Dynasty Warriors is one of those franchises that will never die. The very first came out in 1997, & has spawned not only several sequels but three different spin-off series. I’ve only played Dynasty Warriors 3 before, back on the XBox. It was a fun game. Not particularly mind-bending or complex, but still fun. I think most hack-&-slash games are like that: fun in small doses.
Now I’ve rented Dynasty Warrior 7, the most current release. In some ways it’s very different from the 3rd version. There are several different game types that weren’t the that version. In 3, you chose your warrior & played through their campaign of battles, leveling up as you did (& got some crappy slide show at the end hailing your accomplishments in battle & proclaiming you a God of War). Seven still has those features, but in a slightly different format. Story Mode has you playing through a clan’s history. You don’t get to choose your character, but the character does change from battle to battle. The second main mode is Conquest. This is more like an RPG, where you select your character & play through various cities & battles, increasing you stats & forming alliances. This mode allows you to unlock new characters, weapons, etc.
So far I’ve only played through one battle in Conquest Mode & four or five stages in Story Mode for Wu. I like both modes equally well so far. Story Mode is, obviously, more story-based but Conquest is more forge-your-own-destiny type. I’m not a history buff, but it’s nice to see the various battles, although most stages tend to play out the same way. Keep defeating officers until you can beat the main baddie. Conquest seems to allow a bit more freedom for choice. Plus you can change your character whenever you want.
The combat can seem overwhelming at first, but once you learn (or relearn) the combat system you’ll be racking up 1000 KO’s per battle in no time, especially if you’re OCD like me & have to wipe out every battalion before moving on to the next. I also like that I didn’t have to collect a saddle before I could ride a horse, & it can be called from anywhere. The fighting is over the top, stylish, & easy to get used to. I do wish there was a lock-on function, however. Half the time I seem to be punching at nothing, trying to kill the lone surviving soldier trapped in a throng of allies.
One thing that’s different is you only have one officer following you around. Although you could choose this in 3, I always picked to have a horde of archers follow me around. I kinda miss having my own little army picking off straying enemies from afar.
The voice actors are also better than the last version I played. It’s not perfect, & they still sound a bit too over the top at times, but at least it doesn’t sound like an old kung-fu movie anymore.
Dynasty Warriors 7 has too much unlockable content for me to wait until I complete the game entirely to review it, so I’ll probably play a few more days to get a solid grip on the game’s pros & cons before posting a review.