The latest issue of Famitsu focused on the Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires character creation system and the Strolling mode. We have previously known that the Nioh 2-based character creator will have armors overlaying inner clothing. However, we newly learn that the player can have another character accompany them in the open world exploration mode. [Thanks, Ryokutya!]
The companion will follow the player character anywhere on the open world map. The player can then boot up Photo Mode to take detailed portraits. They can also customize the image colors and facial expressions for both characters.
Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires will also include character-based events, such as hunting animals outside and eating meals together in a restaurant. These events will improve the relationship level between both characters. When the relationship level has improved enough, the companion will provide a new stratagem that the player can use. At the highest level, the characters will hold a Sworn Sibling oath or a marriage.
The Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires Strolling mode will also have a feature where the player can find and recruit more officers into their faction. However, the game will limit the number of recruitments the player can perform in a single session.
In a prior interview with Famitsu in June 2021, Akihiro Suzuki revealed the Strolling mode as a way to retain the open world map. The team put less emphasis on this mode because open world is no longer the main focus in this title.
Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires will be available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Koei Tecmo will release the game first in Japan and Asia on December 23, 2021. North American and European releases will follow later on February 15, 2022.