say "Expansion", I say "Explosive",
let's call the whole thing great! by
30, 2006 - Dynasty
Warriors is back with a pack. An expansion pack of
sorts. Empires makes the series bigger and better
than ever with new scenarios, large scale battles,
new policies and plenty of strategy to keep your mind
amazing how the developers of the Dynasty Warriors
series continue to surprise me with new gameplay additions
that manage to keep each game in the series fresh.
There's no doubt that the series should have ground
to a halt after the second version since it was impossible
to predict that this hack-and-slash gameplay would
have such longevity.
things from becoming repetitive is the biggest challenge
the developers face. This button mashing style of
gameplay can get very tiresome very quickly. But thanks
to new policies and diplomatic strategies the game
offers more variety than just simple hack-and-slash.
Not to say that the sword wielding aspects of the
game are a drag. It wouldn't be Dynasty Warriors without
the real time combat. Thanks to the deeper addition
of strategy, the turn-based moves allow you to really
take stock of your situation and make plans accordingly.
are 25 regions in the country to conquer and more
than 70 government polices that you can adopt. Once
you take over a region you can assign a policy to
exploit the resources and manpower in that area in
such a way that it will benefit your empire in its
efforts to expand its territories and protect the
ones it controls.
battles in Empires are truly epic. You are not just
focused on one small unit, you are commanding entire
armies in both historical and fictional battles that
take place during the time period of the Three Kingdoms
in ancient China. You can issue orders to your generals,
individually or collectively. You can have them attack,
defend or retreat. The AI does a really good job of
executing your orders while not doing anything stupid
like walking into an area where they will be overwhelmed
with enemy troops.
really convenient the ways the controls are laid out.
All of the main actions are mapped to the right side
of the controller and all of the important strategic
decisions can be accessed on the right side, most
notably with the D-pad. The map is accessed by the
right trigger and you can view the entire battlefield
at once or focus on individual units where you can
press the left trigger and gleam information about
their health and other stats. Commands to your generals
are issued with the D-pad, or if you prefer you can
let them make their own decisions - and actually trust
them. The AI is that good.
battles and territories can be won through diplomatic
or non-violent methods. One simple way is to attempt
to bribe the opposing army's generals with gold. Nothing
in the game is more important than gold. It's the
lifeblood of the Empire. You will receive gold from
your subjects in the form of a tax. The more territory
you control the more gold you will receive. Meetings
are held four times a year where you consult with
your generals to determine how to best spend the gold.
These meetings are your "turns" in the game.
You can purchase special units for your army such
as sorcerers or bandits, or you can send generals
to mingle with the public to garner support. You can
also try to make deals with the leaders of other territories
to side with you in battle or at least support you
through other means. If they don't want to cooperate,
then it's time to go to war.
combat is just as fun as ever. The controls are easy
enough to pick-up-and-play. You kill dozens of warriors
as you make your way up the enemy ranks to capturing
strongholds and take on guard captains and ultimately
more elite forces until you finally capture the leader.
It can still be a little tedious but now there seems
to be so much more purpose since the capturing of
these territories is more tangible than ever. The
strategy element plays a large role in how situations
develop. You could leave holes in your defense which
could cause another faction to successfully invade
your territory, or you could find their weak spot
and attack it relentlessly, making sure all your potential
weak spots are heavily fortified. To witness the combined
efforts of your combat and strategy actually changing
the face of the country is a very satisfying experience.
all Dynasty Warrior games, this one is a looker. It's
not all that much better on the Xbox 360 which makes
me wonder why this games wasn't just released on the
Xbox. Some of the backgrounds can be a little sparse
but the ancient architecture is very realistically
detailed. The character models are very well done.
They animate smoothly and display different personalities
through their actions, outfits and dialog. It's interesting
to see how many different looking characters are visible
during the battles. All of these characters fighting,
and no detectable slowdown. Impressive.
sound effects are exactly what you would expect, except
the voiceovers are actually getting better. But only
slightly. The music is the same old cheese metal with
oriental overtones. It's ancient East meets sappy
West. The swishing sounds of the blades is dynamic.
You can almost feel it when you hit bone.
replay value is modest, but let's be honest, after
15 hours of hacking and slashing, it's time to break
out a bowling game. Fortunately the strategy element
mixes up the gameplay which results in a great hybrid
for those that want more the just a taste of the Three
scenarios to unlock, with 6 scenarios in all.
Co-op in ''Empire'' and ''Free'' modes.
with your war council and choose policies which
affect Government, Product Development, Diplomacy
and Battle Tactics. 25 new policies for a total
of 75 in all.
direct orders to each officer or general commands
to officers on the field. Take the offensive, defend
your ground, or have all officers rally to you for
the officers for your attack force, entice captured
soldiers into joining your service or expel them
from your kingdom.
game dynamics by limiting the number of your officers
during play, adjusting time limits, and selecting
the history of the Dynasty Warriors with the Encyclopedia,
unlock new items, strengthen your weapons, and much