Conclusion: THE VERDICT: I was going to give this game an average rating but that would send the message that it's OK to make ports that are as lazy as this one. It's not. Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires is fun to play if you like the standard series gameplay, and the Empire mode does add something to the experience, but it's not enough. This is not a game built to take us into the future, it's one assembled to keep us stuck in the past.
Excerpt: I've reviewed some pretty awful games in my lifetime. Remember Pulse Racer, where if you drive too fast your character has a heart attack? Yep - reviewed that one. What about Superman 64? Where getting from point A to point B without the game crashing was the real challenge. Yep - did that one too. I almost broke down into tears when I found out I had to review those games, but you know what really grinds my gears? What really sets me off?
Summary: Thanks to some solid strategy, the Empires expansion to Dynasty Warriors 5 turns out to be the bright spot amid the doldrums of endless button-mashing.
Pros: The empire mode is bigger than ever, with more scenarios, policies, and officers, The strategy elements of the empire mode make the repetitive battles far easier to stomach, A good, solid chunk of content
Cons: Battles still tend to get rather tedious, 360 version looks more like an original Xbox game than a 360 game
Excerpt: It is sunset in Luo Yang. Many enemy bases have been captured. I am still standing - just - after facing wave upon wave of samurai soldiers. I look at the defeated General lying by my feet. Unfettered by his demise, I look toward the main enemy camp. As I am about to make one final storm, General Xun You re-enters battle and sneaks past our troop, heading toward one of our own vital bases.