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Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires Review

I hope you are not bored with the many exploits from the Chinese 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' just yet, as sure as fireworks at a new year's party there will be plenty to come for the next generation of consoles but to sate your hack and slash appetite Tecmo/Koei return with another outing to Chinas mystical past with Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires, but this time it is more of a thinking man's battle.

Set around the Three Kingdoms era, Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires once again allows us to control some of the great warriors that inhabited the lands at that time, each making great sacrifices and choices for their beliefs. The thing with Warriors games is that many just assume they are all the same, which for the majority of the time is incorrect with each new release and expansion offering new gameplay ideas and Empires is no different with some of the classic hack and slash action associated with the series taking second stage to a strategy game.

Allowing you to choose from various campaigns including the Yellow Turban rebellion, you start as a Common Officer, taking orders from your Kingdoms ruler, attending War Council and making note of what your orders are for the next 6 months and then it's down to you to ensure it is completed. Starting with simple decrees of keeping the lands prosperous you may also be asked to form an alliance with a neighbouring land, invite other officers to join your ranks, train troops and increase your weapons stats or declare war against others. These events each take one month to complete, thus allowing you six turns to carry out what your Ruler requested, do well and you gain favour and fame, act poorly and you will be forever at the bottom rung of the court, a lackey. As you gain fame you start to earn popularity, be it with a fierce or a friendly reputation, which in turn allows more ways to serve your leader greater by way of commanding more troops, earning more gold, use more Stratagems or more importantly sway the decision of the War Council.

With all of this planning and plotting your sword hand may be getting a little twitchy but fear not as the famous Warriors fighting mechanics return, albeit with a few changes. At any point of the game you can enter into a Skirmish, where your character will cross the border for a bit of fighting and ransacking, clearing the area of any boss characters before returning. The Skirmish is just your basic hack and slash with no real tactics other than to kill everything that moves. At the command of your Ruler there will also be separate occasions to attack or even defend your lands, with the idea is generally the same, kill everything, but the way you do it is a lot more tactical with the inclusion of capturing and protecting camps and supply lines and using Stratagem cards that can sway the way of battle.?Earned by carrying out your duties and selected before battle these Stratagem cards can be brought up with the L2 and executed at any point in battle with varying results. Some allow you to taunt opponents or call out a cry to rally the troops and raise morale, others install trebuchets into captured camps, bombarding opponents neighbouring camps with a barrage of boulders, lock the gates of your forts and camps to slow the enemies progression and even unleash a wave of fire that spreads across the targeted area.?

Your warrior on the ground also has use of two weapons which can be switched easily between the two, with characters being comparable with specific weapons but still able to use a huge range of swords, fans and axes. With the cash earned through all the negotiations and victories you are able to visit the town and spend some on yourself, including more weapons, clothing and even animals to ride on in battle including horses, a bear and an elephant.

During battles, the (so bad its good) rock music track will thrash away in the background as you cut a swathe through the thousands of enemies, swords glinting and slashing through the air and looking generally great. Whilst the boss characters are beautifully designed, the basic grunt that falls beneath your sword will be very common place, with thousands just all looking the same. The Warriors games have always been about getting as many enemies on screen at once and for most of the time it handles it well with no slowdown, but you will witness plenty of enemy pop up moments, with whole legions of enemy troops appearing out of thin air right in front of you. A personal bug bear is the amount of clutter on the screen when in battle, with health and Musou bars, subtitles and a huge map; they all tend to get in the way of battle, obscuring the view and on occasions causing a few cheap hits from your enemies.

For those that feel the battlefield is a little lonely or too tough to handle you can also invite others to join in the battles for your kingdom by way of either local split screen co-op or online invite and whilst they have no say in the running of your land, they can pick up a sword and join all of your battles if you wish.

Along with a deep encyclopaedia detailing battles, events and the warriors who participated and character creation tools Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires offers a unique blend of strategy and all out hack and slash that will entertain for weeks.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)


- Classic Dynasty Warriors battles
- Plenty of ways to progress through the game


- Very confusing and text heavy at first
- Some seriously bad character pop up
- Cluttered screen

