Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

I am in control now!

Dynasty Warriors games come in several flavors. Each year the team at Omega Force continues to push the series forward with a standard numbered sequel, toss in a super edition somewhere, and of course everyone’s favorite, an Empires title. These entries bring the simple combo-mashing combat of the other titles, but also attempt to expand upon it with a storyline featuring ranks and roles. Starting off as a lowly officer and working my way to the top should be fun, but the latest installment of Empires falls flat in several areas, making it one of the weakest entries in the series in a while.

The Empire mode allows players to pick any rank and work their way through the conquest. The problem that DW8E runs into is that there is no reason not to pick a ruler. Starting at the bottom of the pecking order only leads to annoying quests and little feeling of progression. Also there are stealth missions, which is just ridiculous to me in a Dynasty Warriors game.

I...just, yeah flying tigers.

I…just, yeah flying tigers.

MSRP: $49.99
Platforms: XB1, PS4, PS3, PC
Price I’d Pay: $19.99

The management system in the Empires mode is much more simplified this time around. There are no penalties for playing as a harsh leader. Losing recruits is not a huge setback, and recruiting new ones is rather simple. The problem I have with this system is that Dynasty Warriors has always felt like a mindless hack and slash, and tossing in these mechanics just seems to slow down that pace. There is too much management here, and none of it that interesting or seemingly useful.

Customize my army.

One of the things I really did enjoy about Empires though is the edit mode. Being able to craft custom armies for battle is simply time consuming. I spent way more time than I needed to crafting styles and designs; and then seeing them on the battlefield is hilarity incarnate. The customization is almost limitless, and reminds me that putting ridiculous situations in otherwise serious games, can still be fun.

TA-DA!!!

TA-DA!!!

Combat is still front and center for the game, and once again feels stripped down from other offerings. The traditional hack and slash mentality is in full force, but weapons can no longer be customized, instead they are embedded with random modifiers, so my only hope was to get one that worked well for me. There are also elemental gems that can be more effective depending on the weather within the level. It is a cool idea that again feels half-baked. I feel like Omega Force is still trying to find the right balance for the Empires series.

Less-filling

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires feels about as much of an afterthought as you can get. Nothing about this game feels evolutionary. I have recently become more invested in the Musou-style games, but Empires feels like a lot of half-baked ideas that don’t form a cohesive experience. I would really like to see Omega Force take the time to really expand on the foundation of this series and make it as exciting a release as their regular entries in the franchise.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • The action is still entertaining
  • Customization is great

Bad

  • Lots of half-baked ideas
  • Stealth missions
  • Overly simplified management
5.5

Mediocre

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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