Mounted combat! Mounted combat! MOUNTED COMBAT! This elusive mistress has beckoned to MMO gamers for years. As yet, no title has managed to get the mechanic quite right. The trick is to make it something that is widely useable but still distinct from unmounted combat.
Heroes of the Three Kingdoms is another Perfect World free-to-play MMORPG. It is set during the same period of internal strife that popular murder-fest Dynasty Warriors covered. Characters have their choice of 2 of 18 weapon types. Different weapons combos will grant different synergistic bonuses.
Players will have their choice of sixty different regions as their character starting location. They will also have the option of participating in famous historic campaigns. These will vary from assassination missions, skirmishes and raids all the way up to full-scale battle.
HoTK has a highly distinctive look and presents a romanticized picture of the Three Kingdoms era that carries echoes of Dynasty Warriors. Character armor and weapon graphics look very cool, but combat is rather repetitive an dull-even with special abilities. When you get down to the hacking and slashing, HoTK is nothing special.
Mounted combat gives you a new set of bars and attack options, but it doesn't make things work any differently. You're still fighting the same way and playing by the same rules. When is a game developer going to look at the way cavalry actually worked and try to translate that? Give us momentum-filled charges that slam hammer infantry units and send them running for the hills. Don't rely on a new set of buttons to keep things interesting.
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Heroes of the Three Kingdoms is open for beta registration now.