Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires - Xbox One

Release Date:

February 24, 2015

Also on:

Xbox One PC PS3 PS4

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.5

Summary:

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires once again puts players in control of historical figures from China's Three Kingdoms time period. All of the characters from Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends are included along with one new member, Xun Yu. Characters can once again marry with a new feature allowing them to have children who inherit their stats and likeness. Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires' stratagems have been enhanced, as well, adding more strategy and the ability to construct "Instant Bases" in open land areas. The time of day and weather can also impact the flow of battles. Online features include co-op play, as well as the option to upload and download customized officers, units, and scenarios.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Koei Tecmo Games
  • Publisher(s):
    • Koei Tecmo America Corp.
  • Release Date(s):
    • Febuary 24, 2015
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Teen
  • Player(s):
    • 1-2
    • 2 (Xbox Live)
  • Player(s) (Co-op):
    • 2
    • 2 (Xbox Live)
  • Series:
    • Dynasty Warriors

Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 23.16GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Sound Engine:
    • Dolby Digital
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 61 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-03-27

Darren_Summerell

Writer

Xbox One

7.5

'Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires' on the Xbox One is action hack n' slash video game, the publishers at Tecmo Koei have been making a killing for years with their cult classic, 'Warriors' series. At the head of the hack n' slash genre has always been 'Dynasty Warriors'. Last year we finally got a chance to see 'Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires' make its Xbox One debut. Omega Force was once again at the helm of the development phase and we had a lot of good vibes coming into this title. The past couple of releases by Omega Force had been solid and we saw little reason as to why they couldn't work some magic here. What we found instead was a maddening case of inconsistencies. Some points of the game felt like the best 'Warriors' title we've played. Other segments made us want to put the controller down. Keep on reading to find out which side of the battle you will land on.

What instantly appealed to us about 'Dynasty Warriors 8' was the fact that the series was making the jump to the next generation of consoles. For years the series has tried to do too much without having the hardware available to knock it out of the park. We hated seeing the old games age poorly due to the fact that the engine couldn't keep pace with the scope of the product. So with the Xbox One hardware at their backing, we anticipated that Omega Force would be able to do exactly what they wanted with the game.

'Empires' is set in the same story as the other 'Dynasty Warriors' titles. You fall into the action in the middle of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms era of China. During this period, in the game and real life, great warriors took up arms across epic battlefields in order to take control of their destinies to cement the dynasties of the men they fought for. The game obviously ramps up the melodrama to the next level and the inclusion of almost supernatural abilities makes for a more entertaining gaming experience.

Where 'DW8' decides to swerve is in relation to the tertiary gameplay. At its core this title still has all of the legendary hack and slash elements that the other 'Warriors' games made so popular. But instead of just bloodying your sword through countless fighters across multiple levels, you have to fight with your mind a little bit too. There are moments where strategy will come in handy on the battlefield. More importantly, there are times when strategy will play a big part of what you do OUTSIDE of the battlefield to. In the game you now have the ability to make alliances, fortify resources, invade your neighbors, or defend your territories from invasion. There are a host of new strategic actions you can take in order to bolster the dynasty that you fight for, depending on which fighter you choose.

And boy are there fighters to choose from. In 'Empires' players now have the option to choose between one of any 83 playable characters. Each character has their own unique look, weapon, and maneuvers though some tend to blend together on the fringes. Once on the battle field you will be able to try the different characters out. You will see some fighters with dual blades, others with giant swords, and still others with long armed weapons. With over 500 different weapons in the game there are many different ways for you to take the combat portion of the game to the next level. The fact that you have so many fighters to choose from is pretty darn awesome. When you get bored of playing with one warrior go ahead and taste the same game from a new perspective with a different one.

When you boot up the title you will have the option to choose from five different levels of difficulty. The fact that you will be fighting through hundreds of enemies at a time should tell you how hard the game is even on easy mode. Ramping up the difficulty will give you a bit more longevity but it will come at the expense of frustration, as cheap shots will be thrown at you with fervor. So choose your difficulty wisely when you first start to play the game as it will primarily drive how you react to the whole experience.

One of our favorite new additions to this game was the RPG like elements. We briefly talked about how you can control your country and your armies, but the game goes even deeper than that. As you level up your army your hero becomes even stronger. Make your hero marry and he/she will eventually have children. As the years go by in the game the children will grow up and some of them will become generals in your military. This was a feature that nobody asked for and something we didn't even realize we would like until we had it. And we do like it.

As with all 'Dynasty Warriors' titles the problems are pretty much the same. Tecmo Koei again puts more on the plate than the XB1 can gracefully handle. Battles sometimes have stuttering action in the background. While the graphics are the best they've ever been, some of the textures on the masses of your enemies repeat themselves. While we don't need or want 500 unique character models, it would be nice to see a little bit of a variety in the armies that surround us on the battlefield.

The hack and slash element is as good as ever. It's delightful to slash our way through hordes of enemies. The added depth of the 'control hub' adds some much needed strategy to the game, but on the battlefield things aren't very different. We don't want a 'deep' experience out of 'DW8' but it would have been nice to see something special here.

At the end of the day 'Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires' gives Xbox One fans exactly what they'd expect. The game is fun and even addicting for awhile, before the repetition starts to aggravate.

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By:

Koei Tecmo Games

Release Date:

February 24, 2015

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