms.

    Campaign: I started my first Campaign as the Recommended Cao Cao (albeit I want to play Liu Bei really hoping Zhuge Liang is in game, too). The campaign map is beautiful, the campaigns plays quite good.

    Campaign UI: It felt awkward in the beginning of the Campaign UI as allot of elements are concentrated to the left of the screen. But got used to it fairly fast. The various territories are organized in "Commanderies" which basically consist of a Capital City and Urban and Administrative Center and various small settlements dedicated to providing food etc. Similar to the by now familiar Rome 2 Provincial approach, but this time even more streamlined and fitting to China of that period.

    Campaign and Battle Music: Very nice, pleasing and exciting or calming music, especially if you have a taste for Chinese instruments. I simply love it the music all around!

    Campaign Modes: This one surprised me but I found it so cool. You can play the game in either the Romance Mode which is the Romanticized, Legendary mode and it affects how your general behave skill up and level. In this mode generals do not die in battle, can be captured thought and can be executed if captured. Generals become like Hong Kong/China Movies a bit Super-heroic capable ofr fighting by themselves in the head of the battle against several enemy troops with legendary weapons and their Kung Fu prowess. Troops are affected less by fatigue and morale in this mode.

    Or you play play in "Records" mode which makes Generals behave historically, and renders generals common mortals with General's Bodyguard like other historical titles. In Records mode troops are affected by Fatigue and morale much more too.

    (I started my Campaign in Romance mode! I want my generals to leap above 100 enemy soldiers and smashing in the middle of them! Just like in the movies :) Haha Of course I will also play in more historical way too. Yet, I am not a purist, I enjoy both Fantasy and History, fun is the priority. In any case, the choice between the two to please everyone is there, and this is a plus for the game!

    Campaign Economy: This one is important to me since the first Shogun. I get impatient with having to scrounge the bottom and choose between recruiting a unit or which settlement to upgrade. I do not like to bother myself with economy and prefer to focus on Tactical and strategic play. So I usually mod the games to give myself several millions of currency in turn 1, and that way I can raise my armies as I see fit and constantly be upgrading all my settlements as needed without headaches.

    Nevertheless, I started my campaign without modding anything in the economy. and so far I think, it is actually an amazing improvement. I like it, and I do not think it needs modding. We gain currency every time we defeat enemies in battles, plus have the opportunity to release captives for ransom, and of course we can sack captured towns too. All this somehow makes it balance in a enjoyable way! Great approach!

    Campaign Diplomacy: Now this one will most probably delight allot of old fans. Yes Diplomacy finally exists in TW. There is a slew of new options to use during the campaign which brings the Diplomacy game to a new level. I know many people here have wanted more and better diplomatic options in TW and this one delivers on that wish!


    Help Tools: Other than the Advice/Advisor, there are several great tools such as a Cheat Sheet by pressing ESC and also a UI elements explanation by pressing F1, you can hover on every element of the UI after pressing F! to get a details explanation of it. All these can also be accessed via three convenient buttons at the upper right corner of the screen, including Tutorial Videos.

    Performance: The game performs amazingly! I think many people will be talking about the smoothness and overall performance at every level from the Menu UI to the Campaign to Battles.

    Flukes, Bugs: Nothing noticeable so far. Except maybe that the Advisor does not always Talk or is triggered properly. and the Text stays there indefinitely until manually dismissed. I am not sure if it is intended, I have not played with an Advisor since Medieval/Rome 1.

    Misc: Not sure if Sun Quan is in the game, he is not available at startup. As well as Zhou Yu, who later formed an alliance with Liu Bei to counter Cao Cao, famous for the battle of the Red Cliffs. Maybe these are unlockable via the campaign, It would be sweet if other factions become available later after encounter or successful completion of the first campaign.

    Modding: Not in a rush to mod the game. I find it really good as is in vanilla thus far.

    Overall Impression: Awesome! Kudos to the Team, you really outdid yourselves with this title! This title will go down in history as the best so far and one of the best of all time in the series. in my opinion.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Suraknar; 05-27-2019 at 20:12. Reason: Typos
    Duke Surak'nar
    "Η ΤΑΝ Η ΕΠΙ ΤΑΣ"
    From: Residing:
    Traveled to: Over 70 Countries, most recent: and

    ~ Ask not what modding can do for you, rather ask what you can do for modding ~
    ~ Everyone dies, not everyone really fights ~

    Members thankful for this post (4):



  2. #2
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    12,957

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    Thank you, Suraknar, for taking the time to share your initial thoughts on the game. My excitement level for the game has gone up. The diplomacy and economy improvements sound encouraging. Might have to scrounge up the money sooner rather than later. Please give us updates as you become more familiar with the game. Thanks again!
    This space intentionally left blank

    Member thankful for this post:



  3. #3
    Infinite Jest Member easytarget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Poulsbo, WA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    I think a few things might be mildly borked (which I hope they fix, specifically I get campaign map stutter, and the vassalization seems a bit out of hand), that said, I'd call this the best TW I've played since Shogun 2.

  4. #4
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fortress of the Mountains
    Posts
    10,687

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    Keep those impressions coming!

