By: Uma Smith
It appears that the Dynasty Warriors series continues to survive with its recent eighth title. For the past couple of years, these games are usually accompanied by a DLC, labeled Xtreme Legends, several weeks later. This time, however, if you have delayed purchasing their recent title, then you have your own patience (or perhaps indifference) to thank as Tecmo-Koei has released Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends for PS3 — there’s also a Complete Edition for PS4 and Vita owners.So what should one expect from such a package as this?
If you’ve ever gotten your hands on a Dynasty Warriors game, then you should be expecting the controls to be absolutely simple with just movement and attack commands to keep track off. In this case, though, it’s even better since your character now has the ability to carry two weapons at once.
Considering how you have to play out your strategy by matching the right type of weapon depending on the enemy you encounter, this isn’t exactly a completely mindless button-mashing affair. On the contrary, getting the grasp of this concept will be greatly beneficial as you can execute special Storm Rush combos as well as pull off counter moves.
Although I must admit Dynasty Warriors 8 has the best graphics in comparison to its predecessors, I should point out the imperfect environmental presentation and low-resolution textures making their appearances on screen. Still, the characters are well designed with a high degree of detail.
Audio wise, it manages to keep the adrenaline going with the hacking and slashing sounds occupying the overall gameplay experience. And when you have exciting and dynamic music playing in the background, it’s easy to be taken away by this high-octane atmosphere.
For those that are unaware, Dynasty Warriors takes place during the Chinese Three Kingdoms era where the gameplay will have you basically hacking and slashing against a bunch of enemies while, at the same time, leading your own army. As its name suggests, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends comes packed with even more content than the original DW8. There is an additional storyline included along with an “Ultimate” difficulty option and five new characters added to the roster.
As you jump into the main story mode, you’ll be playing for territorial supremacy while controlling the various Wei, Shuand Wuclans. There’s also the Lu Bu’scampaign, where an extra several hours are added in this edition of the game. Playing as Lu Bu himself is quite satisfying and helps to extend one’s enjoyment level with the Dynasty Warriors series. That is, as long as you can look beyond the constant button-mashing affair and incorporate some strategy into the mix.
Having 82 characters to choose from can be an absolute delight as it adds diversity to the gameplay. On the other hand, it can leave beginners confused and indecisive with the vast number of fighters, each of whom has their own unique styles. Nonetheless, there is no one character that you have to avoid using. Everyone has their special skills that will provide an edge to the whole battle system. In addition, you’ll be able to direct your clan to engage in the fight as per your commands.
What really elevates Dynasty Warriors 8 is the new battle systems being implemented. As mentioned earlier, each character can hold two weapons, thus affording them the capability to execute a second special attack. On top of that, you can combine weapons to produce better attributes and effects, including elemental damages to enemies and healing factors.
Of course, you’ll need to collect gems in order to utilize this feature as every modification will have a cost. By having this type of weapon-fusion system in place, it makes the game more engaging and addicting. It can potentially get players obsessed with discovering particular effects from their choices.
Still, Dynasty Warriors 8 does suffer the curse of being a superficially simple hack n’ slash game, regardless of how much depth there is to it. And because of that, certain players may find this monotonous from the get-go no matter the number of additional modes available. Hopefully, the ability to play with a friend either locally or online can remedy part of this curse. At the end of the day, the fun factor highly depends on one’s appreciation for these types of games.
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends is by far the best in its series in terms of content and presentation. However, this non-stop action is an acquired taste that can be viewed as repetitive by those looking for more complexity and involvement. Nevertheless, players who consider this series to be quality gaming will definitely find this“xtremely” satisfying.