Review by SimPlus

"There are plenty of Three Kindoms games out there, find another one."

Fate of the Dragon is a real-time strategy game based on the novel Three Kingdoms (aka Romance of the Three Kingdoms).

I got the game because I am a fan of all things related to Three Kingdoms. I'm no huge fan of RTS games, but I did enjoy Warcraft 2 years ago.

GRAPHICS: 5/10

Nothing to write home about. Bland 2d graphics almost as good as those found in games like Starcraft. I'd say they aren't bad though, just not enjoyable. The graphics just do the work, nothing more. Playing this game won't hurt your eyes or give you an headache (at least, it won't be the graphics' fault)

SOUNDS: 5/10

Just like the graphics, nothing good to hear, but not harmful either.

GAMEPLAY: 3:10

This one breaks the game. The controls are fair enough, you can easily give the orders you want to give and the interface does its job. Peasants aren't as smart as in other RTS game and they often need to be told what to do. For instance, if you have two supply carts to pack, once they are done packing the first, you'll have to tell them to start packing the second.

The games brought some good ideas. For starter, each city begins with a wall which means you won't be brought down by a single early enemy soldier who shows up before you had time to recruit your first soldier. Buildings belong to cities instead of players which means you can capture enemy buildings without destroying them. But if you don't have the strength to capture the city, you could smash down a few buildings before leaving. Both options are there.

Soldiers moving out of town will go hungry. That means that to conduct any lengthy operations, you'll have to pack some supplies otherwise you'll find that 10 of your soldiers aren't worth 1 enemy soldier.

These are good ideas. The downside is huge however.

Going to war in the real world is no easy task and it isn't easy in Fate of the Dragon either.

Doing anything significant is very long. First thing, you have to assign people at farming and raising pigs. Crops and raw meat must then be transformed into food and wine otherwise it is useless. Now, if you are planning to go to war (but isn't the objective of all RTS game) you have to build supply carts, and have people load it with food and wine. I insist, raw meats and cereal are two different things, same goes for food and wine and packing the supply carts mean assigning people to pack it with food and other people to pack it with wine. You'll also need to collect wood and metal to build any buildings and some units.

Want soldiers? First recruit peasants and then send them to a military school. If you want cavalry, you got to raise the horses too. Do you feel it is never-ending? It is!

If you are looking for a great RTS game, skip this one.

THE THREE KINGDOMS FACTOR: 5/10

Does this game has a Three Kingdoms feeling to it? Certainly. Westerners like me won't be able to forget this action is occurring in ancient China. The storyline is all Three Kingdoms all right. But where are the hundred of thousands of soldiers? Where are the clever ploys of cunning men of this era? Nowhere.

If you are seeking a better Three Kingdoms feeling, give Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII and Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX (these have drastically different gameplay, don't skip the eighth just because the ninth is out there) a try and skip this one.

The only reason to get Fate of the Dragon is for people who wants all Three Kingdoms related game.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/05


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