    TW 3 Kingdoms is also the most sold TW game in the first week - 1 million + copies sold.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  5. #5
    Member Member Lord of the Isles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    I wouldn't disagree violently with anything in the OP's review. Have a few different views though.

    Summary

    After a week of playing (maybe 40 hours in total) I have to say this is the best TW game on release there has been. Well, I only bought Shogun I a year after release and never bought Warhammer, but all the others were worse (some much worse). I kept waiting for bugs to spoil this impression but I've only come across a few and none of them are game breaking (as long as they are fixed).

    I've only played Records mode, 2 games started: 80 turns as Gongsun Zan (normal/normal difficulty) and then 135 turns as Cao Cao (normal/normal).

    Cons
    1. Campaign AI bug playing as Gongsun Zan where his closest AI rival constantly vassalizes surrounding factions, screwing your own growth. CA say they are working on it. Many people have reported this but haven't seen reports of it happening when playing any other faction.
    2. Like the OP I hadn't been reading about the game in advance, so new mechanisms were a mystery to me. I kind of like figuring things out myself but a 3K wiki or something like it would have helped (e.g. upgrading some troops only works with certain general types).
    3. The UI is certainly pretty but fails in a lot of places. There is a lot of info to pack in but needs improved. e.g. (a) I cannot see how to tell what the currently researching tech is (aha, solved it - see Edit at end) and (b) the advisor's text chat often obscures bits of other windows (and their close buttons) and (c) some choices have to be made between turns without you being able to review crucial info like what your diplomatic situation with a faction is.
    4. Campaign Map is pretty but colour/lighting issues at times. The graphics change by seasons and some e.g. Harvest & Winter just makes stuff hard to see. Not easy to quickly tell enemy forces from neutral & friendly ones without mouse-overing a lot.
    5. Game pacing isn't quite right for my tastes (though others may like it). 135 turns has got me to the 3 Kingdoms Divide (starting the endgame) in my current game. I've barely built my empire up and, as someone who likes to turtle, it all seems a bit too fast.
    6. Battle AI maybe a little better than previous titles but not a lot. On normal it still charges cavalry into my front line of spears at the start of a few battles. But at least it keeps its general's cavalry back until later. Rarely have much of a problem up to 2:3 odds but tough to win at 1:2 against odds. That may be because all armies have a lot of archers & crossbowmen and these seem overpowered a bit. Hard to combat major arrow damage quickly enough. Mind you, replenishment takes a fair number of turns early game so even winning a battle can be a defeat if you lose a lot of men.


    Pros

    Just about everything else! In particular:

    1. Campaign AI is pretty good. Haven't had too much of a problem with small armies needing chased around my territories (unless I deserved it!). And when they did most towns & minor settlements have big enough garrisons even early game to stop them being lost to a small army. If it can, the AI tries to bring stronger stack(s) to bear and if it cannot it tries to avoid battle.
    2. Diplomacy is the big surprise - not that it would be hard to improve on previous TW titles but I cannot believe how much better it is. So many options that can be combined that I kept waiting for bugs to appear but (so far anyway) it works more or less as you'd want it to.


    A last thought: while the map is big, the playable factions all seem concentrated in the North-East of China. If all games have the main action in the same places it may get a bit samey too soon. Maybe DLC factions will improve that.


    [ Edit: there appears to be no such thing as a "currently researching tech/reform" - you build up research for 5 turns, then once done you select the reform you want and the benefits are available straight away. ]
    Last edited by Lord of the Isles; 05-31-2019 at 00:06.

    Members thankful for this post (3):



  6. #6

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by easytarget View Post
    the vassalization seems a bit out of hand
    From what I've read, there's one character (Yuan Shao, I think?) which has, perhaps not exactly a "bug", but some unintended behavior when it comes to vassalization; he often (not necessarily always) grabs up tons of vassals before anyone else - including player - can. Supposedly CA is taking a look at tweaking that guy down a bit.

    Perhaps they already did. My first playthrough Yuan Shao did exactly that; must've had at least 8 vassals when everyone else had 1 or 2 at most (and his faction traits and starting rank/strength don't really explain how he did that). I heard/read others relate same experience in various forums, etc. But Yuan Shao didn't do that on my second playthrough, even though he was still quite strong and ranked up to Duke before anyone else (just with far fewer vassals this time).
    Last edited by Bramborough; 05-31-2019 at 13:55.

    Member thankful for this post:



  7. #7
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fortress of the Mountains
    Posts
    10,687

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    A poster over at TWC gave some tips for those who see the battlelfield as too cluttered.

    By pressing and holding spacebar on the battlefield, a menu appears on the rightside of the screen where you'll be able to adjust it to your tastes.
    https://www.twcenter.net/forums/show...ying-this-game
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

    Member thankful for this post:



  8. #8

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    I've played about 3 hours of the game and so far I am liking it.

    In continuation of the excellent UI in ToB, the TW 3 Kingdoms UI is absolutely superb. The art, graphics and design is gorgeous and it works so well overall in the game. Top absolut notch, I love it. This also creates a very pleasurable experience to work around through the different menus because it's so enjoyable.

