Samurai Warriors 4 Empires (PlayStation 4) Review

By Luna Eriksson 26.03.2016

Review for Samurai Warriors 4 Empires on PlayStation 4

The long running Japanese tactical hack 'n' slash franchise has a magical formula that keeps it exciting despite its repetitive nature by keeping the player on edge through what happens on the battlefield. Samurai Warriors 4 Empires, however, takes it one step further by forcing the player to be aware about what happens outside the battlefield as well, and adding bigger strategy elements into the game. Should focus be on conquering opposing countries, or should the troops bide their time between battles, to stay fighting fit? Samurai Warriors 4 Empires forces the player to make such decisions in addition to the ones on the battlefield. Does it work well? Read on for the answer!

In the old days of Japan, samurai clans fought for dominance over the land, attempting to unite it under their clan's flag in peace and harmony. Peace doesn't come without sacrifice, though; to fulfil this they had to defeat all their opponents, and only then could the country flourish under a single flag. This is the premise for the setting of Samurai Warriors 4 Empires and it sets the tone for the huge number of campaigns offered in the game.

There are several different ages during which the samurai fight and that the player can pick between, and each has specific characters reflecting those who lived during that era. There is also the option to pick which clan to play as in the selected age, which has significant impact not only on the goal of the campaign, but also which generals are available from the start, and there are plenty of clans to choose from.

If none of the premade generals are fancied, it is also possible to make a unique general to throw into battle as (likely) an avatar/main PC through the many campaigns. The customization of said character is vast and offers lots of options for customisation, both in looks and playstyle. This makes it possible for anyone to make a character they enjoy playing, but those who want a more historically correct experience can skip this altogether without any problems.

Screenshot for Samurai Warriors 4 Empires on PlayStation 4

The combat in Samurai Warriors 4 Empires is well refined and developed, putting the well-tried formula at a performance peak. Rarely before has combat felt as "on edge" as it does here. The missions are timed around how many resources are put into the battle. Before sending the troops out, the decision must be made, of how many generals to send into the skirmish. The larger the number, the more resources it costs to maintain the army on the battlefield.

Resources are given out mostly in the autumn, so they are limited for the year, but can also be earned by fending off an attack from an opposing clan. This directly affects how often it is possible to initate combat, depending on how many troops are sent out. It also gives reasons to not send the entire army to face a small enemy, as it prevents them from conquering neighbouring territory afterwards. It does also adds nicely to the feel of ruling an actual empire.

Ultimately though, these features initially feel shoehorned into the experience and could easily have not been there. The politics part of the game feels like a sideshow compared to the battles that are the real meat. However, when the combat is as good as this, it is forgivable to be unable to go to war every season of every year, and the conquering feels much more of an accomplishment since there is actually something at stake, creating a more living world and more living game.

Screenshot for Samurai Warriors 4 Empires on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Samurai Warriors 4 Empires offers a great experience in the long running franchise, and stands out with the strategical aspects that the resource system and empire-ruling simulator provide. At first glance it might be annoying, but after a short while it becomes very charming and gives life and personality to the game in a way that would otherwise be difficult. The possibility to create characters is also a neat feature, and it gives the player the option of playing as a character they feel comfortable with, both visually and mechanically. This makes Samurai Warriors 4 Empires a game that is easy to recommend to fans of the franchise.


Omega Force


Koei Tecmo





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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