Some things are to be expected; there won't be any milk in the fridge on Sunday morning - or if there is it'll have gone off. Other things are predictable; go to the pub without a coat and by last orders it'll be pissing down outside. Then there are certainties; every few months, the Koei sausage machine will crimp off another game featuring massed battles fought by ancient oriental warriors - each new release completely indistinguishable from the last to the casual bystander. And what's this? Displaying a regularity rivalled only by the chairman of the Prune Marketing Board's bowel movements, it's Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires.
Tempting as it was to present this review simply as a series a spot-the-difference screengrabs cherry-picked from random previous instalments and the latest edition, that wouldn't do. No, because while many gamers would rather click on one of those "Shoot the duck and win a prize!" banners than follow a link to a review of a new Dynasty Warriors game, the series does have quite an army of fans. And seeing as you did click on that review link, there's a good chance that includes you.
As the hardcore will know, Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires is actually the sequel to Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, rather than a spin-off from either DW5 or DW5: Xtreme Legends. The Empires games have a greater emphasis on the tactical gameplay elements, and the idea here is to take control of all China, one territory at a time.