That’s right. I mean it seems obvious that this is the way material like this should be presented but I suppose some find it off putting but it doesn’t seem strange to me. It tries to understand people’s perspectives - and most important context. It seems on the nose because we’re supposed to be looking backward with foreknowledge. The one thing I do question - something that the 3K books don’t really touch on imo - is the nature of loyalty in a patriarchal, paternalistic society. It seems like every soldier is a fearless hero willing to die for their warlord without hesitation, and maybe there’s something a more modern approach could add. But the 3K story is fundamentally unconcerned with ordinary people other than that making the peasants “happy” means helping their population to grow and keeping them well fed and well ordered, and following the “Mandate of Heaven” is to some extent independent of the ruler’s own political ruthlessness.
That’s why I like the take that the 3K game has on the Yellow Turban rebellion and the way the Total War franchise makes these indirect commentaries on history. Good or bad, wicked or selfish, not one warlord doubted that a peasant uprising was a kind of unholy thing that needed to be swiftly eradicated like an unnatural plague. In TW:3K otoh, the game goes deeper into an interesting view of them, and projects a certain limited view of their “revolutionary” ideas - that is, even rebelling against the system their political ideologies are still constrained and limited by their time period and context.