Go back in time to the days of the Three Kingdoms, which takes place near the end of the Han Dynasty. Player can choose from over 200 characters to play as in order to battle your way across ancient China and become the next emperor. Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires (DW5E) is a mix of turn-based strategy and third-person beatdown.
The list of features as supplied by the manufacturer:
* Different battlefields: There are four scenarios to unlock, with six scenarios in all
* Multiplayer modes: Two-player co-op in "Empire" and "Free" modes
* Policy decisions: Meet with your war council and choose policies which affect government, product development, diplomacy, and battle tactics.
* Varied dynamics: Change game dynamics by limiting the number of your officers during play, adjusting time limits, and selecting battle conditions.
* Absorbing gameplay: Discover the history of the Dynasty Warriors with the encyclopedia, unlock new items, strengthen your weapons, and much more.
The graphics in Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires is simply amazing. The characters look amazing without the trying too hard effect of most other games. The models are highly detailed, lightly textured, and look like everything you would expect from a character that slaps peasants, bandits, soldiers, and other heroes aside like swatting flies. High Definition is almost a necessity. Usually, graphics get more jaggy in HD because not enough definition in the creation of objects is used (ahem Halo 2!) but with DW5E, everything stays smooth, but an extra dose of crispness and color are infused.
The sound of DW5E is always cool. They use rock beats during battles and a new remix of the same old Chinese song for the ending. The usual 5.1 isn’t a must but it sure is nice” applies here. The better quality sound, the more actual immersion you get, but the sound is artfully simple, so you won’t miss anything even if you’re using headphones.
Dynasty Warriors has always been about the gameplay. This is where the game really shines. You go from battlefield to battlefield and fight your way to the enemy main base. You start out at your base and you kill your way across the map. You need to take bases to extend your supply line, defeating the opponents officers, and possibly defeating your opponent’s main officer along the way. You also end up defending your base from capture from time to time. Enemy opponents will attack you or your bases depending on what is happening on the map. If a battle between two heroes(yours or theirs) is not going well for one of them, the computer will send them back to the nearest base to regain health. This is especially good because it helps preserve the officers you don’t control.
Between battles, you can train your officers, create items to help in battle, increase weapon levels, and buy tactics to use in battles to your advantage. You can also try to hire your opponents officers away from them, as well as try to get them to surrender. You can also use other tactics to give you more soldiers and bases, to take soldier or bases away from your opponents or use fire to start causing damage to your opponents before the battle starts.
The controls in the game are fairly intuitive, and they haven’t changed much since Dynasty Warriors 3 for the Xbox. The difficulty settings are ingeniously done, but can be a bit of a problem for some. Each game you start, you choose a difficulty. However, the actual difficulty of the battles increases as time goes on, and they do so for a multitude of reasons. As opponent officers level up they are harder, but what the game really bases it on is that the more battles you fight the more accustomed to it you are so it makes it not so easy anymore. A great progression as far as I am concerned. Another neat feature is the edit character, which is in great form. While there are not too many faces and hair styles, you can actually create many many different characters, and you can also use weapon stylings based on actual characters so that you don’t end up with a junky weapon on purpose.
ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER
Longevity has been greatly improved as far as I am concerned. With having separate conquer levels for each historic fight or notable event, you need to play this a multitude of times in order to get the job done. Also, in order to stop it from being overly repetitive, the games gives you more players to choose from for each subsequent stage. Also Edit officers allow you to play and level up characters of your own design and play with them across the ages.
While anything with a 5 in the title to denote which chapter of the game can’t be overly original, you would be surprised with DW5E. Enough of the game stays the same for the fans of the old version to keep them playing while there is enough new hotness to make any gamer happy. Also, it started at $40 and has since been reduced in price at some stores shows that this is one of those true hidden jewels of the 360. Dynasty Warriors became an instant love to me when I first picked up 3 for the Xbox when it was $30.
A lot of games these days rely on ridiculous move combinations to advance levels, or increased difficulty means that your enemy has more health and you deal less damage. DW5E actually keeps it real by making the difficulty based on skill more than the other cheap tricks developers are using these days, and the AI is first class. When you finally get your hands on a game where your opponents use direction feints, tag teams, and withdrawals to drag out the fights and reduce your chances of victory like DW5E, the possibilities are endless.