Heroes of Three Kingdoms: Flop or Hot?
By Mitch Baylosis-Benesa (Syllica), OnRPG Journalist.
How many variations of this story have we encountered already? Heroes of Three Kingdoms is another game developed by Perfect World Entertainment (PWE), the company behind some serious games like Jade Dynasty, Forsaken World, and Battle of the Immortals. This is the developers first foray into a serious game with a heavy historical background, with Heroes loosely based on China's most popular epic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a story that details that civil unrest that resulted in harsh battles in ancient China. The game takes you to the time when the story took place and your role is to take part in the great unification of China. The game's background is promising and PWE has a reputation for making artful characters. Let's see how Heroes of Three Kingdoms fare as a game.
As Flashy As It Can Get
Heroes of the Three Kingdoms is heavily Oriental themed as can be observed in the character creation screen. It will look and feel like an Asian MMORPG through and through and will transport your imagination to the time of the story when China was divided into three kingdoms-three leaders Cao Cao, Lui Bei and Sun Quan all battling for supremacy. You will find yourself pledging allegiance to any of these heroes as you progress further into the game. But first things first:
What you will definitely take notice in the character creation screen is their the massive weapons for your character. They have a total of 18 choices, two of which you will pick as your primary and your secondary weapons. This is unique way of infusing semi-realism into the game and takes away the typical and over-used idea of choosing melee or spellcasting characters. Your choice of weapon will determine your basic stats: ATK, HP, Crit, Skill and AOE. For example, Glaive gives you advantage with HP, ATK, and AOE but is pretty low on Skill and AOE, while Saber has top Crit, good ATK and Skill. Checking out each type of weapon is a fanfare because the demo is as flashy as it can get, which shouldn't be a wonder because PWE employed a professional choreographer of martial arts.
Work Your *** Off
Once you finished customizing your character, you will pick out an area in China as your background. At Level 2, you may now start learning skills for your primary and secondary weapons. As your level gets higher, other skills will be available to you including mounts (which PWE is known for) as well as emotes. Note that your mounts can be tamed and produced as well.
As previously mentioned, Taming horses (or other pets) is possible in Heroes of Three Kingdoms as it one of the eight production skills that will be your bread and butter in the game inlcuding Cooking, Crafting, Tailoring, Healing, Alchemy, Enchanting and Artificer. You first need to seek a trainer and find the recipes for your creation. Sell or vend them off to help you with items or gears that you haven't found yet during your quests or campaigns.
Their campaign or Kingdom War system is one of the game's features that lets you have a taste of its battle system. Your allegiances will play a part in this one by choosing one of three kingdom's heroes and aid him in battle. In Heroes of the Three Kingdoms, your goal is to rise up in the ranks of the military and make sure that you have a hand in changing ancient China's history. This is where the heroic instances come in to further immerse yourself in the game's lore. You will take part and bear witness to the decisive moments of that era.
Heroes of Three Kingdoms is rich in PvE content, and those who appreciate the Three Kingdoms' story should find it engaging. Aside from the typical grinding and skill leveling, Heroes of Three Kingdoms also challenges players to join the battlegrounds or their legion system. City or towns can be raided, and once you have hold of it, you can expand your troops and eventually be made head of the group for the glory of whichever kingdom you are representing. Sure, it is easy to imagine that you might want to create a character and just be part of the stronger faction. However, there are also a downside to spreading out the kingdom's territory wide. Chances are, the upkeep of all territories could also deplete resources quicker and leave it more vulnerable to attacks.
So... Flop or Hot?
If you look at Heroes of Three Kingdoms as a whole, this should be one appealing game: It has a splendid character design that goes well with the Oriental theme, engrossing lore, allegiances that intensify your loyalty as a player, production system, instances and PvP battles. PWE has put together very tasteful elements into one game. While most of these elements can already be found in other games, the execution is at least more than average. Heroes of Three Kingdoms has a certain appeal but it's the kind of appeal that might only be appreciated by few. The game is compact to the point that it feels a little too serious and dramatic. And in all honesty, almost every PWE games feel the same-combat system, interface (only varying in art to suit a certain theme), questing system, and alliances. I can't help but think that this is just one of those typical historical MMOs that had just been repackaged. My interest meter for the game doesn't hit the hot spot, but the game should be warm enough for anyone who is into this type genre.