Samurai Warriors 2: Empires - hands-on preview

Hacking away at your enemies like so much tuna sashimi is great, but any shogun worth his katana can tell you that most battles are won before they begin - with careful planning. Though, an army of bloodthirsty samurai doesn’t hurt either.

Enter Samurai Warriors 2: Empires, which mixes the original game's steel-swinging action with board game-like tactical strategy. This forms a game, not shockingly, much like the nearly identical Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires.

The meat of Empires is comprised of two portions - creatively tagged battle and strategy - in which you must unite the 25 warring states of ancient Japan with equal parts diplomacy, subterfuge and, of course, the business end of a well-honed blade through several historical scenarios.

After choosing a clan to rule in strategy mode, you will execute public policy, bolster your defenses, form alliances and otherwise prepare to take over rival territory - or survive attacks on your own soil.