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Review: Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires – A Disappointing, Dialled-Back Downgrade

Under Siege.

Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series has followed much the same rhythm of releases since way back in the early noughties, with each mainline entry in the franchise since 2003’s Dynasty Warriors 4 followed by both an Xtreme and Empires spin-off, the latter of which adds a little bit of strategic tinkering to the usual Musou mix. It’s nothing particularly complex, for sure, but as fans of this genre we always look forward to the arrival of a new Empires variant as it gives these hack-and-slash action-fests a little more in the way of depth and replayability.

Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires is the very first Empires game to hit Switch, and only the second Dynasty Warriors proper to arrive on Nintendo’s console, following on from 2018’s thoroughly decent Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends. We’ve been excited to get our hands on this one, then, eager to jump into some all-conquering action, cutting swathes through screenfuls of enemies whilst expanding our empire across the length and breadth of China.

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