Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

The latest installment in Koei's massively popular tactical action series is getting a new coat of paint.

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Of all its franchises, Koei has managed to get the most mileage out of its Dynasty Warriors tactical action series, which has spawned a highly successful series of sequels and spin-offs over the past seven years. Following the success of Dynasty Warriors 4 and Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends, Koei and Omega Force are tweaking that game's formula once again for Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires.

From the looks of things, Empires won't stray too far from the fundamental action that has made the original Dynasty Warriors 4 so popular, though it will make some notable additions. It seems the most significant will be the empires mode. While past Dynasty Warriors games have put players in league with one of three different kingdoms--Wu, Wei, and Shu--Empires will let you build your own empire. You'll be able to invade adjacent regions, capture and recruit enemy generals, and use the spoils of war to obtain battlefield items. While there has always been a strategic element to the Dynasty Warriors games, this new mode sounds as though it will inject some flavor from its sister series, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is very seriously focused on high-level strategy action.

On top of this all-new gameplay mode, Empires promises an all-new fighting mode--which should appeal to fans of the Dynasty Warriors brand of hack-and-slash action--a slew of new battlegrounds, new abilities for your officers, and a massive number of new character editing options. The game also promises a tidy bonus gallery of Dynasty Warriors artwork, character and siege-weapon models, and character-narrated biographies.

Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires is currently scheduled to hit retail in the US this coming September, and considering that the game was released in Japan in March of this year, it seems unlikely that the game will see any delays. Stay tuned to GameSpot for our full coverage of E3 2004 and more details on Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires.

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