But this is really a game for a subset of an already small audience. It's hard to see total newcomers, or fans of hardcore strategy, won over by Empires' strategy-management RPG blend, in much the same way that you wouldn't expect fighting game specialists to be entranced by the Musou combat system. It's a strange compromise really, yet somehow it manages to work. As such, it's certainly worth a spin, perhaps with the upcoming F2P version, if only to get a taste of the Musou series' most complex and thoughtful offshoot.
Almost exactly the same features as Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires, and although it's still more entertaining than the main game the lack of effort put in is downright insulting.
Ultimately, I came away from Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires extremely satisfied. The tactical elements outside of battle were well balanced as to be challenging while fair, and the combat carries over the best elements from the main game. It's a bit of a specific niche it's catering to -- fans of Dynasty Warriors combat and long-term strategy elements -- but if those two things are your jam, then Empires should have you hooked.
If Dynasty Warriors is your guilty pleasure, then Empires would be your guilt trip.
In summary, Empires is yet another instalment in the Warriors franchise that provides hours upon hours of fun for those who enjoy its tried and tested formula. With that said, it fails to do anything that really pushes the series forward, borrowing heavily from previous games while adding a few extra bells and whistles. Although some will revel in the notion of building their own kingdom and conquering all of China, others will find Empire's repetitive mission grinding and narrow scope hard to overlook.
Deep but confusing strategy layered over classic Dynasty Warriors.
Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires is everything a Dynasty Warriors hater thinks about the series made real. It's a contemptuously assembled recycling project, and I'm sick of it.
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.
Veterans of the series should enjoy what is offered here, and that is the key, as I think veterans of the series will enjoy it as they will find with plenty to do, and with a cheaper than most price they could do worse.
This is not your typical Dynasty Warriors sequel. Empire plays out like a game of Risk, where fast-paced action sequences replace rolling the dice. Unfortunately, the developer doesn't take the novel concept far enough. Fans may enjoy the fast-paced action and emphasis on character building, but everybody else will be left scratching their heads at the outdated graphics and repetitive gameplay.
Despite being a little overwhelming at first, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires blossoms into an engrossing, addictive hack and slash adventure that fans won't want to miss. It's a shame that the game's bogged down by poor presentation and an unstable framerate, but along with the property's trademark combat, strategic elements add some variety to the mix, and the vast amount of customisation options and role-playing systems allow you to forge a legend that's more than worthy of the Three Kingdoms.
Familiar fun for fans of the series with deep customisation options and an impressive Empire Mode, but the repetitive combat formula hasn't evolved.
Without the heavy emphasis on strategy, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires would be a fairly dull game. With its poor character AI, bland environments, and underwhelming visuals, actually fighting in Empires gets repetitive and old pretty quickly. But, because of the vast number of customizations one can make to their character, and the numerous strategic and political decisions to be made, the game ends up being not bad in the end. It's hard to say if it's worth $50, but if you are a hardcore fan of the franchise then you might want to give it a look.
Omega Force certainly takes the core gameplay of Dynasty Warriors and boosts it considerably. A wider and deeper landscape for networking, invading and scheming, and sometimes playing as a politician, helps to make this title more than just another hack and slash experience. This depth will overshadow the lack of visual upgrade for current generation hardware.
Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires doesn't want to innovate but it fails to provide long-time veterans with anything truly new and exciting. Even casual players will eventually be bored with the utter repetitiveness of combat.
At the end of the day, Empires mode is arguably where the crux of the experience lies and as such it really does add a lot of crucial depth to a series that is regarded in many circles as a largely one-trick pony. It's just a shame that similar evolutions aren't forthcoming in other areas of the game which, some nearly fifteen years on, are now starting to look really quite old in the tooth.
A Dynasty Warriors title fused with deep strategy concepts that make it much more like Civilization. If you yearn for more than just killing thousands of enemies on a battlefield, check out Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires.
Being a fan of the series, I actually installed this latest instalment even though it does become repetitive but the mindless hacking and slashing on the battlefield is quite fun. The mechanics work well but the gameplay is definitely showing its age and once again, hopefully Koei can try something new in their next instalment besides making it a 1080p game.
Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires has all the entertaining, albeit repetitive combat the series is known for, but lacks the features to back it up. While this is par for the course for an Empires game, it's still hard to recommend as little has changed over Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires outside of some insignificant updates to the highly strategic politics that go on outside of battle.
For me, I was hoping for another good step in the right direction for the series, instead, what we got was a freeze in evolution at a time where Omega Force was on the ball with a streak of great releases.