Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires Review

Release date: February 15, 2021

Publisher: KOEI TECMO AMERICA Corporation

Developer: Omega Force

Series: Dynasty Warriors: Empires

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows

Genres: Strategy game, Simulation, Action

"Review Copy Provided By Koei-Tecmo"

There are a few certainties in life; Death, taxes, and a new Musou game every so often and here we are again with a new entry in the franchise with Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires. This franchise alone has gone to great lengths to keep the hack-n-slash genre alive while also branching out and implementing its unique mechanics with numerous other IPs such as the One Piece, Gundam, and even a Koei-Tecmo company franchise wide collaboration title. With DW9 Empires, the formula doesn’t change much or redefine itself yet is much different from Dynasty Warriors 9 but that’s not a bad thing if you’re a fan of the franchise.

Empires has you doing a lot of what’s familiar with the franchise such as heading into battles in a 1-v-100 format with you needing to wipe out the hordes of enemies raining down on you along with focusing on the strategy aspect of Empires. When you’re not in battles, you will need to focus on unifying the country under your banner by way of the various siege battles and the art of diplomacy. You’ll need to find a balance between developing alliances with other nations, building up and strengthening your military might, establish and finesse domestic and foreign affairs and more. How well you do is purely up to you and the decisions you make.

The focus of the game is Conquest Mode which has 8 campaigns centered around historical events such as the Battle of Guandu and more. You’ll be floating between several characters from these different time periods since the game gives you the choice of selecting from 90 various officers all of which are based on historical. There are various ranks that each of the officers fall under from Generals, Rulers, and standard officers. The Ruler rank allows you to make the most choices such as when you want to invade other countries and more. There’s also a create a character feature if you want to create an original officer just keep in mind that there isn’t much in the way of customization options.

War isn’t easy, nor should it be and thus when you begin your campaign you will need to work with you war council to decide how to approach the war. The war council will present various options with you needing to decide from several different topics such as Military affairs, domestic affairs, diplomacy, and human affairs. There are several options allowing you to focus on upgrading your defenses as well as political interests and more. When all your choices are made, you’ll begin your war campaign which will last roughly 6 months and, in that timeframe, you’ll need to make sure you complete as much of you war agenda and plans. If you think this is just going to be you hopping into a game and hacking and slashing away, then think again as you can’t just jump right into war so patience is a must.

When it comes to the actual gameplay on foot, then you should feel right at home if you’ve played previous Dynasty Warriors titles and especially DW 9. You’ll run around a map hacking and slashing various enemies while also commanding your troops by issuing commands. Should you be victorious in your campaign then you can attempt to recruit some officers from the defeated opponents.

While Conquest Mode is the main meat and potatoes of the game, I do wish there was more to the game because the 8 campaigns don’t really feel that much different from one another and if you’re not a fan of that then this may not be a game you play for very long if at all. There’s also the matter of the performance issues I’ve noticed in playing the game on Steam and on PS5 where it ran buttery smooth on Steam and at max settings while the PS5 version suffered from some stuttering, slow down, and screen tearing.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is a game that is made specifically for fans of the series and does very little to bring in newer players especially when this only has 1 real mode to play through that can become repetitive. To say this is a niche title would be an ultimate understatement even though it is for all intents and purposes. As bare bones as this game can feel, it still has its fun factor to it if you’re in the mood to turn off your brain after dealing with the war council. For all others, I’d say give this game a consideration IF you are into the Musou style of game otherwise there is no reason for you to consider this.

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