Solid strategy fun
Taking Chinese history as its background, this real time strategy game is the followup to Three Kingdoms: Fate of the Dragon but which is unfortunately a little too lacking in the quality department to make it a wholehearted recommendation. It's got some good ideas and is implemented reasonably well but is let down by a few flaws which make it less enjoyable than it should be. If you've played games like Age of Empires then you should be at home here as it follows the formula established in this and other titles, with everything you'd expect from such a game. The main focus is on epic battles which require you to make use of all your strategic skill as well as the multitude of units available to you, and which can be leveled up via the experience system, allowing them access to new skills and weapons. There are also heroes to add some character to your units, while a fairly extensive diplomacy and trading system has also been implemented, along with resource harvesting, making this a solid all-round strategy experience. Visually, this is pleasant if unspectacular, with some nicely detailed and varied environments to explore, while the Asian architecture is interesting for its relatively uncommon nature. The gameplay is pretty deep and engrossing enough if you like this sort of thing, although there is little that hasn't been seen before. If you can get past this lack of originality though, the campaign, trading and diplomacy elements all mesh together well enough to keep you entertained for a good while.