It could be said that three things in life are certain; death, taxes, and a new Dynasty Warriors title every year. A spin-off to the main series, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires takes a different approach to the core gameplay, adding RTS elements to a primarily hack-and-slash series. Loosely (and I mean VERY loosely) based around Chinese history, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires allows players to take control of legendary Chinese warriors and officers from history, and command them on a dynamic battlefield in order to achieve an objective. There is no major plot per se, more just a series of missions and control objectives based around events in history, focusing on the rise and fall of different empires in China, mixed with tactical recruitment and romance on the side. The player’s ultimate goal is to effectively control all of China, by invading and pacifying enemies and rivals, and maintaining rule over your own domain.
The game builds off the previous title, Dynasty Warriors 8, which was initially released on last-gen consoles in 2013. This is evident in the graphical capabilities of the game; it looks vibrant, but on closer inspection textures aren’t as polished as they could be, and things have a glossy sheen to them at some points. To be fair, this only really impacts on the game when you are paying close attention, as the action sequences and general pace of the game will easily be a distracting force.
Character models are otherwise quite detailed; with intricate patterns and designs on armour and clothing, and have quite a bit of motion in them, especially when it comes to battles. Capes flow and swing around with each slash of a sword, or dart with a spear. The detail is reserved mostly for main characters and officers, and the basic enemies fall under a generic model category, which to be fair is logical, since they are consistently being taken down. Attacks bring vibrant splashes of colour across the screen, from flaming slices and explosive crashes to magic and special moves.