Dynasty Warriors games have been telling the story of the Three Kingdoms with the one vs. one thousand battle formula since PlayStation 2. The series has had many sequels and spinoffs over the past two decades. Dynasty Warriors 9 introduced open world gameplay to the franchise in 2018 and later this month Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires will be available to let players create their own dynasty as they build their own kingdom. Hardcore Gamer had the opportunity to speak to series producer Akihiro Suzuki to discuss some of what can be expected in the upcoming title.
[Hardcore Gamer] Dynasty Warriors 9 introduced open world gameplay to Dynasty Warriors. How will this approach factor into the battles in DW9 Empires?
[Akihiro Suzuki] In DW9 Empires, we did not use open world gameplay aspects in the battles.
We’ve read that based on play style, one of six different reputations will be bestowed on the player that effects their affinity with other officers. What are these reputations and how do they effect relationships with other officers?
There are six types of reputations such as Brave, Ingenious, Benevolent and Evil, and they change according to the player’s actions in the game, so they are “life” parameters. So if there are other officers that have similar “lives”, such as having a high reputation of Brave, if they interact their companionship level will increase faster. One the other hand, if one officer has a high reputation of Brave but the other has a low reputation of Brave, then it is hard for their companionship level to increase, so if affects the affinity between officers. In addition, the reputation levels of Benevolent and Evil will influence the ending when the game is cleared.
An interesting aspect about DW9E is the ability to form relationships with officers, marry them and have children. How does the relationship building occur during the game?
If your spouse is still alive when you clear Conquest Mode, a child is born and can be added as a custom officer. For officers with blood relations, from the start of the game their companionship level is higher, and the things they say in-game changes.
As a follow up, how much control over customizing the child who grows into the officer will the player have?
The officer’s name, appearance, gender and actions can be customized.
Empire building is an important part of Dynasty Warriors Empires games. Will Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires have a physical kingdom the player will be able to walk around in and watch develop, similar to Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition?
There is no specific physical kingdom allocated to the player, however they can freely stroll throughout the land since we are using the single map of China that was introduced in DW9.
The historic Three Kingdoms events (such as Hu Lao Gate, Battle of Chibi, Yellow Turban Rebellion etc) will be able to be rewritten with different outcomes based on player choice. How many different possible outcomes and alternate storylines are there and how will they play out as the player’s empire grows?
It is possible to unify the Yellow Turban kingdom (the kingdom where Zhang Jiao is the ruler), or have Cao Cao’s army be victorious in the Battle of Chibi. The rise and fall of the kingdoms will change depending on the state of each kingdom or the ruler’s AI and other factors seen in strategy/simulation games.
What specific aspects of the kingdom will the player have control on the development of their empire?
Aspects such as resources, personnel and army strength, which form the base of the strength of the kingdom, can be controlled regardless of the player’s character. If the player is a ruler, they can select where to invade, decide what actions their subordinate officers’ take based on their kingdom’s policy.
What aspects of Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires are you most proud and most excited about?
For both, it’s the castle sieges. Up until now, the Empires series consisted of battles where players push forward the frontlines while connecting provisions between bases and capture the enemy’s main camp, but in this game we have used the castles from Dynasty Warriors 9 to create castle sieges with on a more realistic scale. They are exciting and challenging battles where players can strategize the various tactical decisions needed, and with the freedom to move around as they want.