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Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires Review
Posted on March 17, 2013 by Nickolai Niver

When most people think of “game series that has too many freaking titles”, they probably think of Final Fantasy or Call of Duty but rarely do they think of Dynasty Warriors. A series with over 30 titles to its name, not counting the Romance series, or the many other spin-offs [link to Dynasty Warriors Gundam or Dynasty Warriors one piece when you submit the review]. It's one of those series that doesn't always have the best games, but the games are always entertaining enough that they merit purchasing so players can fulfil their desire of being a super powerful warrior that can rip through 1000's of enemies effortlessly. Amongst the series' many titles is my personal favorite, the Empire series.

The Empire series has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. The titles are always fun wastes of time that I can burn hours into. They're not amazing titles, but the vast array of things that are available make them a title I buy whenever they come out. On top of that, no two Empires titles are ever the same, often being very different in ways players may not expect. The problem is, that there are so many of these titles that I wonder if Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires will wow me, or if it will be just as forgettable as Dynasty Warriors 3.

LU BU OWNS YOU

Everything You Love - I'll cut to the chase here. You have either a) never played a video game before reading this review, or b) been living in a hole for the last 15 years if this is your first entry in the three kingdoms universe. Dynasty Warriors hasn't changed much since it first started, and each instalment is pretty much a way for fans of the series to say “I enjoy playing this game, here's my money”, which is how I feel. This is a solid Dynasty Warriors game; from the characters to the gameplay, it hasn't miraculously changed overnight, so don't worry.

Customization is Huge - I said the Empires series is my favorite series and there's a good reason behind it. The Empires series generally takes what made whichever title behind it good, and works as a glorified sandbox. Basically, Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires is Dynasty Warriors 7, with added features and customization. You can make your own characters, equip them how you want, and let them fight for whichever faction you want (if you don't decide to have them run their own faction). On top of that, you can generally swear allegiances with other factions or even from family bonds with other captains in your army. They're fun sandbox titles, and Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires has brought all that back and then some.

Not only can players customize every aspect of their captains, as well as how they act on the battlefield, the planning phases are more complex. You're able to dictate what kind of ruler people will know you as, as well as some of the interior settings of your main base. On top of that, you will be able to pick stratagems and make investments that will serve you on the short or long term side of things. It's a big overhaul, especially when compared to Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires.

Cutscenes?!?! - Alright, lots of games have cut-scenes, so that shouldn't be too interesting. What makes it unique in this instalment is that these cut-scenes occur randomly and generally involve characters in your custom army interacting with each other. In no way is this groundbreaking, but it's really nice to see my people celebrating after taking over 2 territories within a month of each other.

The Soundtrack is HUGE - The Soundtrack is simply gigantic in Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires. Not only does the title have a unique track entirely of its own, it's also brought back many favorites that players have loved for years. What's even better is the long-time feature of being able to select any of these tracks at any time. Dealing with an overwhelming force? Slap on some adrenaline pumping guitar solos. Easily crushing an opposition? Blast some calming, but still awesome fight music!

Simple Controls - This has been a point that everyone likes to Criticize Dynasty Warriors on. “All I gotta do is press the attack button and I get 1,000 kills.” That may work on the easier difficulty levels where enemy captains are poking you with spears made of delicious cotton candy, but on the higher difficulty, 3 captains against your 1 ruler can get pretty difficult. Luckily, the skill required to slap these sorry sods around is not hindered by the controls. The four primary buttons given to you make accessing anything you need to do in a fight easy, while the shoulder buttons allow you to make more tactical movements. It's a pretty good setup for a hack-n-slash title and I appreciate it.

CATASTROPHIC FAILURE

It's Still the Same - Aside from some more in-depth customization, and some added cutscenes, this is still the same Dynasty Warriors you've been playing for years. It's not necessarily a bad thing though, but it is the same. Not much has changed, and I doubt much ever will. But that's alright; at least you can feel safe knowing that you aren't stepping into a completely new game from what you loved.

Ooh, Glitchy - It's alright if a game has some forgivable glitches. Skyrim has plenty, and none of them take away from how amazing a game is. However, when textures don't load properly, or enemies disappear at one-third their health, only to reappear behind you with full health, I begin to take issue with a game. Dynasty Warriors 7 Is a glitchy game, and some of the glitches actually pull away from the enjoyment as I don't appreciate entire characters disappearing because something wasn't bug tested properly.

Collisions Are Everywhere - If customization has one glaring problem, it's that things collide. Equipping a top with a cape when your character has a tail will cause the tail to impossibly poke a hole in the cape and ignore it completely. No outfit is perfect, and it's understandable that the developers didn't take a ton of time to fix some collision problems, but it's just lazy. Even if you could look past the collision issues, many of the characters are dealing with aged graphics, and most of them look like they've received too much botox in the face.

Frame Rate Issues Galore - The Dynasty Warriors games have always been really big on filling the screen with as many enemies as physically possible. That's fine, and I can understand that putting too many models on a screen at one time can cause frame rate issues. However, I've never seen frame rates drop as hard on any other title as I have on Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires. While playing with my wife, there were some moments where the game literally became a slideshow. It's unacceptable, especially considering how many titles have existed before this one that should have been used to master frame rate issues with large armies.




 

Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires is exactly what a Dynasty Warriors game is. Its over-the-top combat meets the ability to feel like you're a super human amongst an army of peasants. Everything that has defined the series up to this point is all here, and it's still a solid title. There are some unsavoury bugs and frame rate issues, but at its core, Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires is exactly what you'd come to expect from the series. If you're a fan of the series, definitely go ahead and buy it. If not, then you probably won't like this one any more than any that came before it.

*This review was based on the PS3 version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.*

Nickolai Niver - Staff Writer nic (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

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