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Parents' Guide to

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

History repeats itself again in tactical hack 'n' slash.

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For the past twenty-five years, Koei Tecmo has been bringing gamers the history of ancient China's Romance of the Three Kingdoms era by way of hack 'n' slash action. And outside of the main titles, there have been numerous spin-offs, expansions, offshoots, and the like of the Dynasty Warriors franchise, with the most common being the more tactically driven Empires series. Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is just the latest chapter in this long running saga, breaking up the fast paced action of Dynasty Warriors 9 with a slog of micromanagement, political diplomacy, and other strategy-based elements. While some of this works to add an extra layer to the tried and true Warriors formula, the overabundance of options coupled with the repetition of content tends to weigh down the overall experience.

Although Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is almost bursting at the seams with content, it's hard not to feel like that content is a bit stale. Aside from the fact that most of the material is recycled from Dynasty Warriors 9, it doesn't help that there are only so many ways to retell the same story with the same framework from the same page in history. The new Castle Sieges don't feel like they add too much to the gameplay outside of creating bottlenecks in the action, and the expanded Politics system feels shoehorned in. None of this makes the game unplayable and there's still fun to be had if you dig around. It's just hard to ignore the sense of déjà vu of playing yet another formulaic chapter, especially when coupled with the awkward flow of the gameplay that the tactical elements bring to the mix.

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