Koei Tecmo is world famous for many reasons, Workshop, dead or aliveand nioh are some of the reasons. However, the other is for the Dynasty Warriors franchise. This year, Koei Tecmo released the latest in the DWE series with Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
I have played many games since the “Warriors” franchise, you can consult my Samurai Warriors 5 review here. Some of them have been fantastic and some have weakened compared to some of the previous releases so far. Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires was released in Japan in December 2021, followed by the rest of the world on February 15, 2021, and is available on all current platforms. For the purposes of this review, I played it on the PlayStation 5.
So join me while I check Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires and find out whether or not this title is as strong as it was promised to be.
If you like Dynasty Warriors games, then you will know his penchant for spin-offs; Extreme legends and Empires. Dynasty Warriors Empires: 9 acts as a sort of extension of the main game, but it focuses more on the strategic element of warfare.
Unlike the normal game, this one has been stripped of its open world and main campaign, allowing you to forge your own destiny with your own created character. It’s about building your empire through politics, strategy and resource management. All of this contributes to expanding your empire by defending your land, recruiting soldiers and leading your own invasions.
The character creation tool has a lot going for it. There are a ton of options to customize your character and make it totally unique with countless combinations. Even better, if you played the demo, you can transfer that character and their stats into the full game.
So Conquest mode is the meat and bones of the game. If you’re expecting it to look like the main series games, it might not be for you. Yes, there are battles and opportunities to use the famous Musou mode, but they are very short-lived. As I said earlier, the focus is on management to build your army and develop yourself. Along with keeping track of your money and resources, you’ll set off to recruit new members for your army. That in itself seems like a pretty empty and tedious task with very little reward.
You’ll mostly be resisting catapult attacks or conducting castle sieges that quickly become monotonous and uninteresting. Winning or losing will depend on whether or not you meet the specific terms of the dispute.
If I can be frank for a moment, this could easily have been a DLC package. It’s like whipping a dead horse. Aside from its monotony, there just isn’t enough content to call it a full-fledged game. Considering how much Dynasty Warriors 9 was received, I hoped that could have been his redemption. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
It’s not all gloomy though…
Graphics and audio
Graphically, the game looks pretty good. Not amazing, but good enough for the most part. As it was the first Warriors native game of this generation, I had hoped for a little more. There were some inconsistencies when playing in action mode. This targets 60fps, but it struggles with screen tearing, assets, and texture issues during battle. However, the cut scenes look pretty good, even though some of them were just a copy-paste from the main game. There is also a photo mode which has decent features such as adjusting environmental effects such as weather and time of day.
If you are ok with Japanese speaking Chinese characters with English subtitles, then this game is for you. One thing these games have always had is music, and Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires is no exception. It remains tailored to each event and uses new tracks and tracks from the main game.
As with most Dynasty Warriors titles if you’re the finalist, you have a lot of content to process. With all the different goals to achieve, you could easily spend weeks trying to achieve it. Add to that the number of characters you can create, it could literally take years. I do not recommend it. However, if you are a casual Dynasty Warriors Empires gamer then you watch around 9 hours depending on how fast you progress.
To conclude, I am disappointed with what should have been only DLC in my opinion. The lack of sustenance made the content on offer feel like a chore. Unfortunately, because of this, I found little enjoyment following the tutorial steps, which in all honesty were pretty well done. The reputation of Dynasty Warriors 9 was left in tatters by the players and the press, and I hoped Empires would be bold enough to pick up the pieces to make up for the misdeeds of the main game.
I award Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires the Thumb Culture Bronze Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received to write this review.