Shin Sangoku Musou 5: Empires (otherwise known as Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires outside of Japan) is the latest instalment in the long running franchise published by Koei in conjunction with the Omega Force development team. Set in the historic backdrops of the Three Kingdoms of ancient China, I have been an avid fan of this hack and slash strategy based game since it first appeared on the PS2 back in 2000. The game features an abundance of real life historical figures to choose from and as you guide your army to war, there are literally hundreds of characters on screen at once when you take to the battlefield. Itâ€™s a free for all ancient Chinese button mashing extravaganza. Add to that a strategic element where you are able to plan your attack and power up your characters, prior to the major battles taking place. Shin Sangoku Musou 5: Empires for the first time in the series, allows the player to play as either a ruler and dictate your armyâ€™s plan of attack from behind the scenes, or as an officer and carry out those orders in the frontline of battle.
The game play premise follows closely to the previous titles in the Shin Sangoku Musou series. The hack and slash attack mode that fans have become familiar with, is back in all its glory. The fatality rate in this game is extremely high as you go on a mass killing spree in your quest to unify ancient China under one ruler. In order to achieve this you must conquer all twenty four provinces scattered throughout the land. Depending on what role you select, be it a ruler or officer, you will have a host of different tasks to take on board. To begin with, you have a large selection of different characters to choose from. Build your characterâ€™s rank, level and weapons up as you complete missions to advance further through your campaign.
The game play action mirrors the earlier titles and the Renbu system which allows the character to perform continuous combos, and was introduced in the previous version of the game has been kept in this latest offering. You have your standard attack, jump and block buttons along with your Musou meter. This Musou meter allows your character to unleash a special move when the gauge is full. Your character is able to possess different special moves depending on what abilities you purchase and what weapons your character uses. This function certainly comes in handy, especially when you might be in a bit of a tight spot and taking a severe battering at the hands of the enemy. Itâ€™s also useful to discharge your Musou when your power is low and you are within a whisker of death. The special powers make you temporarily invincible and will decimate all those in your close proximity. There are four slots to place your purchased abilities, so you will have to pick and choose the right combination wisely before tackling your missions head on. As was the case with all previous renditions of the game, level ups and experience are gained by the number of kills and power ups you execute during the battles.
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