Eric Kelly On March 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires LogoThe Dynasty Warriors Empires series has always tried to marry the action from the main series while incorporating the strategy elements from games like Koei’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. While some of them have been hit and miss, this one can be counted among those which are a miss. And perhaps this series needs to re-examine what its strengths are before making another, as this marriage of strategy and action doesn’t seem to work all that well in Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires.

The game is about trying to conquer the land’s kingdoms before the other kingdoms do, and within 50 years. Most of the gameplay consists of building up your kingdom through alliances, making facilities, or trading. It’s only through invasions and raids that you can play classic Dynasty hack-and-slash gameplay. If you pick to play as a common officer rather than a ruler, those chances become even more limited. You can go on quests to do somewhat the same thing as skirmishes, but the have special conditionals, and there are no retries. As a ruler you can flex some more political options like levy’s and scheming. Your chosen character’s can gain titles and ranks through merit points earned through completing tasks. Titles can grant passive bonuses, and sometimes you can earn stratagems Stratagems are like special abilities you can use in skirmishes.

Once you actually do combat, it plays much like other Dynasty games. Invasions are the primary way to gain territories once you’ve built enough power to attempt them. Raids are just like invasions but your goal is to drive the enemy away to gain morale. Defend just makes the goal about defending your own territories. Outside of the Empire mode (which is the story mode), there is a Free mode, which lets you take your custom character and maps to grind those characters up at your own pace. The Custom Officers will still have the same limitations as the common officers though, which is a shame. You can take them online for co-op and competitive play. Graphics and sound are pretty mediocre, as the graphics don’t use the potential of the hardware the game was made on, and the music is mostly recycled.

The game could have been great, but those previously mentioned shortcomings hurt it quite a bit. Add to the fact that the game barely offers anything new since Empires 7, pretty much just copy-pasting the roster from Dynasty Warriors 8. There’s only one new character to speak of in Xun Yu. If you have played Empires 7, there’s little reason to get this title. And if the idea of mixing the strategy elements with the hack-and-slash gameplay of Dynasty Warriors doesn’t sound good to you, there’s nothing here for you that will make you reconsider. Maybe it’s best if the gameplay of The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Dynasty Warriors are best kept apart, never to meet again.


Work through menus and occasionally fight in classic Dynasty combat settings.


Doesn’t really take advantage of the hardware but it runs at 60 frames.


Music is mostly recycled from Dynasty Warriors 8


The marriage of classic Dynasty gameplay and strategy elements hurts the game, and fans will disappointed to know that the additional features are slight.

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