Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires PS3, Xbox 360 Review

May 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Some people think that the Warriors games have been long exhausted, although there’s still a fan base for them, particularly in Japan where the series continues to sell in impressive numbers. I consider myself quite a fan of KOEI’s hack and slash games, but I still think that they’re deserving of an overhaul, and I’m certainly intrigued as to what direction KOEI Canada will take the Warriors game in with Warriors: Legend of Troy, in their attempt to make the series better appeal to western markets.

Those familiar with Dynasty Warriors will know that the Empire games are the slightly brainier ones, where strategic elements gives us some respite from all that repetitive button mashing and the continuous rise of the enemy body count. With this Empires game you not only get to play as a ruthless ruler and crusher of enemies, but you can be a loyal officer as well.

You can begin the game as a ruler, officer or a vagrant, all with the common goal of uniting the three kingdoms. As a vagrant, you can choose who you want to serve, or even overthrow another in your attempt to rise to power and unite the three kingdoms. As an officer, you’ll be given tasks by your ruler, ranking up and eventually being able to suggest what should be done next and, if you like, you can walk away when you feel like it, giving someone else your oath, or even seizing power for yourself. As a ruler, you’ll be using cards to determine the amount of help you’ll receive, perhaps (amongst others) you’ll be able to increase the amount of gold at the beginning of the month, recruit an officer, increase your attack when you’re invading, as well as restoring troop numbers to your army.

There’s also an edit mode, in which you can create your own ambitious character with. It’s a decent enough tool, although it’s not particularly deep, disappointing for those who like sculpting faces into exactly the shape they want them to be. If you choose to create a character, you’ll always begin the game as a vagrant.

Ruler, officer, vagrant, created or historical warrior, you can power up your weapons and upgrade your warrior and his serving officers: making them faster, increasing their power and musou bars, their attack, defence and so on. Horses can also be purchased, each with differing abilities and can be taken into battle to trample across your enemies with.

When you’re done with all the menu screens, the game plays much like any other Dynasty Warriors games: hacking and slashing through more enemies than you can count (the on-screen kill count keeps you up to date, though), facing tougher opposition in the form of officers and rulers, and taking over enemy bases. It’s also as repetitive as normal, which is either a good or bad thing, I quite like the endless cycle of slaying hundreds, though big changes to the series are long overdue.

As a roaming vagrant you can undertake mercenary missions to make money, whilst officers are assigned tasks by their rulers, but can also attempt mercenary missions when they have time out from their busy schedules, this is good for earning more money as well as levelling yourself up. As ruler, you’ll have nothing but domination on your mind, uniting the whole of China and taking it all for yourself.

The Empires games always show promise as to what an even deeper and thinking mans Warriors game could be, though they don’t go far enough to shake the button mashing stigma that some despise and others enjoy. Nevertheless, on the battlefield, Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires is as mindlessly enjoyable as always and gives you a little something to think about when your sword arm is at rest.