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PS2 Reviews: Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires


Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires Screenshots


The Final Say!


Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires
reviewed by Tory Favro 
Review Date: Septemberl 2004
Review Score 7.9/10
Not Based on an Average 
Distributed By: THQ

"A solid franchise stepped up a notch makes this one the most refreshing in the series to date!"

There's been a few games in this series now and the general feeling given to me by correspondence by gamers all over Australia was simply that it was starting to get a bit stale. Well I am pleased to let you know that Empires is pretty bloody cool. Why? I feel that this version is the most story and character intense of the series. That breaks down to personal opinion however I loved the way that my guy was building his own "empire" to unify China. Another thing that I like about this game is it's nod to the others in it's series and also it's compatibility with those games in terms of bringing your characters from other DW4 games in to kick butt.

For those of you who cannot bring in characters never fear, there are stacks of characters in this game that you need to get up and running in no time. The cool thing is that not unlike the civilization games, you get the benefit and experience of trusted advisors who tell you what you might need to accomplish. You can take heed of them or ignore, you are the master afterall.

Making decisions as we all know has it's consequences and you better make sure that you are taking heed of any advice given to you. You can only listen to one adviser (use their advice) per turn and this may range from combat tactic all the way to how best to tax the peasantry in order to build your war machine most effectively.

When in the battlefield you are going to have the morale of your troops to worry about as well with your armies having strategic Strongholds that they call their own. Your enemies will have them also and the taking of a Stronghold will see your men fighting with renewed vigor as their morale scores get a good boost.

Another thing that is similar to others in the series is how you take on huge groups just by yourself and do the macho thing and decimate them. Graphics are just as glorious as the others in the series and the ability to get down and dirty always looks magnificent. The title uses the same engine as DW4 so you are not getting any real level of graphical enhancement, but considering the quality in the game in the past this is not a problem.

One thing that we do need to look at is that a lot of these games in this series lately really haven't brought too much to the game other than little add ons. What we really need is some truly innovative stuff incorporated before what is a good game goes stale. It's good to fight in different places etc, however without something NEW to bring into the same game, my interest is lost very quickly.

There are draw and framerate problems in this game that do get the better of the action at times and in some cases the VS mode is almost impossible to enjoy as much as it should have been considering how great an idea it is. An nice interface has been thrown in showing a map of the region and the areas that you occupy or want to invade. It's a good heads up display and very easy to follow.

From a strategic viewpoint, it's easy to get lost in the combat aspect of the game and lose track of what's going on in other parts of your kingdom whilst you are having fun. Also it's important to note that you must have a constant line going from your main kingdom out to your furthest point in order to maintain effective supply lines.

All things said and done, this is a good addition to the series however over the long haul it's just an addon of sorts for experienced players. Next time this game comes out it really needs to have more in the way of innovation and overall game experience. Good job and enjoyable.

- Tory Favro

Copyright 2004 www.impulsegamer.com