Bladestorm: Nightmare

Not long ago, Koei Tecmo announced the mid-Febrary release date of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round for Xbox One and 360. The latest in the popular Dead or Alive series, Last Round will be the first fully 3D fighting game for the Xbox One. Most interestingly, the game will be offered as a free demo with four characters, a $5 version with 8 characters, or a full retail package with all 32 characters for $40.

Dead or Alive: Last Round won't be the only early 2015 release from Koei Tecmo. In January, the publisher plans to release Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires for Xbox One and Playstation 4. Also coming for those systems in early 2015 (no specific release date) is Bladestorm: Nightmare. Both are strategy games based on historical conflicts, promising hundreds of enemies on-screen at once and hundreds of hours of gameplay. Read on for trailers and early impressions!

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires

When I looked at the slate of upcoming Japanese-exclusive Xbox One games back in September, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires had not yet been announced for release in North America and Europe. Now the game has a western release date: January 27, 2015, a few months after its November 20th Japanese release.

Empires is the second expansion for Dynasty Warriors 8, the long-running series set within China's Three Kingdoms period. Like Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate (which is something of a Dynasty Warriors spinoff), much of the gameplay involves hacking and slashing at battlefields filled with hundreds of enemy warriors at once. It's good, addictive fun.

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires for Xbox One

But Empires isn't just a large-scale action game. Players get to choose from various roles that dramatically affect how the game plays. You can be a leader and set policies for your government, exercising diplomacy with other nations. Or choose to be a soldier and rise through the ranks as you complete missions for your country.

New features in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires include the ability to customize your soldiers, horses, and banner (in addition to general character customization). Players can marry an NPC and have children who will receive their parents' traits and grow to become warriors someday. Seasons and weather now affect battles as well. Along with the more historical setting, these features will give Empires a much different flavor than Warriors Orochi 3.

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires will cost $49.99 when it debuts on Xbox One and Playstation 4 on January 27.

Bladestorm: Nightmare

The original BladeStorm: the Hundred Years' War debuted on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 all the way back in 2007. The new game can be viewed as either a sequel or a remake, as it once again takes place between the conflict between England and France that lasted over a century (1337-1453).

Players will start by creating their own mercenary who will then side either with the English or the French. This warrior will then go on to lead troops in large scale battles. Players can command squads of different types of soldiers, such as melee, mounted, and ranged, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. In addition to the strategic combat, the game also features deep character-building and RPG elements.

Bladestorm: Nightmare for Xbox One

Bladestorm: Nightmare introduces a new 'Nightmare' mode that breaks away from historical events. Players can choose from over 32 additional characters, including Joan of Arc (who already appeared in Warriors Orochi 3), Edward the Black Prince, and a knight called La Hire.

The original Bladestorm was big on ambition but suffered from less than impressive graphics and AI. If the new game can overcome those problems, it should be a big hit with strategy and RPG fans. The power of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 should certainly help (although there will also be a Playstation 3 version too).

Are you guys excited about reenacting historic battles from China and Europe?