With Dynasty Warriors 9 being the series’ first open-world title, Koei Tecmo and Omega Force faced a new kind of challenge. Siliconera spoke with Producer Akihiro Suzuki who talked about making an open-world Dynasty Warriors game, making the open space more interesting, and his idea of a cute mascot for the Dynasty Warriors series.
Dynasty Warriors 9 is a big evolution to the Warriors series with a large open-world to explore. What inspired this change?
Akihiro Suzuki, Producer: From the previous Dynasty Warriors games there were already seven main titles released, not including the spin-offs and the battle systems were fairly similar. For Dynasty Warriors 9, we wanted to challenge ourselves and create something new.
What was the biggest challenge implementing an open world?
Akihiro Suzuki: The first challenge was putting all of China into the game. That led to another challenge because of all this open space there are times between fighting when you are exploring the open space and we wanted to make that more interesting.
We solved this by adding enemies moving in the map. While the player moves around and fights other enemies move by themselves. There is a chance a player will run into these characters and start a new battle. How the [enemy] characters moves changes depending on the time period and as the time period changes the battle locations also change.
Players can advance the time period by running into story battles directly or weaken enemies by doing side missions. Can you tell us more about this system?
Akihiro Suzuki: We set target objectives like defeating a certain character and under that objective there are soldiers with other battles. Defeating those soldiers will help the player clear the main objective and defeat that main character. The reason for that was because we wanted to create more free movement. Rather than clearing a single objective to complete a mission, we wanted them to explore the map and pick objectives themselves
Dynasty Warriors was the start of the Warriors style action games and now there are so many takes on the one man versus an army style fighting like Hyrule Warriors and One Piece: Pirate Warriors. How do you differentiate the Warriors games so they feel unique?
Akihiro Suzuki: The main way we differentiate each Warriors game is through the characters since they come from different IPs. We make an actions based on the characters yourself.
For future Warriors collaborations will you use the Dynasty Warriors 9 engine?
Akihiro Suzuki: I can’t say that [Laughs].
Warriors All-Stars had Oda Nobunyaga, a cat mascot of Oda Nobunaga from Samurai Cats, in it. What kind of cute mascot character would you like to create for the Dynasty Warriors series?
Akihiro Suzuki: Nobunyaga appeared as a crossover in Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires where you can play as him inside the game. That was the beginning of having him inside a Warriors game and how he came into Warriors All-Stars.
I would make Zhuge Liang into a mascot character and since Nobunyaga is part of a cat series I would make him a dog [Laughs].
Dynasty Warriors 9 releases in Japan on February 8, 2018 for PlayStation 4. It’ll release in North America and Europe on February 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.