Saturday, 9 April 2016

Samurai Warriors 4 Empires

They say history repeats itself. No matter the circumstance or the fallout we are destined to repeat those actions, threading the same path as before to wear the ground thin. That is ultimately the way I feel when I play most things by Koei Tecmo. Samurai Warriors 4 Empires at its core is just like other games from the publisher like the Dynasty Warriors series. The funny thing is though that it’s been fine-tuned so much over the years that it’s hard to put down. 

Developed by Omega Force and out now on PlayStation 4, Samurai Warriors 4 Empires is very similar to other games in the Warriors series. The major difference here is that you will spend a lot of time in menus, organising things. See, the Empires series is much more about strategy than it is about slashing the shit out of everything that isn't your own armies colours.

The game's main mode Conquest sees you building up your Officers and their troops to plan attacks on who to invade next. It's not that simple though as you have resources, health, fame, and so much more to worry about meaning that this isn't a game to zone out and enjoy its simplicity like other games in the genre. You've got to think, understand every situation and know when to attack. I never got the chance to play other games with the Empires moniker attached to it but I've researched and found that this is much more streamlined that previous ones in the series. Honestly, you are either into the planning or you're into the mayhem - and me? I'm into the mayhem.

This does mean though that all of the menus and micro-management fell flat for me. I love the dumb fun of flying around large maps "knocking out" thousands of enemies. It feels intrusive to that gameplay but if you're into that gameplay than you should just play Samurai Warriors 4. The strategy element that features in this title also doesn't feel like quite enough to please fans. Despite there being a fair bit of management and organising, it never feels that deep meaning that it almost becomes a routine in itself when preparing for your next invasion. It's fun to watch your clan grow and your flag spread across the land but it all feels too streamlined to feel as though it  could stand out on its own.

Visually, the game looks pretty good. The character models and surprisingly high quality and animations are always fun to look at. There is nothing really to say about the gameplay except that you've probably played it all before. You go into massive battlefields, slash your way through hordes of enemies, reach capture points, take out officers, rinse, and repeat. It plays well here and can look flashy as hell.

Streamlined strategy makes it hard to recommend to series fans 3/5.


Jason Redmond

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