Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy, Simulation
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII – Review

Site Score
Good: Amazing graphics and music, a lot of possibilities and actions
Bad: Might get repetitive after a while (minor remark though)
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

One of the bigger franchises in the strategy games that have been around for a while is ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. These games are being made since 1985 by Koei Tecmo and always seem to combine the best elements. This is the 13th instalment of the game and is available for PC and PS4. Are you ready to delve into history?



Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII takes us back in time, namely to the second century B.C. We are thrown back to the Han dynasty where you can relive some of the historical moments. This isn’t everything though as events from the novel ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ are infused as well. In the end, you’ll get the chance to experience a combination of both fictional and non-fictional incidents in a historical correct place but with some room for other stories.

Due to this combination, there is also space to get a more personal input although there are still some goals or restrictions you need to keep an eye on. There is enough story value to keep you going for a while, which is as expected from this franchise.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII


We have gotten the chance to test this latest instalment on the PS4 and you’ll be flabbergasted by the amazing graphics the game has to offer. You’ll be greeted by a wonderful cinematic, while the several short preliminary movies are less detailed but feel more hand-drawn. In the end, everything still looks stunning and gives you the feeling that you’re actually sucked into this world of war, deception and ambition.

When you’re ruling your country or city, you’ll notice a change of graphical styles. First of all, you’ll get a top-down view of the town you’re residing in, while you can also get a more zoomed out sight, which will give you an idea about the surrounding villages and routes. When you’re ordering missions or visiting people, the set-up changes to a close-up, showing the several houses and departments. Some of the sub-menus have some small pieces of still artwork, while debating or fighting are represented by live 3D actions. All these several styles might seem to collide but they actually give a refreshing look.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII


Next to the stunning graphics, you’ll also be treated by some great tunes. Since we’re transported to the Han Dynasty, the music is in an appropriate style. You’ll be spending a lot of time strategizing and venturing the different menus but you’ll never really get tired of the background music. One aspect that really emphasizes this feeling are the several sound effects. If you’re investigating town or visiting an old friend, you’ll hear the bustling of the street or some background noises. Even more, you’ll be greeted by clashing steel and shouting when you’re giving orders on the battlefield.

Since there is a lot of talking involved, it is only natural that there is voice acting implemented. Every character has their own distinctive voice and it is fun to see that they all fit their character perfectly. If you don’t know any Chinese, there are subtitles that will make it a bit easier for you.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII


Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII is a strategy game where you can follow the historical timeline of the Han Dynasty, with a twist of the similar named novel. There are two major modes you can choose, namely Hero Mode and Scenarios. In the firstly mentioned will give you a certain setting in time where you need to complete requests and achieve goals before you can continue. Fail to do it in a set amount of time and you’ll need to restart the scenario. This is a good way to get to learn the several aspects the game has to offer as there are a lot of tutorials, while the Scenarios mode will place you in a certain period and it is your task to play the role of one of the most important characters.

As you might expect, when you’re ruling a country it is only natural that you need to do a variety of activities. First of all, the political chart is one of the most important aspects of the game, as everything stands or falls with influence. To gain new friendships and bonds with other important people, it is important to talk and give presents to get into their good books. In return, you get gifts and favors in return which can be important during certain events. This is also useful to get good ministers in the right spots. To get a clear overview, everyone’s picture is placed into a chart. This gives a good idea on who is connected and where you need to use the flattery card.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII

Politics are necessary, but a city or country is nothing without food, wealth, culture and military power. These four aspects can be increased or improved by sending delegates and building new facilities. This will increase both the population as the possibilities a town has to offer. For instance, when you raise the level of farming or militia, it is possible to get into more advanced options.

There are certain times that you can take matter in own hands. When you need to persuade someone, a debate will start where you need to choose between five different actions. For instance, you can retort or focus yourself, which all have its effects on the outcome of that round. There are five rounds in total and the one with the most energy wins. In the end, it’s like a rock-paper-scissor based system but with five components. It might seem a bit complicated but there are some visuals that will help you during your turns. For instance, you will see a few possibilities that your opponent will choose, making it easier to determine your next move. This will also be the case during one-on-one battles while you’re at war or patrolling the streets. You won’t be choosing between invoking or provoking but rather for knockout and defending.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII

War isn’t always the solution, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Every regiment needs a leader, where the influence and bonds are important. As stated before, it is essential to get enough contacts and recruitments, so that you can give this leadership to an adequate candidate. When you’re clashing against your enemy, you can take control of the several regiments and give them orders on where to go. Winning can be achieved in two major ways: defeat all the enemy squadrons or destroy all the bases. It is your choice how to exploit these possibilities and what your strategy is to claim the victory. Next to war, you can also try to get peace treaties or debts with other countries or commanders, making it easier when you need extra troops when necessary.

In the end, the game has a lot more to offer but it would be too much to explain everything in detail. There are a lot of aspects you need to reconsider, which makes it such a rich game.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII


Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII takes you to the Han Dynasty and lets you taste of the several tasks a commander or emperor has to fulfil. Even more, everything is guided by amazing graphics that will leave you stunned, while the music and sound effects will let you immerse fully in this setting. If you like to use your strategic part of your brain but with attention for your people as well, then you will certainly will like this instalment.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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1 Comment

  1. […] KOEI TECMO Europe is proud to announce the next entry in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, lovingly called Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV. To celebrate they released a historical trailer, for the fans of the first hour this must be a long and strange trip down memory lane. The original game was released in 1985 in Japan. The series has since then grown into a huge franchise worldwide. The latest iteration of the classic tactical series is scheduled for a western release in early 2020. Until then it’s time do dust off those old disks and practice our Chinese diplomatic skills in preparation for the conquest of ancient China. The game is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC. You can find our review of the previous game in the series right here. […]

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