While this franchise has previously produced excellent historic strategy games, this expansion doesn't provide the depth or the content players expect from this series. Total War: Three Kingdoms -- Fates Divided is the latest "Chapter Pack" expansion for the Three Kingdoms series. See, Three Kingdoms gave fans the chance to control and change the outcome of the most pivotal moments in Chinese history, exploring nearly every aspect of the grand conflict. Unfortunately, Fates Divided feels like the most watered-down addition the game has come up with so far. It almost as if this DLC pack was scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel to come up with just enough Three Kingdoms content to justify its existence.
Fates Divided brings just one new faction to the game, though with a bit of a twist. Players can take control of the warlord Liu Yan during the earlier parts of the Three Kingdoms, but then switch to his son, Liu Zhang, for the latter portion of the game. This "cross-generational" faction doesn't reinvent how the game plays, but basically just gives that faction two leaders with different abilities, depending on which point in history they play. The main focus is on the northern provinces, and the rivalry that develops between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. It's only these two leaders that benefit from new units, as well as the potential recruitment of the powerful Northern Army units. If players haven't spent any time with either of these factions up until now, they're not going to be missing anything here. There are a few minor gameplay tweaks, such as a new faction council system, expanded faction ranks, and an imperial intrigue mechanic, but these are included as free content for all players and not solely as part of the paid package. While hardcore fans of the game might be motivated to squeeze every ounce of content possible out of Total War: Three Kingdoms, other players will likely feel shorted by the little Fates Divided has to offer.