Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires announced for early 2021

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At Tokyo Game Show 2020, Koei Tecmo announced Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, a strategic spin on Dynasty Warriors 9. It’s coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC in early 2021.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires couples the series’ 1 vs 1000 action with a layer of strategy akin to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, in which you command units, try to capture and defend territory, and diplomatically engage with other factions. It also comes with an edit function for creating your own officers, and an expanded domestic system “where the relationships between characters will have a greater influence on gameplay than ever before.”

Empires spinoffs have been a staple of Dynasty Warriors since 2004’s Dynasty Warriors 4. Typically, the main game is more focused on retelling the story of Romance of the Three Kingdoms (the novel) through the perspectives of different people, while Empires instead is built around giving you free rein, and the layer of strategy gameplay, to try to unify China as you see fit. Presumably, that’ll be the case for Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, too.

“This is the 20th anniversary of Dynasty Warriors, and we couldn’t be more excited than to celebrate with our faithful fans by delivering the first new Warriors series game on next-gen consoles, and the first new Dynasty Warriors series game on Switch,” said producer Akihiro Suzuki. “This is the first new Empires game in five years, and I can’t wait to deliver the ultimate Empires experience our fans have been waiting for.”

Dynasty Warriors 9 originally came out in 2018, and it marked a major new direction for the series with a move to an open-world format. It was a divisive game at launch, with a Metacritic average sitting around 50 to 60, depending on platform. I personally loved it; in my review, I called it “the best Warriors game yet, in both the sheer ambition of it and its ability to deliver on that. “

Koei Tecmo also used Tokyo Game Show to show off new footage for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a follow-up to the excellent Hyrule Warriors that’ll serve as a prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Age of Calamity comes out on November 20 this year; between that and Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, Switch-owning Warriors fans especially have some good stuff to look forward to in the near future.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.