After being indefinitely postponed, Koei Tecmo Games and developer Omega Force finally used Tokyo Game Show 2021 to announce that Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires was once more on their agenda, giving the game a release date of 15 February 2022 in PAL regions. Giving players freedom to dictate the way the story progresses and even being able to write their own characters into the narrative, Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires will launch on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC (via Steam) simultaneously.
As with all Empires games, Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires sets out to combine the 1 vs. 1,000 action of the core game and implement tactical elements to it – with players combining the use of force and strategy to take down foes and claim increasing amounts of land to unify China. Battles have dramatically changed from previous titles in the series, with a new feature dubbed ‘Storming the Castle’ – with players battling to take control of the castle. Players will also be able to utilise “Siege Battles with Troops” in order to invade the enemy’s base, taking advantage of siege weapons while giving instructions to troops during battle. Once players break through an enemy’s gate, they will enter a “Decisive Battle” and can claim victory after defeating the commander. Although all the enemy officers will re-join the battlefield for one last fierce resistance, players will have a chance to defeat and capture them.
Another element of focus in this instalment are ‘Secret Plans’. “Secret Plans” selected in the battle preparation phase will now be activated as missions during battles, with each “Secret Plan” having its own conditions for success and failure. Once the success conditions are fulfilled, favourable effects on allies will be activated including “capture surrounding bases”, “defeat messengers”, “escort the engineers” and more. Each battle is highlighted by offense and defence centring on how to activate “Secret Plans”, providing a highly strategic battle experience. Conversely, enemies can also perform “Secret Plans”. By preventing the enemy’s “Secret Plans”, players will gain an advantage in battle.
Army Affinity will also play a key role in gameplay, with each officer’s unit having a military unit type assigned to them as a new officer characteristic. All three units will have their strengths and weaknesses: Infantry < Archer < Cavalry < Infantry. When a unit fights against opponents at an advantage, more damage can be given and the damage taken can be reduced. However, when a unit fights against opponents under disadvantages, the situation will be reversed. In addition, each military unit has its special effects: Infantry can attack siege weapons more effectively, Cavalry can cause more damage to enemy headquarters, and Archer can perform simultaneous attacks.
Expect to hear more about Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires in the months leading to its launch.