    However, somehow, the UX / configuration of the menus is very cluttered and confusing and this is particularly so in battles where you have too many cards, unit cards, little symbols... the first two battles were a mess until I figured it out somehow. It took me a while to understand it.

    Plus, big plus in fact - diplomacy. After so many years of not having enough options, now you have too many, and from my perspective it's fantastic. Diplomacy is one big plus in this game.

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  9. #9
    The drunken Duke Member Suraknar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Navigating the realm of Ideas
    Posts
    684

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregoshi View Post
    Thank you, Suraknar, for taking the time to share your initial thoughts on the game. My excitement level for the game has gone up. The diplomacy and economy improvements sound encouraging. Might have to scrounge up the money sooner rather than later. Please give us updates as you become more familiar with the game. Thanks again!
    And thank you Sir Gregoshi

    Also thanks everyone else for sharing your own impressions and experiences and thoughts. Overall the reaction is positive as expected and from many Vets, which is a very good sign is it not? :)

    I agree with many that the Diplomacy part is such a delight. The campaign part of the game has been enhanced and is very enjoyable to play and I think this where some previous titles lacked.

    Shogun 1 and Medieval 1, both had a very strong Campaign map game-play, while later titles seem to have focused more on the Battle Aspect of the game. But I think Three Kingdoms is so enjoyable because it revisits and enhances the Campaign part of the game making the experience whole again as the original titles that captured our hearts while at the same time of course including all the advances of the battle systems since the advent of 3D battles with Rome 1.

    This is very good for the series future, in my opinion, for both new and old players.

    I do remember back in the time some friends playing Shogun and Medieval having so much fun playing only the campaign game and always auto resolve battles never even having experienced the battles themselves.

    Of course, I introduced them to the fun of that part of the game too by recording some of my battles and sending them over, after which point of course they started fighting their own battles too. Yet the point is that the initial titles were enjoyable at the campaign level first and that is, I think, all vets would agree, an important aspect and ingredient to the series, which only gets complimented by the Epicness of the battles themselves. So, if the Campaign game play is not enjoyable then the game play tends to become a bit boring and repetitive (for older player mainly) as the game-play tends to get reduced to the same level of just playing some standalone battles.

    Therefore, I am very glad that CA finally revisited the campaign part of the game :) And it definitely is worth playing and enjoying for all, new and old players.

    I shall add some more in depth impressions soon.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Suraknar; 06-02-2019 at 21:21. Reason: typos
    Duke Surak'nar
    "Η ΤΑΝ Η ΕΠΙ ΤΑΣ"
    From: Residing:
    Traveled to: Over 70 Countries, most recent: and

    ~ Ask not what modding can do for you, rather ask what you can do for modding ~
    ~ Everyone dies, not everyone really fights ~

  10. #10
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fortress of the Mountains
    Posts
    10,687

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    https://store.totalwar.com/threekingdoms-ce/eu

    Collectors Edition available if you want to purchase it, tempted.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  11. #11
    The drunken Duke Member Suraknar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Navigating the realm of Ideas
    Posts
    684

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    Thought to share incomming Patch, addressing some of the concerns also discussed here.

    Patch Notes (Multilingual):

    https://www.totalwar.com/blog/total-...update-2-beta/
    Duke Surak'nar
    "Η ΤΑΝ Η ΕΠΙ ΤΑΣ"
    From: Residing:
    Traveled to: Over 70 Countries, most recent: and

    ~ Ask not what modding can do for you, rather ask what you can do for modding ~
    ~ Everyone dies, not everyone really fights ~

    Member thankful for this post:



  12. #12
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fortress of the Mountains
    Posts
    10,687

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    My Collectors Edition is on it's way right now, can't way to have some fun this weekend!
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  13. #13
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fortress of the Mountains
    Posts
    10,687

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    I just got my Collectors Edition - it's absolutely massive. I own all of the Total War Collectors Editions except the Rome 2 TW one (just digital purchase) and it's almost 5 times bigger than Shogun 2 TW Collectoros Edition.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  14. #14

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    A first patch for TW 3 Kingdoms has been released, calming down Yuan Shao who vassalised everyone.

    https://www.totalwar.com/blog/total-...doms-update-2/

  15. #15
    Infinite Jest Member easytarget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Poulsbo, WA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    77 hours into my first campaign as Cao Cao (long dead at this point), and still loving this game. I've had back and forth swings in battles, on the campaign map, vassals who deserted me, major rivals come at me and then sue for peace, and countless engagements on multiple fronts (the primary reason this campaign has gone on so long).

    I'm at a point where I think I've got a handle on it, the Empire of Wu which is huge are the remaining contender to Emperor I need to deal with, along with hitting what I consider the rather high county target of 95.

    I'll sum up my first impressions this way: I've enjoyed this 1st campaign more than any single campaign in any Total War ever.

  16. #16

    Default Re: First Impressions Review.

    To be fair, there's a lot of positive points. I can't wrap my head around how nice diplomacy is right now, and the huge multitude of options, something that would have been an absolute hit in Medieval Total War or even games like Attila.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO