|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Omega Force||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Koei||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 23, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Although Dynasty Warriors (DW) was certainly a staple franchise last generation, the flaws in DW have really come to light since the release of Dynasty Warriors 6 last year. With too much emphasis on button mashing and not enough story or varied gameplay, Dynasty Warriors 6 was a little too forgettable for fans of the franchise. Unfortunately, though some minor improvements have been made, Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires still feels way too familiar.
The premise is pretty much the same as previous Dynasty Warriors games, kill everything with a red dot over it. However, the main difference between Dynasty Warriors 6 and its Empires follow-up is that the focus is on uniting China under a common leader. You can play as a leader, an officer, or a vagrant, and although all of these roles involve running through the levels and wildly hacking at enemies, there are a few subtle differences.
If you play as a leader, it will be your job to decide how and when to take over territories. Youll have a huge map in front of you and will be able to gain friends within your region who will be willing to fight with you. Playing as an officer is a little less complicated. Your lord will give you certain regions to deal with, and you will be able to sit at court sessions and gain favor by doing what you are asked. If you play your cards right, youll eventually be regarded as the leaders right hand man.
The vagrant class has the least responsibility, and you can just roam from leader to leader and side with whomever seems to be winning (and paying you more). The vagrant class doesnt seems to offer many strategic advantages over the other two, but if your out for cash rather than glory, this class will fit the bill nicely.
Although the class system here works well, the strategy is too reliant upon the tried and true button mashing mechanic to have any real strategic merit. After making a few decisions or receiving some orders, youll just be thrust right back into a level where you just have to hack your way through hundreds of enemies that all look the same. Although I definitely appreciate the addition of an overarching goal in DW6 Empires, I really wish more emphasis was placed on the strategy. The game starts off with such promise, but the more you play the titular Empires mode, the more you realize that as long as you are pressing the buttons fast enough and racking up kills by the thousands, then youll be the victor
One aspect of Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires that was surprisingly fun to tinker with was the character creator. Although DW5 Empires had a warlord creator, DW6 Empires gives you more creative control over your newly-made character. In addition to having a wide variety of costumes and customizable features, you can also integrate your character into the main Empire mode as a vagrant, and can work your way up to become leader of the land.