The subsequent battle portion of Empires is pretty much just Samurai Warriors 2. If you’ve ever played any Warriors title, you know the deal: smash the square button for 30 minutes, watch oddly-voiced cut scene, repeat. Taking one of several playable characters, each with their own weapons and special attacks, you'll lead your forces to take out enemy bases, acquiring land and spoils along the way. Though, despite having a herd of troops in our employ, many of them tend to stand around if their immediate area isn't under attack, so we almost always single-handedly dispatched the hundreds of mindless enemies ourselves. Again. Granted, it's better than getting a message that your boys killed the level boss while you were half a mile away, but there's got to be a happy medium, right?
Visually, Empires is on par with its contemporaries on both PS2 and 360, though neither version will amaze you. But the game’s camera, which never worked well in Dynasty Warriors either, continues to be an issue. Moving sluggishly and at an awkward distance, the camera unfortunately makes a good view of the battlefield nearly impossible. More worrisome however could be the inane yammering of the game’s various characters. It’s distracting. This can of course be turned off in the options but it really shouldn’t have to be.
We'll reserve final judgment until our review, of course, but so far, this looks like exactly what we'd expect out of this series: a whole lot of button mashing and a little bit of choosing which armies should go where. It's a decent diversion, though it's clearly just more of the same "guilty pleasure" experience we’ve seen before.