Akihiro Suzuki on the Dynasty Warrior Series

At Tokyo Game Show I was lucky enough to catch up with Akihiro Suzuki, the director and producer of the Dynasty Warriors series. With a long line of games in the series Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires will be the newest addition to what is becoming a legacy, a dynasty, if you will, of hack and slash games. It is also worth noting that in the East the game is actually known as Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires due to the West having a different number of games. So here is what Akihiro Suzuki had to say about DW7E/DW6E:

Ryan: With the Dynasty Warriors series it’s become a running constant that you do one Dynasty Warriors, then Extreme Legends and then an Empires game; what’s new to the Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires?

Suzuki-san: For Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires we’ve added a new system called the “Fame” system and depending on the actions that the player takes, it will determine the personality the character will takes in their life.

Ryan: The previous Dynasty Warriors were set in the Wei, Wu and Shu Dynasties and in Dynasty Warriors 7 you added the Jin Dynasty. Is there any interest in adding more to Dynasties you’ve already used or are there any plans to go back and flesh-out some other Dynasties?

Suzuki-san: We’re definitely not thinking of going back to just Three Kingdoms, but going forward if you look at the book itself “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” you’ll see that there are various other groups as well, so there might be some possibilities of adding a few things here and there. Currently there are no immediate plans to expand.

The stylish Xu Shu shows us that he’s not just a generic NPC anymore.

 Ryan: How about new characters? I was able to play as Xú Shù today, who plays really well. Are there any other new characters who we aren’t aware of yet or who weren’t playable in the demo?

Suzuki-san: In Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires, Xú Shù is the only new character that we have. I can’t really talk about any new ones coming in the future. One thing you didn’t see on the show floor today is that he also has an additional weapon that will be in the final version of the game. It’s called a “hajoso”(?) it’s like a long spear with rockets attached to it, so look forward to that.

Ryan: In previous Empires games you’ve changed old characters’ looks or predominant weapon; are there any changes like that in this version?

Suzuki-san: In terms of the looks of the characters, they’ve remained the same as they were in Dynasty Warriors 7. However, in terms of weapons, the ones that were paid DLC in Dynasty Warriors 7 will be included in Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires by default.

Ryan: Does that also apply to the costumes and BGM that were DLC in Dynasty Warriors 7?

Suzuki-san: Any costumes that were downloaded for Dynasty Warriors 7 will be usable in Empires. All the music is already included on-disc in Empires.

Ryan: How about the ranking up of your officers? I was speaking to someone earlier today and they said you can go from a lower officer to the ruler of a kingdom by yourself and take voluntary units with you. Could you expand on that?

Suzuki-san: So what we have is called the “Fame” system. In it you can be a free officer so you’re not with any groups, then there’s a strategist and you can also become a ruler. Depending on which position you’re in, the type of command you can issue will differ.

Look at all those provinces that need conquered… I mean unified.

Ryan: What about the “Create a Warrior” mode – is that returning?

Suzuki-san: Yes, the “Edit” mode will return in this one. We’ve made it a lot more robust than previous versions. This time you can change really fine details for facial features, body type, size and different parts of the costume. There are a lot of customizable parts in there!

Ryan: How about the Warriors Orochi franchise? Have you ever considered making a Warriors Orochi: Empires?

Suzuki-san: (laughs) I have heard a lot of fans in Japan ask the exact same question. Currently there are no plans.

Ryan: Being involved with the series for so long, have you grown attached to any specific character(s) from the series?

Suzuki-san: Any time anyone asks this I’ve always answered that it’s Xiahou Dun.

Ryan: Do you find that the series is just as popular in the West as it is in the East?

Suzuki-san: It definitely seems to be lot more popular in Asia. Probably because of the environment and type of story it’s drawn from it resonates a lot more with Asian players. When the very first Dynasty Warriors came out, it was such a brand new game system it gained quite a following at that point. There haven’t been a lot of drastic changes to the key game system or the Asian history theme since then, so maybe this does resonate as well with the western players.

Ryan: I’ve seen the Japanese release date is the 8th November over here. What’s the news on the Western release date?

Suzuki-san: Next year we’re looking at the first quarter for North America and Europe.

It was an honour to meet Akihiro Suzuki and after having a good shot of the game I can honestly say it feels like they have polished everything that you love and the new character is pretty damn cool. If, like me, you are a massive fan of the series you will be dying to play this come Q1 next year. So it’s time to start sharpening your swords and setting in place you battle fans. China is not going to unify itself.







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