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Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires Review

Official Score

Overall - 50%

50%

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires does not give us faith that the series can be saved. Put simply, it might be best to put this series out to pasture and focus on other Warriors entries.

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Four years after the abysmal Dynasty Warriors 9, Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires hits the battlefield in an attempt to make things right. Does it get the job done, or is it time to move on? Check out our review to find out.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires Review

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires technically only has one mode: Conquest Mode. In it, players try to take over China by defeating rival warlords. Instead of levels, things are split up into different time periods. For instance, you have The Yellow Turban Rebellion, or one can start later during the Battle of Chibi. This will change who owns what part of China and what officers will be roaming the map. There is a tiny bit of story at the start of each period, but outside of that, it is mostly running your day-to-day objectives and fighting.

Before you begin, you first make your character. You get various choices after that, but one ultimately wants to figure out whose weapon you want to use. For instance, those that pick Zhao Yun will get his weapon and move set. You can change your weapons during the game, but the moveset is stuck, so you’ll want to pick someone you truly like. You can easily edit the moves outside of the campaign, but you need to start a new game if you want to use them.

dynasty-warriors-9 empires honest review

When you begin Conquest Mode, you will have to choose what role to play. For custom characters, you will always start off as a roaming officer. If you pick Cao Cao, you can be a ruler if he was a ruler during that time. When the game begins, you need to find someone to serve. You can make your own kingdom later, but you first need to earn some rep. You will get missions like earning more money, developing the farmlands, or training the troops. These all happen at the press of a button, with no effort whatsoever. It almost becomes automatic at a point.

Once all the kingdom management stuff is taken care of, you will fight. If you invade, you will take over land and increase your kingdom. If you defend, it is just to make sure you don’t lose what you have. Either way, it will take troops and generals to pull off. The better you do in battle, the more likely you are to walk away with more troops. You can also use secret plans before battle to help call in allies giving you an edge in battle. After all preparation is done, you can then enter a fight.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires levels are extremely repetitive. You are constantly fighting from a castle, either taking it over or fighting to protect it. It might be in woods, deserts, or the plains, but the maps always look at feel the same. It is like they looked at the open-world design of Dynasty Warriors 9 and decided to just make one level instead. After about an hour, you will feel like you’ve expereinced everything on tap. It hurts the game so much that you likely won’t even want to finish a campaign.

dynasty-warriors-9 empires honest game review

There are some good improvements to combat as well. For example, you can now bring in Secret Plans, which act as extra attacks or magic attacks. You find them as you play the game and beat enemy officers, and you can use them as you fill their bars up. So on top of feeling powerful with your weapon, you can also take out whole bases of troops with the Secret Plans. You can also change your army’s unit type, so you can have troops like spear men and swordsmen. Each has a strength and weakness, and you want to balance your army as a king.

You can now have an officer follow you around in combat, so when you use your Musou attack, you can power it up. The grappling hook will also let you get over the wall and into the castle easier. Finally, when you get an enemy officer low enough, there is often a finisher button as well. While there are a lot of improvements to gameplay, doing it in similar feeling levels just isn’t fun.

Note that frame issues and bugs reared their ugly head during our time with the PlayStation 5 version. Enemy’s generals also have a nasty habit of respawning too quickly.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires does not give us faith that the series can be saved. Put simply, it might be best to put this series out to pasture and focus on other Warriors entries.

This review of Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires was done on the PlayStation 5. A digital code was provided by the publisher.
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Johnny Hurricane

Johnny Hurricane is the resident hardcore gamer here at Gamers Heroes. You'll usually find him diving deep into the latest releases as he attempts to conquer each and every game that crosses his path. Mostly known for his ability to create detailed and comprehensive guides on even the most complex of game mechanics, you'll sometimes see the odd review and editorial topic but his true abilities lie in competitive gaming. Johnny Hurricane's Gamer Biography
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