Edited On 22 Feb, 2013

Shame they decided to miss the xbox with this one and 8 by the looks of things. Enjoy a good hack and slash now and again,
Zombieflamingo 2 years ago
Missed opportunity with a game that hasn't moved with the times very disappointing.
Goose_1 2 years ago
How do you mean? They try and update the game as much as possible. Considering people are buying Halo, COD, Forza, Killzone and 2D Mario pretty much every year it's kinda hard to complain about other companies doing remakes to their games.
Robichoico 2 years ago
Disappointed that this is coming out on the 360, but by the sound of things I am not missing out on too much. Growing up I completely adored Dynasty warriors, but it seems that it has got worse rather than better.
LFC Bywater 2 years ago
Not coming out on the 360*
LFC Bywater 2 years ago
agreed the 1 on the ps2 was by far the best think it was number 3.. since then its been a dying game
0000000000 2 years ago
I did too the first on the Playstation 2 was good. This is coming out as Playstation 3 only isn't it? I think this series has lost its way anyway!!!
Goose_1 2 years ago
yeh i just re-read my comment and realised i wrote it down wrong, i knew what i meant :P
LFC Bywater 2 years ago
Yeah same with 8 being ps3 only so far think that comes out the end of the month in japan. They do sell well over there though despit not really changing much. Enjoyed how 7 made more of an effort with the story so you had to go certain character on set stages.
Zombieflamingo 2 years ago
This review was a fun read, thanks for posting it :) I adore this series so I pre-ordered this and have been playing it a lot. It is the best of the Empires games I think. I had a friend over today and we made use of many of the 200 character slots by making characters from our favourite anime series. It was a lot of fun :)
Cathe 2 years ago
I do like character creation modes Fight Night being best for this with Ross Kemp, Borat and Gollum all created!
Goose_1 2 years ago
I played WWE game a few years ago and someone created Cristiano Ronaldo, Literally beat him up for about 30 mins.... Can't beat a great character creation mode.
LFC Bywater 2 years ago
Got so bored of the 'Warriors' games at the beginning of this generation, I kept getting lumbered with reviewing them and between the Dynasty, Samurai, Orochi and Gundam games it felt like they were coming out every few months. There's very little difference between any of them and they get very tedious very fast when you get overloaded with them, I can't imagine why anybody would willingly go out and buy all these games.
Gloria 2 years ago
Been so long since I tried a Dynasty Warriors game. They became so repetitive pretty early on in the franchise. I haven't played a modern version of the series but these just aren't for me.
JMeeks1875 2 years ago
Despite them being all similar (about as much as Halo, Killzone, COD etc.) I still do enjoy the Warriors games. I just wish they would quit making so many. Over the space of 4 months there's been Warriors Orochi 3, Ken's Rage 2, Dynasty Empires 7 and One Piece next month. Fortunately you know if you enjoy one you'll enjoy the lot of them. However this one I'm gonna wait on. More due to price. Doesn't feel worth it for the full amount. Although if anyone can state otherwise.
Robichoico 2 years ago
I admit whilst I love the Warriors series, I don't play all of the games. I play Dynasty, Samurai and Orochi. Not Gundam or any others. I prefer the Empires games though. Whilst I like the 'run around China as a pretty boy slapping enemies with an oversized weapon' gameplay of the Warriors games, I love how Empires adds in tactics and it's about taking over territories rather than just going through the story stages. The edit mode in this one is really good (you can change eye colour 1 eye at a time!)
Cathe 2 years ago
i use to love these games i just don't like them as much anymore i don't know why just can't seem to get in to them
knockton 2 years ago
The only Dynasty Warriors I played was Strikeforce which I thought was awesome playing with others, but others labelled it as the worst one :(
Kizzy 2 years ago
They do release too many! Fair point there!
Goose_1 2 years ago
I tried the edit demo last night and it wasn't bad. I haven't played any of the empire dynasty warriors infact the last game i played was dynasty warriors 7 xtreme legends which was ok. I'll probably wait for a price drop before thinking of picking this one up.
Baiken_ 2 years ago
all of the dynasty warriors games are ok but they have got a bit stale and havent fared to well against the test of time. can still get a bit of enjoyment out of them. never played any of the gundam ones they just dont appeal to me.
Rachael 2 years ago
I disagree, the gameplay is still the same like all games with sequels, and the graphics are improving steadily like all games with sequels, It has a new story to connect the factions and characters, something that most games with sequels do not do.
Johno Muller 2 years ago
all of the dynasty warriors games are ok but they have got a bit stale and havent fared to well against the test of time. can still get a bit of enjoyment out of them. never played any of the gundam ones they just dont appeal to me.
Rachael 2 years ago
I still want another DW Gundam game, I really enjoy the Gundam Universes and both have made some pretty interesting Original story with crossovers.
Johno Muller 2 years ago
Dragon Age Inquisition - PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
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