previews\ Feb 13, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Samurai Warriors 2 Empires - 360 - Preview

So, the sky is still blue and the polar ice caps haven’t melted yet, so that could only mean that KOEI is working on another entry to their Dynasty Warriors series. Samurai Warriors 2 Empires is an addition to their off-shoot series, but still feels very much in the vein of the Dynasty Warriors franchise. Essentially Samurai Warriors 2 with some strategic elements thrown into the mix, Samurai Warriors 2 Empires is set to release later this month on the Xbox 360.

The game, much like the rest of KOEI’s catalog, presents historic battles and real characters from Japanese history. You’ll fight through a series of battles from the Warring States era of feudal Japan, like the Battle of Kawanakajima and others.

Much of the game falls into large-scale combat territory, with huge battles that pit your warrior against tons of on-screen enemies. You can dispatch your enemies by running up to them and mashing the attack button, something not uncommon with titles in the genre. You can also jump, use magic, and block, but generally you’ll be mashing the attack button through much of the game.

The spot that Samurai Warriors 2 Empires attempts to differentiate itself is through the mid-battle strategy elements. These are pretty robust, having you dictate the factors and conditions of battle, including unit formations and getting consultation on how to proceed. This is a nice touch to break up the combat and allows you to set up the battle in the most effective way before you jump into it.

Graphically, Samurai Warriors 2 Empires has an edge over the PS2 version, with some cleaner textures and frame rates. However, aside from the slight improvements and the high-def resolutions, the game doesn’t look wholly different from the current-gen incarnation. It still has some of the problems inherent in the other version, like pop-up, which is pretty prominent.

Samurai Warriors 2 Empires will continue the series’ direction, adding a few features here and there and getting some strategy elements. Look for a full review in the coming weeks.

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