In Dynasty Warriors 9, there is an open world with not much to see and do. Different major battles and events are scattered across the map, with minor battles connected to them to lower the overall difficulty of such fights and offer filler opportunities that allow additional officials to participate in the brawl. Still, while there is very little to do, people can engage in some activities. There are some crafting opportunities, horses can be acquired and hideaways can be purchased.
Crafting is a relatively simple affair in Dynasty Warriors 9. You can run over resources in the field or during battle to pick them up. Hunting animals and fishing are other means of acquiring parts. Climbing one of the lookout towers will automatically add these deposits to the map, but odds are you will find them as you fast travel. Aside from vitality powders and other healing items, making new items is not a terribly essential task. Weapons carry over across characters and every character can use every possible weapon. So if you find a weapon you really like and invest in better versions of it with helpful gems, you will not need to spend a lot of time making stuff.
Messing around with the horses is another possible activity. There are different kinds with various specialties you can purchase, like ones that are slightly faster or sturdier. But all of them are unnaturally good jumpers. Which means you can get horses into rather unexpected locations. I liked to play a game I made myself called “horse parking.” I parked my horse on top of guard towers, two-story homes and gates. I left it abandoned in the middle of a river. One time, I scaled the side of a mountain I do not think I was meant to climb, left it at the top and slid down until I could barely see it. Since there was not much to do in these barren spaces, I would try to see how agile and precise the horse could be and use that to amuse myself.
As for hideaways, there are 25 total. The cheapest one I have seen is 30,000 gold, so if you want all of them, it will cost around 700,000. This is something you do not need to do. You only need one hideaway to begin bonding with officers, which only unlocks skills and gallery images. Hideaways carry over across characters, so they can all share. Also, each hideaway is identical, with the coin collector and trader furniture not offering much variation. So as long as you have one home with a bed to advance time and heal, a chest to store gifts, a stove for cooking and pot for crafting, you will be ready to host virtual friends.
Even though it is an open world game, Dynasty Warriors 9 rewards players most when they follow a set course. This does not mean there are no other things to do. You can craft items and equipment for all your characters to use or set up a home that everyone can share in their respective stories, regardless of their alignment. You can also make your own fun and attempt some horse parkour. There are opportunities, if you are willing to look for them.
Dynasty Warriors 9 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.