REVIEW: ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV’ Is a Great Strategy Game for Hardcore Players (PS4)

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Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV (RTK14) is the latest addition to the iconic tactical game franchise from Koei Techmo. In RTK14, the map of ancient China is a massive battlefield where players can battle in boundary-free territories with the goal to dominate the entire continent and claim it as their own kingdom.

In RTK14, claiming territories is essential in overthrowing enemy forces in order to unite the Three Kingdoms. There are a variety of warfare tactics for players to utilize in the conquest from sieging enemies with battering rams and catapults to battles on the water with a variety of assault boats.

Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV initially sounded appealing to me because I like to play tabletop strategy games like Risk and Stratego. However, I have never played a strategy game that was as in-depth as this one was. I had no experience with any of the previous iterations of the game so I had no idea what I was getting myself into at first. Luckily this game comes with one of the most comprehensive tutorials I’ve ever played. However, the tutorial can also be a double-edged sword. 

While the tutorial is helpful for new players that aren’t familiar with the franchise, I also feel like it can come off as a bit too intense and may turn some newcomers away.  I personally felt overwhelmed with all of the information in the tutorial. When it came time to play an actual session of the game, I felt like there was too much to remember when actually playing the game.  Perhaps if there was an option to have a tutorial mode on as you play an actual session of the game then that might help new players learn the game.

Eventually, I got some of the basics down and started to get into the game more. One part in particular that I enjoyed was the empire management in Ruler Play.  The primary goal of this mode is to capture all of the surrounding territories in order to expand and unite the empire. When an area is taken control of by ally forces, you can appoint an officer to be that territory’s  Area Overseer. The Area Overseer can be assigned to develop that area through managing commerce, agriculture, and military forces. This is also when some strategy aspects of the game come into play. Since it is important to pay attention to your officers’ abilities and attributes, you’re tasked to match their roles appropriately so that you can ensure the developments they make result in making your domain strong and prosperous.

Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV

Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV has more than 1,000 historical heroes, the highest number in the series to date, to select from to be officers in your empire. This gives players the ability to take command of a massive variety of officers to help them navigate through warfare, diplomacy, and more. As I mentioned earlier, it is important to pay attention to your officers’ characteristics, because the course of battles is heavily dependent on your officers. Each officer has a “character,” which makes some of them useful in battle, while others are more useful in diplomacy and so on.

There are over 150 of these characteristics and some officers possess their own unique characteristics. For example, Brave General characteristic helps keep the officer from being negatively affected even when they are surrounded on the battlefield. In order to set your kingdom up for success and yield the most favorable outcomes in battle, then you should implement strategies that utilize your rulers and officers’ characteristics to the fullest.

My biggest gripe about this game is that it doesn’t feel welcoming to new players. Granted there is a thorough and in-depth tutorial system to get newcomers started, it is also a lot of information for new players to learn. This game is definitely made with the veteran fans, and long time strategy gamers, in mind first. That’s not to say that newcomers won’t get some enjoyment and value out of the game, but it’s not something I think novice players can pick up right away with ease.

Overall, Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV is an intensive and thorough strategy game that captures everything from warfare to empire management. In my opinion, this game is just not made with new players in mind. But, if they are willing to put in the time to learn it, then RTK14 could be the next step for them into more in-depth strategy games. However, if you are a veteran fan of the RTK series, or strategy games in general, and are seeking a more hardcore and thorough experience then this game is for you.

Romance of The Three Kingdoms (RTKXIV) is now available on PS4.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV is an intensive and thorough strategy game that captures everything from warfare to empire management. In my opinion, this game is just not made with new players in mind… If you are a veteran fan of RTK series or strategy games in general and are seeking a more hardcore and thorough experience then this game is for you.