The Dynasty Franchise by Toplitz Productions is rather unique in that while all of the games are very similar to one another and provide a “low violence” alternative to a traditional survival game or empire builder, for the most part, they are developed by separate developers, which can result in “newer” titles in the franchise lacking quality of life fixes available in previous titles due to both titles having been worked on simultaneously by different development teams each with their own priorities and vision for their respective titles.
While there are many similarities shared between Dynasty titles, the following are some of the most prominent shared mechanics and are a huge part of why Dynasty titles appeal to such a wide demographic of gamers, with fans of survival, city building, roleplaying, simulation and management games finding Dynasty titles appealing.
Player characters can win the hearts of a local NPC girl to start a family, with the wives having varying degrees of interactivity, with Medival Dynasty wife NPC currently having the most advanced AI in the franchise.
Players who play long enough to die can take over as their son, who will continue to improve the family holdings while finding love and fathering children of his own.
While weapons are in most dynasty games, combat is optional in the most dangerous settings (Mediveal, wild West, Sengoku), allowing players who prefer non-violent games to enjoy the game.
The blueprint building system utilised by the Dynasty games results in much prettier and more realistic-looking buildings than the freeform systems found in most survival games, often resulting in inexperienced players building box-shaped buildings.
However, it is rather tedious, with players being required to repeatedly hit the build button anywhere on the blueprint, while parts appear as if by magic after the correct amount of clicks; sure, it looks nice. Still, as someone who loves free-form building, I found it rather limiting and honestly tedious, considering the excessive amount of gathering required to build even the most basic of buildings.
Dynasty games allow players to assign NPCs to various tasks, such as using machinery, gathering resources, or preparing food.
While the type of quests found in most Dynasty titles are usually rather simple, fans of roleplaying games appreciate the ability to complete quests, and they do help make the world feel more alive and give players a sense of progression.
Being part of the Dynasty franchise is both a blessing and a curse, with new entries suffering not only from high expectations and player interest due to games such as Medieval Dynasty but also a healthy dose of scepticism due to titles such as Wild West Dynasty, which resulted in many gamers at least temporarily losing faith in the franchise, and to a much lesser degree its publisher.
At launch, Sengoku Dynasty had a big problem with tool durability, especially with starter tools, which resulted in players needing to recraft axes roughly twice per minute while cutting down trees and clearing burnt-out buildings.
To make matters worse, there was no repair system in place for tools, meaning players had to go through crafting a new axe and assigning it to a toolbar slot roughly twice every minute, which honestly feels terrible.
Thankfully, the developers acknowledged this was poor game design and implemented a workaround that, while functional, is still ridiculous. Stone axes still break after 20-30 seconds of use, and if you have only one axe, you will be forced to recraft the axe from the handcraft menu.
However, you now have the open of crafting a bag full of axes at once, burning through them, and breaking/auto-equipping through them at an alarming rate until all premade axes are destroyed. This is a poor solution to a major problem, and it is very immersion-breaking having to either craft a new axe every 30 seconds or carry a sack full of them to clear a small crop of trees when stone axes have been proven to be rather effective and certainly did not fall to pieces every 30 seconds, while I understand that everything takes place at a faster rate including the felling of trees in Sengoku Dynasty, this is taking that to the extreme.
Considering how pretty it looks, Sengoku Dynasty runs rather well, with 1080p/60fps at ultra settings being possible on lower-end hardware If shadows and foliage are lowered slightly to medium-high; otherwise, players will see fps drop down to the low 30s whenever they enter a village or region that is dense with shrubbery.
While this may sound bleak, it is far from it, with most early access titles fairing far worse, giving me hope that Sengoku Dynasty will perform well on a wide array of hardware once it completes its early access journey.
While soon, Unreal Engine 5 games will become as common as Unreal Engine 4 games are today, as it stands, Sengoku Dynasty is one of the first survival games to utilise the latest version of the ever-popular engine, and as such, is one of the first to show a few of the visual and performance improvements we can expect from Unreal Engine 5 as the 9th console generation progresses.
Sengoku Dynasty launched with an (admittedly bare bones) cooperative mode, which makes it the first in the franchise to do so, with Medieval Dynasty not revealing its cooperative mode until July 2023, almost two years after leaving early access.
If Sengoku Dynasty can improve and iterate on this feature, including a robust character creator and ability to host the games public or password-protected games on a persistent server, Sengoku Dynasty will very likely attract many roleplayers, who will flock to any title that allows them to experience a new setting in a meaningful way.
When many players think of the Sengoku period, they think of continual war, and this has caused many gamers to become confused that Sengoku Dynasty does not play like Ghost of Tsushima, despite the developers never implying that was the direction they were heading, and the Dynasty series as a whole being a low violence alternative to traditional survival games.
Sengoku Dynasty is a game about rebuilding a better world after a war ravages the land. While this can be rather slow and, at times, tedious, to me, Sengoku Dynasty is like a model village, and with every building I create and decor I place, my village further takes on the design I have envisioned for it.
Would I personally prefer more action? Honestly, yes, I would love NPC sieges and Mount and Blade-style battles; however, I can appreciate Sengoku Dynasty is a good game exactly in the way the developers envisioned it, even if it doesn’t necessarily meet all the requirements for me to continue to play it for an extended period.
Sengoku Dynasty is a role playing game video game developed by Superkami and published by Toplitz Productions, it was released on 10 August 2023 and retails for $29.99.
Sengoku Dynasty is available exclusively on PC.
Superkami has laid out a comprehensive roadmap for Sengoku Dynasty’s journey through early access, including multiple substantial content updates, player classes, and, most interestingly, the addition of a female playable character, which fans of the Dynasty series have wanted for many years.
As of November 2023, they have done a pretty good job meeting the deadline, with the first major content update being released within three months of launching into early access.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Sengoku Dynasty is rated unrated and contains the following:
Sengoku Dynasty is an excellent game for fans of the Dynasty Franchise and simulation games in general. For players who already completed previously released Dynasty titles, I fully recommend it.
However, for everyone else, I would suggest waiting for Sengoku Dynasty to mature before purchasing, as while it is an excellent game that shows a lot of promise, it is not as feature-complete or content-rich as Dynasty titles that have completed their early access journey.