Game: Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires
Consoles: Xbox One (Reviewed), PS4
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Omega Force
It may be hard to fathom, but Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series is currently in its 8th main series iteration. Developer Omega Force knows what the hardcore fans of its hack and slash take on the historic “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” storyline want – more characters, more weapons and hundreds of more nameless soldiers to cut a path of glory through. The Dynasty Warriors series has been known to change up the formula with its Xtreme Legends and Empires spinoff titles. The 8th game in the main series follows this trend with its newest release, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires.
This additional mix of new content for Dynasty Warriors 8 focuses on the Empire Mode. This more strategic take on the usual series’ formula tasks you with participating in several major historic conflicts. Along with these missions, you can even enter yourself into a custom scenario that features your created warrior in the role of a aspiring ruler. You’ll have to put your best methods to the test during these periods of war, as the game gives you a war council to convene with and a battle phase to enact before battle. Each month passes as you make pivotal decisions that play a part in how the struggle at hand plays out. There is a lot of fun to had here as you plan out your strategies, forge alliances with fellow leaders, amass a larger army etc.
The mission structure across Empire Mode employs the usual Dynasty Warriors formula. Along with the much longer missions, smaller quests exist in between them and provide you with smaller bits of action. This keeps the action from growing too stale, since you’ll spend more of your time building an empire in Empire Mode’s menu structure. For those who wish to build their own empire under the guise of a player created character, you’ll find the most entertaining aspect in that request. Not only can you craft your own playable warrior, but you can also create custom soldiers, warhorses, banners and scenarios. Basking in the glory of your own creations in Empire and Free Mode will make you feel like a proud parent.
While longtime fans will appreciate the expected features associated with Empires and Edit mode, only the most diehard followers will still enjoy the constant beat ’em up formula at play here. Bashing on the main attack button, running around huge battlefields and pulling out flashy special moves against hundreds of soldiers is still a big part of your main activities here. The overall feeling of “been there, done that” will hit you sooner or later during your time with this Dynasty Warriors 8 update. Sure, there’s a ton of characters and weapons to go into battle with. But you won’t enjoy it immensely since you’ve already been through this routine with past releases in the series. The series move to next-gen consoles doesn’t give it the expected facelift you expected. Character and texture pop-in issues persist and the muddy colors make this game’s environments look bland and uninspired.
Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires’ more strategy focuses Empire Mode gives players something more substantial to grow enamored with. There’s a great amount of historic scenarios to play out and govern over with your chosen warriors. Heading into the Edit Mode suite and creating a whole heap of custom content is addictive and is worth interacting with across all modes of play. But it’s hard of the feeling of staleness that’s evident in this entry’s continued focus on hacking and slashing hundreds of unnamed officers. The unimpressive graphics also brings down this entry’s foray into more strategic gameplay.
- Vast array of custom creation content
- New focus on planning out historic scenarios and building one’s own empire is more appealing for strategic players
- Bigger offering of weapons and items
- Same old, tired hack and slash formula still present here
- Visuals are far from impressive
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