Is Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, Worth Playing?
Honest Video Game Reviews received a free copy of this title for review purposes, however our opinions are our own.
Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is a great game to play in small doses but it starts to feel repetitive during longer gaming sessions. 

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Action
Price: $59.99
Release Date: 23 December 2021
Supported Modes:


Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, like most modern games, has a lot of cutscenes; however, unlike most games, they are incredibly short, with some cutscenes lasting only a few seconds.

While It was cute seeing my player character throw himself in front of a wagon to save a little doggie, it was not made apparent to me why I was shown the same cutscene multiple times or just what the cutscene was trying to convey beyond my character being brave or kind.

To add insult to injury, cutscenes are often proceeded and preceded by loading screens of up to 5 seconds even on the PlayStation 5, a console known for its near-instantaneous load times,  and while 10 seconds or so of loading would be an acceptable wait for a cutscene that propelled the narrative along or introduced a new character, some of these cutscenes are less than 3 seconds long and consist of little more than two characters doing something mundane such as eating noodles or having a drink, while a static message informs you that your character now has improved their relationship with the other character, information that could have been better displayed to the player, in a less grandiose manner.



Characters in Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires talk a fair bit before, during and after each battle; however, they do not so much as interact; instead, they make statements at one another that, while thematically paired, do not flow conversationally.


  • Player Character “I am as severe as the wind!”
  • NPC Officer 1“You fight bravely, like no other man!”
  • NPC Officer 2” They will sing of this day.”
  • NPC Officer 3 “All with style.”

While the above dialogue does not appear in the game, this is the type of statements characters make continually, with little to no regard for what other characters in the “conversation” are saying.


Character Models:

While much of Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is visually uninspiring, and background characters and scenery would not look out of place in the 7th generation (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3), this can be excused because of the vast amount of characters who are present on the battlefield; however, despite these limitations, the developers have spared no expense making Musou officers look fantastic.

That being said, with very few exceptions, female officers are sexualised, and it’s rare to find a female officer that isn’t showing a fair bit of leg or breast, which is unfortunate as it reduces female player base characters to eye candy. In contrast, male characters are allowed to be cool just as they are.


Secret Plans & Abilities:

One way the developers have managed to mitigate some of the repetition in each battle is by incorporating secret plans and character abilities, which, when used correctly, can have a huge impact on the flow of battle and are instrumental in deciding the winner of close-fought engagements.

One of my favourite secret plans summons a magical bear that shoots lightning. Another allows for the reinforcement by officers from other regions who would usually be unable to arrive in time for the battle. While this is unnecessary, especially when the player character is so overpowered, it makes engagements a little more engaging and slightly less repetitive.

Looting duplicate plans after a battle increases the potency of said plan, meaning no reward is wasted, and receiving the same reward multiple times can be a good thing in the long run.


Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires vs Dynasty Warriors 9:

The Dynasty Warriors franchise is rather confusing for newcomers to the series, as despite sharing a name, Dynasty Warriors 9 & Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires are two very different games, with the former being an open-world narrative-focused hack-and-slash experience and the latter being a management and conquest game that utilises the characters and combat systems of the former.

While confusing to outsiders, this model has worked well for the publisher since the PlayStation 2 era and, up until the disastrous Dynasty Warriors 9, has been relatively well-received by the fanbase.

Unfortunately, while Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires has improved upon its predecessor’s mistakes, it has not done enough to redeem the troubled franchise in the eyes of its fans and the wider gaming community.


Playing as a Vassal:

In Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, players are allowed to play as the Emperor and decide what their kingdom does at any given moment. While being the top dog does feel good, I prefer starting as a general and earning the trust of my ruler before slowly ascending the ranks alongside him.

In my most recent playthrough, I started as a general in the service of a minor noble. I slowly climbed the ranks as the Emperor gave my ruler greater power and responsibility.

While further promotions occurred, I will avoid detailing them here to allow the player to be as surprised as I was by late and mid-game political shifts that hugely impacted gameplay and forced me to reevaluate my campaign strategy.


Repetitive, yet still enjoyable:

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is very repetitive, and while Musou officer abilities and secret plans can shake up any individual battle, players will essentially go through the same motions of battle in each encounter. While I didn’t feel bored during my playthrough and will play more in the future, It’s certainly not for everyone, and I wish the developers had found a way to reduce the number of encounters while making each battle more memorable.

Useless NPC Armies:

While NPC officers, both allied and against the player, can accomplish a wide selection of strategic objectives, AI-controlled troops are essentially worthless. They serve as little more than a capture timer for most locations; despite facing off against hundreds of thousands of individual soldiers during my 6 hours of play, I never once felt threatened by them, not encouraged by my numbers, after witnessing no less than 40 of my men stuck in an endless skirmish with a single defence captain that I was able to dispatch in a single blow.

I understand that AI soldiers exist purely to make the Musou officers look amazing; however, I would like to see AI soldiers pose at least some threat to officers in future, as while I enjoy seeing my officer dispatch an entire unit of enemies in a matter of seconds, knowing they are offensively and defensively useless does tarnish that feeling considerably.


Player Influence:

Players have a huge influence on the outcome of any particular battle, and once you have a few hours under your belt, even the most unfavourable odds become far less impossible; in one instance, My army was outnumbered at 3.2 to 1, and while our losses were heavy (96%), I was able to defeat the enemy general’s far larger army by killing over 3000 enemy soldiers with Musuo officer.

While playing every match while being outnumbered is nowhere near as fun as leading a massive army, players who have taken the time to enhance their officer with powerful items and abilities will find themself rarely forced into a situation where loss is inevitable.

Character Selection:

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires allows players to take to the battler field as one of 94 Musou officers, many of which with their own voice lines and combat preferences.

In a game such as Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, when there are so many characters, it would be easy to dismiss any particular character as just another officer; however, when facing certain Musou officers, players will need to keep on their toes, with characters such as Lu Bu being able to quickly decimate legions of AI soldiers and overwhelm the defences of other  Musou officers, including the player.

While Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires has flaws and the narrative content is weak at best, its massive roster of playable characters is one area where it truly excels.



Despite having thousands of years of romanticised history to draw upon as source material, the narrative content in Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is weak at best. Except for a few short videos, players are essentially left to their own devices and are free to attack whomever they wish.

While I understand that with such a massive roster, it’s not possible to give every character the spotlight they deserve, I feel a campaign that introduced players to key characters and events would be far more engaging than what is essentially a series of skirmishes between characters the average gamer has no idea who they are or what role they played in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.


Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires FAQ

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is a action video game developed and published by KOEI TECMO GAMES, it was released on 23 December 2021 and retails for $59.99.

Platform Availability.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Are The Developers Active?

How Long Does Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires Take to Complete?

On average Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires takes between 8 and 45 hours to complete.

  • Main Story: 8 Hours.
  • Main + Side Quests: 40 Hours.
  • Completionist: 45 Hours.

Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is rated PEGI 12+ and contains the following:

  • Partial Nudity
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

I like Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires a lot, and I am glad I had the chance to play and review it; however, I can only recommend it to fans of the Warriors franchise, as while there is plenty to keep long-time fans interested, non-fans will have difficulty becoming engaged in the repetitive and narratively weak content Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires has to offer.

Is Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires" a rating of 6/10, which means, while it is mediocre/average, and has its fair share of issues, the average gamer would not regret playing it.

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