Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

As each new game is usually so similar to the last, we’re running out of things to say for Koei’s incessant, but always enjoyable Dynasty Warriors series. It has to be said that stupid jokes of men with funny names and beards have long since become exhausted.

At least the Empire games are a little different to usual. Offering up the same large scale battles that the series has become synonymous for, but coupling it with some welcome strategic elements, that means, at least for once the game requires a modicum of brainpower and is therefore a bit less of a nightmare for us to review.

Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires is the sequel to the rather wonderful Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, offering more strategic options. Also if you are playing the 360 version you have the luxuries of a vastly improved draw distance, sharper graphics and a more stable frame-rate, all of which you’d expect from a next-gen system, but in spite of this it hardly looks as nice as what you’d expect from a new system, and anyone who disagrees should import 99 nights or check out the demo, which does the same thing, but with beautiful visuals that are actually worthy of the tag of next-gen.

As with Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, your ultimate objective is to take over every region within 100 turns. This is achieved by the good old fashioned button mashing mass battles, that the series is renowned for. Here things are just as always: good, brainless fun and still far too repetitive for it to be anything but a good game – it’s still not a great one though.

The pre-mission strategy elements do make for a more appealing game though. Here you are able to make limited requests and commands to your high ranking officers, to perhaps gain the early advantage in a battle or to perhaps persuade an opposing general to join your ever swelling ranks. Whilst this is a welcome and a much needed element, we’d like to see this further expanded to the battles, where it would break up the much dreaded repetition of the otherwise enjoyable skirmishes.

The Empire mode can be played in two player co-op play, which is a nice enough addition, but we’d have perhaps preferred it to be a competitive mode, allowing us to vie for control of ancient China against other player/s. The thought alone makes us giddy with excitement at the sheer potential of this, make it so Koei.

It’s a crime that problems that have long plagued the series have still yet to be rectified. why on Earth can’t we move the camera with the other stick? And why is there still not a block function? It’s about time the developer concentrated on improving , rather than adding to the formula.

Like the previous Empires game, because of its mix of tactical and button mashing gameplay, Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires is one of the better additions to the massive family that is Dynasty Warriors. It’s still not as good as it could be though and we can only hope that for its true next gen iterations, the series sees some improvements. At the same time we hope we can come up with some fresh jokes of comical beards to prepare for our next analysis.