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Dynasty Warriors 9 – Empires Byte Size Review (XSX)

Dynasty Warriors 9 – Empires is the latest in the 1 vs 1000 style of Hack ‘n Slash action titles. Empires is basically the same game as Dynasty Warriors 9 with an added layer of strategic simulation in play between battles. The genre that also includes the likes of Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi has always been an odd one to me. The popularity in Eastern cultures is undeniable, less so in Western countries. The shear volume of releases points to them being financially viable at the very least.

Dynasty Warriors 9 - Empires

Chinese Whispers.

Based loosely, very loosely, on ancient Chinese texts and historical figures from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The ‘Warriors’ games take a bit to understand when it comes to story lines. Throw in subtitles and translation and it is easy to start skipping cut scenes. Possibly why I struggle to get really drawn into the world. And if getting your head around 94 playable characters isn’t enough to keep you occupied then how about individual customisations and even a character creation option. There really is a lot going on here. Oh, did I mention the 700 common officers you can control?

Strategy Lite.

The Political System that makes the Empires game different to the standard Dynasty Warriors title isn’t huge in depth but by targeting allocated requests it can definitely help you level up faster. Essentially you are tasked with spending limited ‘turns’ on things like recruiting officers, bolstering defences, or procuring supplies. On one hand it is a bit tedious but on the other, it is sometimes more interesting than the action section of the game. It is definitely fleshed out enough to avoid being called just an add on to Dynasty Warriors, but only just.

Dynasty Warriors 9 - Empires

Like A Lawnmower Cutting Grass.

Lets face it. The reason you play this genre is to slice through hundreds and hundreds of foot soldiers with a big ass sword while wearing as little as possible. And, yes, it is still fun. Very quickly you will decide on your favourite Musou Officer thanks to their lack of clothes or the size of their weapon. At its core the action revolves around clearing the battlefield of the opposition. This can be done easier if you follow prompts to take out certain enemy elements when required. Otherwise just chain those attacks together and unleash some great power moves.

Closing Comments.

Dynasty Warriors 9 – Empires is a fun distraction but never came close to grabbing my attention for any sustained period. After playing a few different Officers and settling on one it became obvious there was going to be a grind to level up my chosen character. This may very well be the hook for many but to me the gameplay was just too repetitive for grinding. Fans of these games have their reasons, but unfortunately I’m not a fan. Interestingly our reviews from 2018 and 2020 of Warriors Orochi and Warriors Orochi 4 tow the same line…