Koei Tecmo has officially unveiled the first look at Dynasty Warriors 9, the new chapter of the long running series after its successful iteration for smartphones, that pretends to introduce lots of gameplay changes, while staying faithful to the essence of the series. The title, with PlayStation 4 as the only confirmed platform so far, will keep the characteristic massive battles that have made the series so popular through the last 20 years, but it will elevate the gameplay by connecting battlefields through an open world.
Japanese magazine Famitsu has revealed the first images of the game, confirming that the game is planned to release for PlayStation 4 probably next winter, although there is no mention if it’s actually an exclusive title for the console. In a lengthy article about the development, the team discusses the idea of introducing an open world system as a way to take the series forward, as they felt that the system was getting stale in 2013’s Dynasty Warriors 8.
The team has used Toukiden 2 as a reference for its excellent implementation of an open-world system, although they make clear that there will be obvious differences. The objective is to reproduce large territories from China, and focusing on areas apt for living and the scenarios of some of the most iconic battles, like Hulao Gate or Zhongyuan.
In these landscapes, the time of the day and the weather will be changing in real time. This will result in some special conditions, like the harder visibility of allied units at night or under the rain.
All 83 characters from Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires are confirmed to return
Apart from the battlefields, there will be over 10 major cities, like Luoyang, along with some small towns and villages. The cities will be places to buy items and other purchases, and players will be able to return to them even in the middle of a battle.
The story will be based on each character and their different eras, so for example the story of Wang Yuanji will start in a later era than Zhao Yun. All 83 characters from Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires are confirmed to return.
The gameplay will also introduce new options, like battles happening at the same time in different points of the map, or various ways to capture castles, like attacking from mountains or making a stealth infiltration. The new map will also offer many different options, like hunting animals, or using objects like catapults or oil cans to attack.
Overall, Dynasty Warriors 9 looks like a huge production, which creates all the designs from scratch with the PS4 technology to make the most ambitious entry in the series ever. Hopefully we will be able to judge if Koei Tecmo was successful sooner rather than later.