Kessen II 2 for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
While the original Kessen took place in feudal Japan, the series' second iteration returns to ancient China and centers on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms saga. In an attempt to rescue Diao Chan, the woman he loves, Liu Bei engages the tyrannical ruler of the Wei Kingdom, Cao Cao, in a vicious war. It soon becomes evident, however, that the outcome of this battle has far-reaching consequences, and Liu Bei must win no matter the cost. Before each mission, players are given a rudimentary set of tactical options from which to choose. Strategy, planning, and troop management no longer plays as important a role before battle, although players can recruit more troops or train existing ones. Once in the midst of battle, generals can be directly controlled in a manner reminiscent of the Dynasty Warriors series. Players can engage enemies in combat from a third-person viewpoint, though their actions don't quite have the same bearing on a battle as they do in the aforementioned title. Each army has the services of a sorcerer at its disposal, allowing the player to cast spells such as tornadoes, earthquakes, meteor showers, and more. Careful use of these spells is advised, because they can do just as much damage to your own troops as they can the enemy's. The various squads forming your army consist of foot soldiers, archers, cavalry, winged troops, and elephants, among others. Though they're set before each mission, unit formations can be changed in the middle of battle if desired. Cut-scenes occur during battle as well as between stages, and engage the player in the epic tale of love, romance, and war.