Koei Tecmo has officially announced Dynasty Warriors 9. The news came earlier this morning during the publisher’s “Greatest Games Lineup in History” presentation. Other upcoming titles, including Musou Stars, Nioh, and a new Atelier game from Dust were also featured though arguably outshone by the return of Koei’s flagship franchise.
Dynasty Warriors has been expanded on and spun out in just about every direction though the last mainline instalment is almost four years old, having launched in February 2013.
While Koei and developer Omega Force have always teased something new with each passing game, nothing about the series has changed (fundamentally) for well over a decade – we’re talking Dynasty Warriors 2 back in 2000.
The newly-announced Dynasty Warriors 9 could be the shake-up the series has needed for years. Instead of wheeling out its ageing Warriors formula for the umpteenth time, Omega Force is making some rather drastic changes.
Dynasty Warriors 9 will be the first game in the franchise to feature an open world, allowing players to explore the entirety of China. Such a huge landmass will be condensed to focus around key areas and battles with towns and settlements scattered in between. It sounds somewhat inspired by the studio’s work on Toukiden 2 and its own shift away from set levels to a freer open world
Although characters will still retain their ability to carve up entire battlefields, the combat system is set for an overhaul. From the way combos work down to the control inputs, Omega Force is reviving this crucial part of the series.
Characters are still a key focus, Koei Tecmo’s Masaki Furusawa and Akihiro Suzuki confirming that the current roster will carry over. That’s 83 playable characters in total, all of which will undergo their usual reskins while being moulded around the new gameplay.
The only new character confirmed for Dynasty Warriors 9 is Shu officer, Zhou Cang. He’s said to be bringing some comic relief to the game and will also feature in Musou Stars. No platforms have been officially announced though there was a Sony presence during the presentation, pretty much cementing its release on PlayStation 4.
With only concept art to go on, it looks as though the game is still in early development. Hopefully we’ll see some in-game footage in the near future.