Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

Right off the bat, I feel I should declare a tiny bit of a bias before I get into the review. You see, for some years I lived with a man who loved Dynasty Warriors, and was addicted to it like some sort of digital smack. He hungrily devoured each and every sequel, even though they frequently offered little more than a different selection of hats for the established characters. He bought Dynasty Warriors 2, 3, 3XL, 4, 4XL, 5 and 5XL on the Playstation 2. We spent quite a few happy hours playing co-op split screen, battling our way through armies of plebs in Ancient China.

So, to Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, which is… well, more of the same. You control a warrior battling on behalf of one of the three kingdoms, Wu, Shu and Wei, and your task is usually to fight through an army of footsoldiers, find an enemy general, beat him with a stick and win. Mostly this consists of pressing Square a lot, and then switching to Triangle after a few presses. As gameplay goes, it’s simple but effective, and relatively satisfying, as fans of the series will tell you.

To that core gameplay, Strikeforce adds an Assassin’s Creed 2 style town, where you can shop for items, buy and make weapons, buy and sell goods and upgrade the existing shops. This RPG style element does add a little to the game, but it feels a bit tacked on, and mostly unnecessary. Also added is the ability to play with up to three other players online, which is relatively fun, but has unfortunately come at the expense of the previously popular co-op split screen mode, which is inexplicably absent.

My problem with Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, though, is this. In 2000 Koei released Dynasty Warriors 2. It had an awful camera, you kept getting crowded into a corner by enemies who would frequently disappear as the console tried to display too many, who would then reappear exactly as they hit you in the back. This was assuming you could manipulate the terrible camera into pointing in the direction of the enemies in the first place, which was a major chore. The draw distance was piss poor, and enemies would frequently appear about six feet in front of you, somewhat defeating the point of the perpetual fog that the game attempted to use as cover. It had terrible writing and voice acting, although this actually worked in its favour as it was frequently quite amusing.

In 2010, all of the above is still true, except they have removed the fog and split-screen co-op, subdivided the levels into tiny sections with loading screens for each, and added even more enemies that keep hitting you in the back. One decade ago, this was forgivable, almost charming, but in 2010 with the power of modern consoles, this just isn’t good enough to cut it.

Don’t get me wrong, there is fun to be had here, and if you’re a Dynasty Warriors nut-job you’ll probably buy it anyway, but otherwise, it’s hard to see why this would get your gaming money over all the other high quality games around today.







2 responses to “Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce”

  1. Simon avatar

    Nice review! My feelings and experiences with the series are almost exactly the same as yours.

  2. Markatansky avatar

    Oh hello, Dynasty Warriors! Still getting terrible reviews form everyone because you’re a crap game? Don’t worry, I’ll still buy you. But yes, you are terrible. 😀

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