• Publisher: Koei
  • Release Date: Mar 28, 2006

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 40
  2. Negative: 7 out of 40
  1. A lot of games these days rely on ridiculous move combinations to advance levels, or increased difficulty means that your enemy has more health and you deal less damage. DW5E actually keeps it real by making the difficulty based on skill more than the other cheap tricks developers are using these days, and the AI is first class.
  2. Empires makes the series bigger and better than ever with new scenarios, large scale battles, new policies and plenty of strategy to keep your mind fully engaged.
  3. In the fusion of strategy and action, the game proves itself worthy of continuing the Dynasty. [May 2006, p.53]
  4. The most fun I've had with a Dynasty Warriors game yet. Rather than going through some arbitrary story, the notion of expanding my own territory into the Chinese Empire makes me more invested in how things turn out. Great fun.
  5. Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires is a pretty good experience for its first time on the Xbox 360. For those that like hack and slash games with a good focus on strategy and planning you will feel at home here.
  6. Aside from the odd cut-scene, the game basically has no story, and the four campaigns essentially differ only in their starting-territory distributions. [May 2006, p.84]
  7. If you are a fan of this series and don't mind getting strategy in your action then you won't be disappointed with KOEI's latest endeavor.
  8. It is time to move into the Next Generation of hardware with both feet and create a new title from the ground up with new concepts and new gameplay elements.
  9. Once again, the Empires expansion of Koei's long-running hack-and-slash action series turns out to be the bright spot amid the doldrums of endless button-mashing, thanks to some legitimately interesting strategy.
  10. Not even building an empire can keep Dynasty Warriors 5 from feeling archaic and shallow. We've been doing this same thing for something like ten games in a row now.
  11. It is a bit of a disappointment in that Empires doesn't look or feel like a next-gen title, instead it's more like a High-Def version of a current-gen game.
  12. Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires benefits from the next generation hardware, but not as much as I had hoped. Yes, this is the best DW game to date, but it doesn’t really push any boundaries in the action/strategy market.
  13. I think graphics junkies will probably feel a little let down when presented with the game’s visuals.
  14. The lacklustre graphics means that when the action is at its most intense, the game is still a bit of an eyesore.
  15. 70
    While a fairly competent game, it just doesn't manage to add enough new content to make it worth a serious look.
  16. Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires has been around the block a couple of million times by now, and its safe to say that the tricks being turned here are unlikely to surprise or please anyone besides the most hardcore fans.
  17. 68
    This game is worth a rental for the gamer who thinks hack-n-slash is fun, but most hardcore gamers will shy away from the repetitive gameplay.
  18. A good game if you ignore the disappointing graphics.
  19. Unless you really love Dynasty Warriors or have never played the series before, you’re going to be disappointed and probably bored.
  20. 61
    It does seem that the lower retail price of Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires is definitely necessary considering the lack of innovation and advancement in the series.
  21. Despite its annoying flaws, Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires isn’t a bad game. It's just a pitifully bare improvement over its predecessors when it should be hitting its oft-teased promise.
  22. You do have a reasonable game in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, especially given that it's come out at a budget price compare to most of the other 360 titles. However, it really does lack that next generation touch, besides some spit and polish on the visuals and the cracking frame rate.
  23. Koei's previously PS2-exclusive strategic brawler makes the jump onto the 360, but sadly doesn't feature any significant next-gen enhancements for the series.
  24. If you like this franchise's simple brand of mind-numbing hack 'n slash action, then Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires will deliver exactly what you want: more of the same. [May 2006, p.98]
  25. 60
    What I did get is some good co-op play, an extension of the Empire mode that I enjoyed a while back, and a current-gen price tag acting almost as an apology from Koei for the lack of innovation.
  26. The game still comes up short, with only two main modes (Free and Empire Mode) to play around with, an almost completely lacking sense of multiplayer, and repetitive, cheesy audio.
  27. As for the combat sequences, they rely too much on repetitive button- mashing, and leaderless soldiers stand around like sheep awaiting the slaughter.
  28. No matter how you cut it, DW5E is an experiment that has gone wrong, and this is coming from someone who unabashedly loves this franchise.
  29. Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires isn't terrible, it's just totally uninspiring.
  30. It's unquestionably last-gen in looks and often becomes massively tedious in terms of how it plays. [Issue #9]
  31. 50
    Dynasty Warriors has long outstayed its welcome, and even with Empires' semi-cool strategic elements, the game won't please anyone except the die-hard fans that, for whatever reason, just keep coming back for more. 360 owners deserve more.
  32. 50
    If you still haven't given the series a try by now and want the best version of the best installment, a rental is a good choice. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself overwhelmed with familiarity this time next year.
  33. 50
    What this boils down to in the end is that DW5E is simply a sloppy rushed port that is trying to cash in on the popularity of the franchise for the next-generation.
  34. And like "Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires," it mistakes drastically overcomplicated tactical menus for strategic depth...but underneath, it's just another tepid hack-n-slash tour of ancient China. Wise man say: Learn some new tricks.
  35. The customary mix of strategy and swordplay leaves both elements under-developed and a game so unremittingly dull it will, while failing to even poke about somewhere near the limits of the Xbox 360, quickly stretch your patience to breaking point.
  36. It doesn't work nearly as well on the 360 as it has in the past. Shame. [Issue 8, p.94]
  37. 40
    It’s not a terrible game, just a terribly underwhelming one.
  38. But an obtuse and under-documented strategic layer with a bad interface can only get you so far when it comes to recycling the same Dynasty Warrior game yet again. [July 2006, p.93]
  39. Plain and simple: if you buy Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, you’re saying it’s ok for this lame excuse for a video game series to continue dragging everything else down with it. It’s even less amusing than it used to be now that it’s infecting next-gen consoles.
  40. Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires would be less annoying if we hadn’t played it about eight times before. [July 2006, p.132]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Nov 30, 2013
    Now, let me be clear that this game isn't bad. It's actually a pretty good timekiller and with a friend, this game can be a real blast. However, this game does suffer some serious faults. First of all, there's not really any campaign to go through. You've basically got this map of China where you have to dominate the other factions in the area. Sounds fun enough, right? It is to some extent but over time, it just feels like you're fighting the same battle over and over and over. In addition to that, you'll begin feeling like there's hardly much of a map to play with. China begins to feel pretty small which is funny considering how big it actually is. Anyway, it's not really what I'd call a good game but you can definitely kill time with it if you're with a friend. Full Review »
  2. JayL.
    Mar 31, 2007
    If you enjoy other dynasty warriors games you will enjoy this one. And there are tons of achievements to keep you busy.
  3. NeilV.
    Jul 15, 2006
    Very good game, particularly learning the intracies of the empire mode. It's actually very easy to pick up (takes less than 5 minutes to feel like an old pro), but deep enough that you probably won't master it immediately. Very similar to past installments, but newer and better with more options. For the price, this is a very good game. Full Review »