Heroes of Three Kingdoms

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Heroes of Three Kingdoms Overview

Heroes of Three Kingdoms is an Asian MMORPG based on the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese History. The game is known as Chi Bi in China and Red Cliff in Malaysia. With the Han Dynasty in steep decline, bandits and wild creatures freely roam the countryside. Brave heroes have risen to the challenge, and must do battle across the provinces by wielding one of the eighteen available weapon types. Heroes of Three Kingdoms does not have a standard class system.  Instead, players select which weapon they wish to wield during character creation. Each weapon gives players a different distribution of five stats: ATK, CRIT, GR, CTRL, and HP.

Weapons - Sabre, Spear, Halberd, Battle Axe, Trident, Cudgel, Sword, Axe, Hook, Mace, Hammer, Claw, Shield, Quoits, Staff, Dance, War Fan, Bow.

Heroes of Three Kingdoms Screenshots

Heroes of Three Kingdoms Featured Video


Full Review

Heroes of Three Kingdoms Review

By Erhan Altay

Here in the West, we tend to romanticize the medieval era of European history with its knights and damsels in distress. In China, the Three Kingdoms period receives the same treatment. While this era lasted less than 100 years (184 – 280 AD), it has had a profound influence on Chinese culture. Dozens of novels, films, TV shows, and video games are based on this period, as are many MMORPGs including Three Kingdoms: The Battle Begins, Jade Dynasty, and Kingdom Heroes. The popular video game series Dynasty Warriors also takes place during the Three Kingdoms era, and many Asian MMORPGs, whether they’re developed in China, Japan, Vietnam, or Korea, make references to it. Heroes of Three Kingdoms was developed by Perfect World Entertainment back in 2009 but  is only now making its way to North America a year later.

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Martial Arts Masters

Now that we’ve had the history lesson, on with the game!  Registration on the official site is simple enough and those who already have a PWE account can save a step . The client clocks in at 2.3 gb and may take some time to download. There is currently only a single live server, but it has multiple channels. Character creation is pretty basic,  players chose their gender and between several face and hair styles. Additionally, there are three size options per gender. Heroes of Three Kingdoms has a unique class system in which players chose from eighteen weapon types. Each weapon type has a different distribution of five stats which determines what role that weapon plays. The sword, for example, has high Atk and Crit but low hp, which means players who choose it will be ideal damage dealers but weak tanks. There are eighteen weapon types in total, but some of them are still not implemented and are grayed out on the selection screen.

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The Middle Kingdom

China is a geographically diverse land. Players can explore deserts, fertile fields, mountainous regions, jungles, and endless grasslands. But while the terrain is diverse, Heroes of Three Kingdoms looks very similar to other Asian MMORPGs – particularly Jade Dynasty. I don’t know whether the two games were built on the same graphics engine or not, but the visuals and the interface have striking similarities. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Heroes of Three Kingdoms has a wide range of supported resolutions and can be played in full-screen or windowed mode. With all of the display settings maxed out, the scenery in particular looks very impressive. Unlike most Asian MMORPGs, Heroes of Three Kingdoms offers both click-to-move and keyboard (W,A,S,D) controls. The mouse still plays a dominant role in navigating the interface, but keyboard shortcuts are available. One of the greatest interface features in Heroes of Three Kingdoms is auto-navigation which is a feature that has been cropping up in many MMORPGs recently. By clicking on a quest objective in the quest log, players can automatically move there without the hassle of fumbling with coordinates or mini maps. One problem with this otherwise perfect feature is that it makes things a little too convenient. For the first 10 levels I found that I was barely playing the game. I would simply bring up my quest log (L key), click on the monster name I was told to kill or the NPC I was asked to visit, complete the object, rinse, and repeat.

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The Rise of a Hero

Many oriental MMORPGs drop the ball when it comes to the early game experience. Players are often given a paltry number of superficial quests and generally left to figure things out on their own. Heroes of Three Kingdoms takes a more Western approach by giving players plenty of quests right from the start. Many of these quests help explain the game’s lore. With the ruling Han regime in disarray, the people of Hebei have placed their hopes on local heroes to restore order. MMO veterans will be familiar with most of the quest types in Heroes of Three Kingdoms- kill quests, delivery (fed ex) quests, gathering quests, and crafting quests are all available in spades. One slight fault is a glut of short quests during the early levels lead players to run back and forth a lot which can be frustrating. Sending me out into the forest only to kill five monkeys hardly seems worth it.

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Classics Repackaged

Progression in Heroes of Three Kingdoms is heavily based on questing since the experience award for completing them is so much higher than the experience earned from grinding. After filling up their exp bars, players must manually hit the ‘level up’ button in their character menu. All players start as and remain a novice until hitting level 10, at which point they can complete a quest to upgrade their class. There are zoens of zones in Heroes of Three Kingdoms, with each representing a different province that can be captured by a guild. The map for each zone starts nearly blank and slowly becomes revealed as players explore the area. The local maps are well designed, and the incremental reward of exploring each zone is very gratifying. Even other basic parts of the interface include player interaction. Players must complete special quests in order to increase their paltry inventory size and to construct a storage area in town. Overall, the gameplay, interface, and progression in Heroes of Three Kingdoms are classic MMORPG fare, and won’t surprise or disappoint gamers.

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Long Draw

Heroes of Three Kingdoms is still a new game, but many players have already managed to hit the current level cap of 60 on the older foreign servers. For power players like this, ‘Nation Wars’ serve as the main end-game content. Heroes of Three Kingdoms has a territorial control system where player-run guilds vie for control of the various Chinese provinces. Guilds must capture forts to claim a province as their own and defend it against challengers. Other side features include a marriage system, mounts, and an expansive crafting system. Along their journey, players will receive various recipes either as quest rewards or as loot from slain foes. These recipes can be committed to memory, and enable the player to craft the weapon, armor, clothes, or food that recipe described (so long as they have the raw materials required). Heroes of Three Kingdoms is not quite as original as Martial Empires, but is still a very playable free MMORPG.

Final Verdict: Good

Heroes of Three Kingdoms is a great looking Asian-themed MMORPG. With a unique class system, beautiful visuals, and plenty of quests to provide direction, it makes a great choice for both casual and hard core players. Unfortunately the gameplay and interface feel too familiar to previous Perfect World titles. Player who are already enjoying one of their games have little reason to try Heroes of Three Kingdoms.


Heroes of Three Kingdoms Screenshots


Heroes of Three Kingdoms Videos

Heroes of Three Kingdoms Developer Diary 1 – Campaigns


Heroes of Three Kingdoms Developer Diary 2 – Weapons


Heroes of Three Kingdoms Lore Trailer


Heroes of Three Kingdoms Weapons Trailer


System Requirements

Heroes of Three Kingdoms System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP/ 2000 / 98 / Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.5Ghz or AMD Athlon 1500+
HDD: 5 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce 4 Ti4200 64MB / ATI Radeon 8500 64MB

Recommended Specification:
OS: Windows XP/ Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or better
RAM: 2GB or more
HDD: 14 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce 6600 128MB / ATI Radeon 9800 128MB or better

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