The next chapter in the seminal Total War franchise, Total War: Three Kingdoms is the first to surmount the Great Wall and delve into ancient China for its martial arena. The franchise developed by Creative Assembly features a trademark turn-based campaign with empire-building, statecraft, and conquest with realistic real-time battles. Three Kingdoms is set in China in the year 190, a beautiful but fractured land. You must be the emperor that will forge the next great dynasty and build a lasting legacy. With Three Kingdoms, Creative Assembly aims to redefine the Total War series.

As part of its build-up marketing campaign, they have announced a surprise playable faction, the 12th up until now. The faction is headlined by an obscure but fascinating tyrant called Dong Zhuo. According to Wikipedia, the warlord turned usurper was a special kind of horrible:

Dong Zhuo threw lavish banquets during which torture would be performed on captured enemies as entertainment: he first cut their tongue so they would not make as much noise for the following operations, which were the severing of limbs and removal of eyeballs. Dong made sure that the procedures were conducted so that they would remain conscious when they were eventually thrown into boiling oil. Then the remains of the captives were rolled up into a literal “meat-ball” and placed in the center of the banquet for all to observe. While Dong was quite comfortable with his “masterpiece” and enjoyed his meal as usual, the rest of the audience were said to have experienced a high degree of discomfort.

And you thought your Thanksgiving dinners were uncomfortable…

Creative Assembly touts Dong Zhuo as a way to unleash your inner tyrant during the Three Kingdoms campaign, purging the land of all of would defy your rule. Once you reach the rank of Duke, the malevolent Dong Zhuo will appear as a playable faction. The trailer is quite cinematic, but it doesn’t seem to reveal much of what exactly Dong Zhuo will be able to do with his horrible tyranny, like torturous dinner parties.

Total War: Three Kingdoms will launch on March 7 for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.

If you’re looking for more Total War: Three Kingdoms, Creative Assembly released the newest part of their Three Kingdoms webcomic, which you can view here.

What do you think of this new playable faction? Are you interested in playing such an evil tyrant? What kind of evildoings do you think you’ll be able to accomplish as Dong Zhuo? Let us know in the comments below.

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Richard Costa

Staff Writer

Ape meets keyboard. Hack for hire, recovering academic and RPG enthusiast who started gaming on MSX in the late 80s, then witnessed the glorious 90s on PC.