I’ve never played Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Now Dynasty Warriors, based off of the same books, I’ve played far too much of. Since grabbing a copy of Dynasty Warriors 2 out of a bargain bin when I was a teenager me and my brothers consistently bought the new games whenever they came out, despite how incremental the difference was between any of them. It was nice to have a mindless action game with theoretically infinite replayability.
Our focus here is not on the game however, but the Fame and Strategy Expansion aiming to make the game a little less of a digital textbook. You gain not many extra features but enough to make you feel like you aren’t just reading and actually taking some action.
The first biggest change is the new War Council before each bout of combat. Now you get the chance of surveying each officer you want on the battlefield. You can give them each individual combat tactics, as well as overall tactics and gaining a strategic advantage over your opponent. Rather than having to continuously pause combat to change tactics combat becomes more fluid and feels a little more realistic.
Another large addition to the game is the event editor. As opposed to Dynasty Warriors, Romance of the Three Kingdoms was always far more focused on being accurate to the source materials. The event editor allows you to throw whatever random scenario you consider at the game and see what happens, much like ‘Empire Mode’ in Dynasty Warriors with a little more control of the situations. It is a nice change, and makes me feel more at home by blending with the other franchise. The effort to get the scenario set up is a little heavy but it’s a welcome addition to a game so gripped on historical accuracy.
There are also more minor additions to the game, such as the fame system which allows characters to complete objectives on the battlefield and off to gain bonuses to their diplomatic and military prowess. Characters can also gain prestige titles which unlocks actions for characters to take, such as new tactics allowing them to be used differently in and out of battle. Overall though you will find the experience a little smoother and with a little more depth than the first game.
All in all it’s a nice bit of DLC. But you have to wonder why this content wasn’t in the game to begin with. I haven’t played this game without the DLC, but the general consensus seems to be this adds to the game. Was this a useful addition or was this cutting up a game for DLC later? Who knows; but my only complaint with this is the game is a little menu heavy from my background with the series.
Thankfully those of you who want to pick this game up now can do so with the DLC in a pack. If you like Dynasty Warriors, now might be the time to consider moving over to Romance of the Three Kingdoms with this pack. New features allow you to bend the game to your will, rather than having the one singular scenario any fan of the series will know by now. I’m giving this DLC a 6. The features it adds are crucial to getting a long lifespan out of the game, but you should not have been paying extra to do so and as such I cannot rate it higher.