I’ve been waiting a really long time to play another Dynasty Warriors Empires game. I missed the last one because I didn’t have a PS3 and I wasn’t about to go back to one just to own one game. Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires is available on just about every platform and it’s pretty damn good.
Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires does a lot right, but also does feels like one of the weaker Empire games at times. There is a lot of content in this game and that alone justifies the price tag.
If you’ve ever played a Dynasty Warriors game than you’ll already know what to expect from this one. Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires is a hack n slash game with some twist this time around. Half of the game will be spent building your armies, hiring new officers, building new buildings, and putting your most trusted officers in charge of X amount of territories while you prepare for your next big war.
The other half of the game is spent out on the battlefield fighting your enemies. You’ll either be trying to gain new territory or defending the ones that you already own. Either way the gameplay is nothing short of awesome. Everyone has their own unique fighting styles and weapons. Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires can be a really challenging game if you play it the wrong way. If you spend too much time hiring new officers and not training the ones you already have you’ll be under-leveled and will most likely have a really hard time gaining new territory and defending your own turf.
The Chaos difficulty is where this game shines. You won’t just charge into a mob of enemies on this difficulty because you’ll die really quickly and will end up losing the match.
One nice change to the gameplay is the amount of lives you have. Usually when you die on the battlefield that’s it. You can be defeated twice this time around. The first time you lose you’ll simply retreat to the main camp and rest. The second time you’ll be defeated and the battle will be lost.
Each map has bases for your to capture. The red bases are your enemies and blue ones belong to you. To make the battle go more smoothly for your troops you’ll want to capture as many bases as possible. Once you take the main camp or defeat the prefect guarding the territory you’ll win the battle. In defense missions you’ll most likely be running back and forth from base to base beating wave after wave of enemies until the time limit is up.
There is also a raid mode that allows you to attack the enemy at night and damage the territory tremendously. A raid is much smaller than an actual battle. It’s basically a three on three match. Once you defeat each officer twice they’ll retreat for good and you can just focus on taking the main camp. You’ll get extra resources as well as gold for raiding other settlements around China.
After each battle you can choose to attack again, which I don’t recommend, or take the time to let your officers rest and get to know them. You can interact with everyone under your command to build a relationship with them. If you get close enough to someone of the opposite sex you can choose to marry them and you’ll eventually have a child that takes their features after both parents. They’ll even have one of your fighting styles and slightly higher stats. If you’re the type of person to breeze through the map you’ll most likely miss the opportunity.
There are two different ways you can play Empires. You can play as a ruler or officer. As a ruler you’re in control of everything. You can choose when to invade, raid, forge alliances with other kingdoms, execute people, levy your own kingdom for taxes, and many other things. As an officer you’ll have to earn the right to do all of that by faithfully serving your master. You’ll earn a promotion eventually and might even be granted your own territory one day. You might even be Marshall or appointed Strategist.
If you make that high up you’ll only answer to your ruler and he’ll be more inclined to listen to you when you have something to say. If you think your ruler is an idiot you can always scheme behind his/her back and plot to overthrow them with some of your most trusted allies. You’ll never run out of things to do in Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires.
Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires does have a lot of content, but it doesn’t have many other modes. The only mode you’ll most likely spend time in is Empire Mode. There’s a Free Mode, but it’s honestly nothing special. You just put a random army together and go to war. I would rather build my own and conquer all of China.
There is also an Edit Mode. You can now create a character in Dynasty Warriors again. There are a ton of character slots for you to use up. I’m not talking about 9 or 10 created characters. I’m talking about over 100. You can create your own unit. The regular soldiers that run around the battlefield can now be edited. You can make them taller and give them some nice looking armor. My army looked different than everyone else.
You can even create your own custom horse, but it’s a little disappointing since you can only edit the horses that are already in the game. I wanted my own custom steed, but there’s always next time.
The biggest new edition has to be creating your own scenario. You can literally create your own Empire map. You can’t change the name of the province or anything, but you can have a full map of nothing, but created characters with their own custom banners. If you want to go fantasy you can create your own elves in this game. Creating a scenario is time consuming. Especially if you’re like me and want every little detail to be perfect, but the end results are amazing and it gives this game an infinite amount of replayability.
The graphics are nothing special. It’s one of the better looking Dynasty Warriors games, but that’s not saying much since none of them ever look great. Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires looks good, but it’s far from games like Ryse, and Killzone. There are some muddy textures and I have noticed a slight lag on the Xbox One version of the game when there are too many npcs on screen.
The character models look really good and you can definitely see the difference between the Xbox One and PC versions of the game. For some reason Koei decided to give the PC port of the game the PS3 graphics. The better version of this game is on the Xbox One.
If you love electric guitars than you’ll love the soundtrack to this game. Dynasty Warriors has always had kickass soundtracks in all of their games and this one is no different. Some tracks are awesome while others are just okay, but I have no complaints about the soundtrack in this game.
Back in the day [Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires] you could place officers on each piece of land that you own and you could only defend that territory with those officers and any reinforcements that you had available to you. You can’t do that in the new Empires games. You can defend your territory with anyone. It doesn’t matter how far they are from you. Your ruler is forced to take place in every battle. What if I wanted to put someone else in charge of my army? I can’t because the game won’t let me.
What’s the point of having a Marshall if I can’t put her charge of my forces when I’m too weak to participate or I’m too far away to make to that particular battle. Hopefully they’ll patch it, but I doubt it. There hasn’t been good army management since Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires and that was a really long time ago.
Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires is an excellent game that has a ton of content. This game will keep you busy for months. The create a scenario mode alone gives this game tons of replayability. Created characters made a huge comeback and the Empire Mode itself is a blast to play alone or with friends. I’ll place this slightly under Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires and it easily earns my recommendation.
If you’re looking for an action game with some pretty good strategic elements than look no further than Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires.
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