In-person gaming events may still be practically non-existent thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean developers are closed off from us entirely. Dynasty Warriors Series Producer Akihiro Suzuki answered some of our questions for the next installment, Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires.
PlayStation LifeStyle (PSLS): Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires marks the sixth Empires expansion for the Dynasty Warriors series. What is the biggest challenge in coming up with new features for such a long-running franchise?
Akihiro Suzuki (Suzuki-san): It’s really challenging to be able to balance the need for new innovations, but also ensuring that the new aspects will be accepted by fans of the series.
PSLS: How did the pandemic affect this development cycle, if at all?
Suzuki-san: We’ve been making the most of working from home, so there hasn’t been any major effects from the pandemic itself.
PSLS: What benefits did the newest generation of consoles offer for Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires?
Suzuki-san: I think we’ve benefitted from improvement in visual quality, more stable framerates, and shorter loading times.
PSLS: What do you hope fans of Dynasty Warriors Empires experience when playing this version?
Suzuki-san: I hope that while they feel the Warriors’ series concept of the exhilarating action of 1 vs. 1,000, they will have an experience like they’ve stepped into the Three Kingdoms world through how the game unfolds freely and how human interactions are structured.
PSLS: How would you describe the “Storming the Castle” mode to someone who’s never experienced it before?
Suzuki-san: The goal is to take over the enemy base located within the castle. In order to do so, first you must find a way through the tightly shut castle gates, and there are various strategies to do so such as using siege weapons or infiltrating the castle by scaling its walls with a grappling hook. You are free to choose what actions to take, so they are engaging battles where you can strategize and make tactical decisions such as what commands to give to allies or how to deal with secret plans.
PSLS: How has fan feedback been since the Japanese release of Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires?
Suzuki-san: Although we’ve received a lot of requests to add more types of armor in the Edit Mode, I think there has been a lot of positive feedback of the overall game.
PSLS: Are there any favorite user-generated characters you have seen?
Suzuki-san: There are too many to select just one, but I like the customized offers that try to replicate officers that appeared in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms story.
PSLS: Have you made a character that looks like you using the edit mode?
Suzuki-san: I haven’t done it myself, but I have seen user-generated ones of me posted online!
PSLS: What one feature are you most proud of in this release?
Suzuki-san: It is the castle sieges, a battle system that has been revamped from previous Empires games.
PSLS: Personally, how do you play the game (using what strategies, etc)?
Suzuki-san: I enjoy trying to breakthrough difficult situations, so I always select the “Unaffiliated” social rank and “Chaos” difficulty. And with repeated plays, I like to select the custom officer that is the child of a previous character I played, and see how the genes were passed along into the child’s facial features.
PlayStation LifeStyle would like to thank Akihiro Suzuki for taking the time to answer our questions, and KOEI TECMO for facilitating this email interview. Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires launches for Western audiences on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam on February 15th, 2022.