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Koei announces PS2 troika

P.T.O. v4, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and DW4XL due in Q1.

Koei has announced its plans for the first quarter of 2004 in the shape of three combative releases for the PlayStation 2 - Pacific Theatre of Operations IV (P.T.O. version 4), Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII and Dynasty Warriors 4 Xtreme Legends.

Like the Dynasty Warriors 3 release of Xtreme Legends, the latter is a £25 'standalone expansion', which can be played without DW4 but also unlocks all sorts of new options in its companion title for those who own it. It's due out in February.

Meanwhile, P.T.O. version 4 is a strategist's dream - 50 theatres of operations in which to deploy US, Japanese, German and British forces, with 15 regional and two global campaigns based around World War II. It won't be everyone's kettle of fish, but it's something different for PS2 owners, due out in March.

Finally there's Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII, which, though it's the first European instalment, is the latest in a long line of historical simulation games set amidst the warring states of second century China. It too is due out in March.