The Three Kingdoms Online Review: History was Never This Fun
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
At first glance, Three Kingdoms Online game seems to be similar to a lot of the browser based games out there. You have the usual resource gathering- structure building gameplay that just uses the three kingdoms era of Chinese history.
However, as I got to play the game and immerse myself into Three Kingdoms Online a little more, I see a browser game that was made by people who thought outside of the box, creating a wonderful browser game that incorporates different MMOMMO elements that are never seen in a browser games like this.
Does not play like a Browser game
For a browser based game, I find it interesting that Three Kingdoms Online plays like a strategy PC game like Civilization rather than a browser based game. Sure you have all the elements of what makes a browser game present in Three Kingdoms Online but the added game systems makes you think otherwise. The best example of this would be the special events that happen during play in Three Kingdoms. There are instances where a pop-up appears in your interface that shows you a random event. These special events provide random situations that either serve to help or harm you. These special events remind me of the random events that happen in Civilization. The events that are triggered may either be good or bad depending on your play style.
The game also puts your heroes on a pedestal as characters that serve a higher purpose for you instead of just being units that can kill people better. The emphasis on your heroes brings a semi-MMORPG-ish feel into the game because aside from training them you can also equip them with skills, armor and weapons to further develop them as fighting units. Plus, they can also become governors in your cities, which eventually add bonuses to that city.
Speaking of the MMORPG-ish feel, Three Kingdoms Online has two game systems that are practically based on MMORPG elements that you don't expect to see in a browser game, namely: grand melee and king of the hill.Grand melee is a Three Kingdoms Online game system that uses a tournament type of battle system for your heroes to take part in. Grand melee is separated into two types, the Battle Arena and the Warrior's Tournament. The Battle Arena pits your selected hero against other heroes in order for you to earn fame, which in turn can be exchanged for powerful items, while the warrior's tournament is an elimination tournament where winners are given extra experience points.
The Grand Melee
King of the Hill on the other hand is a Three Kingdoms Online game system that mimics the siege system found on a lot of MMORPGs. In usual siege fashion, your hero and a select number of units get to attack an NPC controlled city, once you acquire that city you are then tasked to defend it against other players for as long as you can.These two game systems add variety that you do not normally seen in browser games. Not only are they trying to stretch what you can do in Three Kingdoms Online, they can also increase your desire to keep on playing the game by setting time-based goals that you can aim for.
King of the Hill
Concentrating on your Heroes
The emphasis in Three Kingdoms Online on the role of heroes as just glorified unnamed overpowered units provides you with some sort of familiar character to hold on to. The expanded capabilities of your heroes in Three Kingdoms Online and the fact that they are not just units with the tag "hero" posted beside their name allows for a connection that you do not normally find if they're nameless units.This connection that heroes have with you provides you with enough driving force and reason to keep on coming back to Three Kingdoms Online in the hopes of strengthening them for the battles ahead.
However, Three Kingdoms Online is still a browser game no matter how you put it and it's the limitations of browser based games that pull the game down. I cannot deny the fact that even with the numerous features the game has it still lacks enough power to hold you interested for long.Furthermore, the game starts really slow, as is the usual case in browser based games of this type and that's the make or break period of Three Kingdoms Online for you. You get to enjoy the bulk of the game's features during the middle to late stages of the game but there is a high possibility that you will drop the game by then.
Big map doesn't specify big adventure
Three Kingdoms Online is a very ambitious take on the browser based game genre and as far as I can see it has delivered a very serious and innovative game for us players to enjoy. Plus I liked the fact that the game can be enjoyed by almost everyone even to those who are not fond of playing browser based games.However, the game's strength is its weakness and to be able to maximize the experience this game delivers is solely based on your patience as a gamer. Your patience however is aptly rewarded when you get to take part and enjoy the various features the game has in store for you.So if you are a fan of browser based games and are currently looking for something out of the ordinary in your browser games, Three Kingdoms Online is a must-play browser game for you. Just be sure that once you try the game out, you tolerate the slow paced start of the game, and when you do, that's where the fun starts.
- Has a lot of MMORPG-inspired game systems
- Features are unusual for browser based games
- Heroes are not faceless characters.
- Slow start
- Getting resources feels all to generic
- Takes a lot of time to play.