Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild Review

Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild
Creative Assembly / SEGA

When Total War: Three Kingdoms launched back in May of 2019 it was met with a pretty good reception. Over time, however, gamers have begun to voice their concerns over the game’s lack of diversity.

Despite a number of DLC that have since been released for the base game, many still feel that Total War: Three Kingdoms suffered from the same drawbacks they attribute to many of the Total War titles (at least the historical ones), in that its various playable factions seemed very same-y. They also have said that this sense of uniformity is even more pronounced in Total War: Three Kingdoms.

Total War: Three Kingdoms - The Furious Wild: Meng Huo guide

This sameness trickles down to the individual units within each of any of the historical Total War factions, i.e. a swordsman or spearman in one faction isn’t too different from a swordsman or spearman in another. The only Total War series that has managed to evade this sameness-factor is, of course, the Total War: Warhammer franchise,with its very diverse faction and unit rosters.

The game’s developers, Creative Assembly, seems to have acknowledged this. They’ve recently released a DLC titled Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild, which is a distinct departure from the base game’s previous DLC.

In The Furious Wild, you’ll start off in the sprawling jungles southwest of the Three Kingdoms’ original map. You can choose to play as one of four tribal leaders—Meng Huo, King Shamoke, King Mulu, or Lady Zhurong (only the first two leaders actually existed historically, the latter two are fictional). These leaders all share the common culture of the Nanman, but each of them has different goals. These different paths have led to friction as they each seek to realize their ambitions.

Total War: Three Kingdoms - The Furious Wild PC - DLC | PC | CDKeys

While having to deal with your Nanman neighbors may be challenging, you’ll also have to keep your eyes to the east. The immense Han Empire is consolidating its power and once it finds a way to put down the Yellow Turban Rebellion, it’ll turn its collective eyes west. This will be an effort, on their part, for “further consolidation” (i.e. Nanman eradication). After all, there are some mighty fine resources in the jungles of Nanman territory and lots of them.

What’s great about Furious Wild is that each of the leaders has unique objectives and play very differently from each other. Another facet that I enjoy about this DLC is that you don’t necessarily have to go to war with your Nanman neighbors—you can also use diplomatic guile in order to outmaneuver your rivals or ally with them.

If you can manage to unite the feral Nanman factions, you can proceed to march your combined forces east and interlope on the affairs of the Three Kingdoms’ core campaign. In order to earn the respect of the might Han Empire, you’ll have to not only be fierce in combat but also seize large portions of eastern land and hold it. In this way, the Han will recognize you as a legitimate threat which is to be taken seriously.

As a side note, I couldn’t but help to draw a parallel between the Nanman and the North American Native American plains tribes. As the more technologically advanced, recently arrived settlers from Europe (i.e. the Han) began to branch out to the west, many of the Native American tribes fought them with what they had, to the death in many cases.

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As the Nanman, you have a system of reforms that you can enact at certain points in the game. You also have the option of sticking to your indigenous beliefs and customs or integrating yourself with the Han and embracing modernization.

As far as combat goes, The Furious Wild brings a welcome departure from the more limited and uniform armies of Three Kingdoms. The DLC boasts 25 new units that you can field—including the massive elephants of Meng Huo’s armies, as well as the still-ferocious tamed tigers of Lady Zhurong.

Some of these new units bring their own special abilities to the battlefield. These include such things as the drummers who ride atop Meng Huo’s elephants being able to buff nearby units, or the ability to unleash Lady Zhurong’s tigers to…well…tear stuff up.

In the end, the Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild DLC feels like a breath of fresh air. It brings some truly unique and fun to play with factions to the table and vastly improves the game’s replayability-factor. If you’re already a fan of the franchise, acquiring this DLC is a no-brainer.

SCORE: 83%

The Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild DLChas some pretty good looking graphics that make its strategy gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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