developer: Omega Force
publisher: Koei Tecmo
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet, players: 1-2
Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires is a third person action game with strategic elements. This is another part of the popular series of the Japanese Omega Force studio. Despite its name, it is a very different game from the Dynasty Warriors 9 from 2018. Instead of the extended version of the previous game, we get a completely new game, only built from the elements of the previous installment.
In line with the tradition of the series, the script of the game is inspired by the book Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which tells the story of the civil war that took place in China at the turn of the second and third century AD.
Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires mixes the traditional third-person action game mechanics for this series with an extensive strategic aspect. We spend most of our time fighting hordes of enemies using an arcade combat system. We can lead many legendary characters, and often even a thousand enemies face us.
At the same time, we are not fighting alone. During battles, players can command entire armies, both in regular battles and in siege, where we also use siege machines. During such battles, we must not only eliminate our enemies, but also take up strategic points.
The authors abandoned the open structure of the world introduced by the Dynasty Warriors 9. Instead, the player gains access to the strategic layer, where he or she leads the war and conducts diplomatic games. The battles themselves are played out on separate battle maps.
The gameplay is enhanced by the possibility to create your own officers, and the options offered by this feature resemble RPGs in terms of expansion. By leading such characters, we interact with legendary heroes, we promote ourselves within the army and eventually we may even become a ruler or betray our comrades. We can both support existing factions and create our own. All these decisions shape the development of the plot and change the situation in the Three Kingdoms.
Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires offers a single player mode as well as cooperative gameplay for up to two people. The co-op mode is only available online. The only exception is the Switch edition, where cooperation mode is possible via a wireless local network.
The game has a nice three-dimensional graphic design, whose biggest attraction is the large scale of battles. Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires differs greatly in terms of graphics quality depending on the version. The most beautiful is the PC edition, Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5, which offers smoother gameplay and bigger battles. The Xbox One and PS4 edition resembles the quality of Dynasty Warriors 9, while the most modest Switch edition is the first to be developed from scratch for this console, instead of converting the game from stronger hardware platforms.