“Build an army. Forge an empire.”
When playing Samurai Warriors 4: Empires, you are in command. Through strategy, decision making and taking over land, your political power and influence can continue to grow and before you know it the country will have your flag flying at every corner.
Samurai Warriors 4: Empires takes you into a world torn between ruling clans and those who clash because of varying opinions and morals. Your goal could be simple, take over the country by force so you can be its sole leader and have everyone bow before you or perhaps to bring each clan together for peace and harmony across the lands. No matter what though, force will be taken.
The main premise of the game spawns through the act of charging a castle and/or fortress. In multiple battle waves, you and your army will face the opposing forces with a few scattered mini bosses before reaching the final area where the main boss and leader is located. Throughout the battle you can claim and take over strongholds for your own army which you can clearly see on the mini map through the changing colours. If you wish to take even more control of the battle and alter the default/recommended settings, a battle plan can be made where you can issue orders to particular allies and position them in key roles for the battle. As well as this, each story allows players to take control of a Castle which could be referred to as a sort of command centre or base of operations. The Castle is a place where military and political decisions can be made with your army which in turn plays a part in the growth of allies, loyalty, power and ultimately how you play your game.
The combat in Samurai Warriors 4: Empires is no doubt extravagant but also a lot of fun. As a fearless leader and warrior, there’s something exciting and amusing about being able to charge through a crowd of men at a fast speed and knock them back. This combat skill was very much necessary when it came to the large crowds as it was easy to sometimes get bombarded by the sheer scale of opposing forces toppling over you.
A part from a few combo button sequences e.g. square plus triangle equals this, the game felt as though it could do with more variety when it came to game play. In spite of the possibility of choosing among a huge library of characters than could range from wielding a bow or staff to a axe or sword, the combo button sequences remained the same e.g. square plus triangle equals this. Each playable character had a light attack, a heavy attack or a special attack. Unfortunately for a game that’s sole purpose is driven off combat in order to achieve, it soon becomes repetitive. On another note, combat information was scarcely provided a part from in early tutorial form. It would have been handy to have some sort of combat interface that allowed easy reminders as to what was available and the appropriate buttons in case you forgot which buttons corresponded with which attack.
Character creation was one of the highlights of Samurai Warriors 4: Empires as I was surprisingly refreshed by the vast array of character creation components. Many games fail to please its players when its character creation includes a few pre-made male and female faces, one or two hairstyles and no real initial control over appearance. (Can we talk about how developers think all females are bald?). In Samurai Warriors 4: Empires I spent a great deal of time scrolling my way through each component and even found myself flicking between my final choices because more than one hairstyle, weapon or outfit was pleasing to the eye.
At times, the game also provides us with short cut scenes, the most common being used as introductions into the battle you are about to do. Pulling away from the combat, if only briefly, allowed a more personal story and degree of involvement as you were able to get to know the characters a bit more.
Samurai Warriors 4: Empires combines combat, strategy and tactical input to give its players an entertaining if not somewhat overzealous take on the gaming genre.
- Extravagant yet fun action
- Character creation
- Repetitive combat controls
- Lack of combat information