The new addition of the empire mode and addition of the political policy, a stronger focus on strategy and improved character edit mode and the addition of new moves and combos really gives the game a kick.
There are load times and the missions are timed, but even though you have 30 minutes to meet the winning conditions of battle, the AI seems smart enough to challenge and force players to work quickly and smartly.
Even with the strategy elements, this is still Dynasty Warriors, and for whatever reason, Koei seems keenly aware of how to craft a game that should get tired and repetitive, but still manages to pull you in time and time again.
A decent game with albeit repetitive, but addicting, gameplay. If you are looking for a fun action game with cool visuals that doesn't require a ton of thought, Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires is one game worth playing.
Ultimately, theres perhaps been just enough evolution to make buyers of the series impressed, but for the rest of the market theres perhaps just been too little revolution to entice us to its charms.
The twixt-battle strategy curves the game throws in - take on temporary status effects, recoup numbers lost in battle, form alliances with other clans - make it a notch more interesting than any other Dynasty title. [Oct 2004, p.102]
If you've been off the Dynasty Warriors wagon for a while, this may bring you back. It offers some new depth and motivation to fight lots and lots of stupid bad guys, and should keep a smile on your face until the next inevitable sequel.
There are moments of painful slowdown, and you may very well have done something very similar before, but take it from your oath brothers at X-Play, Dynasty Warriors: Empires is an easy game to enjoy and an easy game to recommend.
Empire mode becomes repetitive too quickly, and doesn't provide either the strategic depth in the "board" sections or the real thrill, bluster and mania of "Dynasty Warriors 3" (elephants!) in the combat sections to keep you truly interested.