Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - Eight Princes
Top Critic Average
Developer: Creative Assembly
Genres: Action, Strategy
New campaign set 100 years after the Three Kingdoms period began
Eight new playable princes with substantially different playstyles…
Supported by unique buildings, assignments and court options
New elite units: pummel your foe with mighty cataphracts!
Shape your faction development with four new alignments: Wealth, Spirit, Might, and Mind
Key public order and faction-rank changes to reflect this unique conflict
The year is 291 CE, and a generation has passed since the tumultuous events of the Three Kingdoms period began. Despite the tripartite division of power which brought the conflict to a stalemate, and the brief unification of the kingdoms under the Jin dynasty, civil war is no more than a heartbeat away.
For the Jin is a dynasty divided. Its many ruling princes are hungry for greater power, each with ambitions – and methods – of their own. Eight stand above all others… will they rally to their emperor and empress? Or carve a legacy for themselves that will echo through the ages?
The Eight Princes Chapter Pack is set 100 years after the events of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, and features a new cast of playable factions led by the foremost princes of the Jin Dynasty. These Eight Princes offer feature substantially different campaign mechanics, focussing their playstyles in fascinating and unique ways
A prince’s faction ranks differ from those of the warlords of the Three Kingdoms period, advancing from minor prince to grand prince, then imperial prince.
You also now have the choice of whether to pursue the emperorship for yourself, or preserve the existing emperor and rule as his regent. Your choice between these two positions is based very closely on the alignments paths you choose to follow throughout the campaign.
The alignments system grants new choices in how you shape your faction over time. The four alignments – Wealth, Spirit, Might and Mind – all grant different bonuses, and their adoption is driven by a wealth of bespoke new events and dilemmas. As your association with specific alignments grows, you’ll begin to encounter events and dilemmas themed specifically around those alignments.
Your alignments also inform the dilemma you’ll face when you capture the emperor. The outcome of this dilemma in turn defines whether you ascend to the highest faction rank of Emperor or Regent.
Each alignment grants increasing bonuses to aspects of your faction:
Wealth: Increasing your faction’s alignment with this aspect offers rising bonuses to income, trade and prestige.
Spirit: Increasing your faction’s alignment with this aspect grants rising bonuses to your faction’s food production, diplomatic relations, noble support and prestige.
Might: Increasing your faction’s alignment with Might brings factionwide bonuses to your armies’ campaign movement range, mustering times, retinue upkeep and prestige.
Mind: Increasing your faction’s alignment with the Mind boosts character experience gains, your faction’s research rate, available administrator positions and prestige.
The war of the 8 Princes was largely a struggle for supremacy among the nobility. To reflect this, public order is now known as noble support. Low noble support will cause a rebellious noble-led army to spawn.
However, the sources of positive and negative noble support throughout your infrastructure are thematically very different to public order, as the aristocracy’s needs and desires are different to those of the people. Maintaining stability through noble support will depend on different building choices to the Three Kingdoms period. Likewise, unlike public order in the base game, growing commandery populations do not have a negative impact on noble support.
Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - Eight Princes Gameplay Preview
Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - Eight Princes Reveal Trailer
Total War: Three Kingdoms - Eight Princes feels familiar, although, sadly, also a repeat of what you've already gone through in the past. While you can choose from eight princes, your overall experience (especially if you've put in hundreds of hours into the base game) would be more like a solid "7" instead.
If you enjoyed the main game and have an itch to come back, I recommend picking up Eight Princes if you were aiming to do another playthrough. If you are waiting for something different and novel to come along and really shake up Three Kingdoms, then I would say hold on to your dynasty hat for the time being.