Dynasty Warriors 7

Dynasty Warriors 7 is the latest in a long line of Dynasty Warriors titles – a line that spans not only the six previous incarnations of “pure” Dynasty Warriors games, but also the Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce and Gundam games. I’m a massive fan of the series, but please be aware that I am not blind to precisely what a Dynasty Warriors game generally is: borderline rubbish, in a “so bad it’s good” sort of way. When I wrote this review, I half-expected to be praising the game sarcastically purely because of the series’ track record. But no, Dynasty Warriors 7 is surprisingly good – the best yet, in fact.

With each new Dynasty Warriors game, gameplay features come and go like passengers on a bus and 7 is no different. Probably the most notable change is that the Story Mode has had a gargantuan overhaul. Whereas in previous games you would pick a character and play through the entire timeline from that character’s perspective, in 7 you pick a kingdom from the four available, Wu, Wei, Shu and Jin, and you see the timeline unfold from that kingdom’s perspective instead. Originally I was quite annoyed with this change, because I liked having hundreds of characters to choose from but when it boils down to it, it’s actually much better this way. What this means, is that the developers have been able to focus on the story rather than the character, and as a result, you can focus on the story too.

The story isn’t the only aspect to have been streamlined either – combat is now much more simple. Previously, you had loads of different combos to learn for each character and it was a long and arduous process getting to grips with them all. 7 got rid of all that and replaced it with a system whereby you have a light attack and a strong attack, and the number of times that you use a light attack in a combo before your heavy attack determines the power behind your heavy attack – some characters also get extra attacks when they use a weapon they have a particular affinity for too. Throw in the fact that all characters now have a secondary weapon that they can use in battle, not to mention that the button used to switch between your two weapons triggers an attack before the switch, and you have a simple but deceptively deep combat system behind the game.

That said, simpler combat probably isn’t what the game needed. It’s because of the combat system that the game is weighed down by vast amounts of repetition. Admittedly, there is a fair chunk of variety in that you’ll occasionally get to grips with usable catapults and ballistae, and that every so often a mission will come along that is somewhat unlike the two or three before it, but other than that, the game still plays and feels almost exactly as it has done for the last few incarnations. If you’re a fan of the series then no doubt you won’t see that as a a bad thing, but the chances of anyone picking this up, having never played Dynasty Warriors in their life and being impressed by the gameplay are slim indeed.

I’m actually finding it difficult to find anything dreadfully wrong with Dynasty Warriors 7 – other than it’s repetitiousness, I mean. Pulling off an awesome combo is incredible and simple simultaneously; the graphics are great, if a little dark and gloomy at times; there’s loads to do and unlock and the story is much more fleshed out than previous games in the series. Between levels, you’re shown a basic map of the regions of China while a voice-over tells you who attacked what – it can be pretty underwhelming, certainly, but considering the scale of the battles that would have taken place, you’d really feel left out had there been a cutscene there.

At the same time though, even with all these improvements and changes, I can’t help but feel that Dynasty Warriors 7 is still really just more of the same. The core gameplay has barely changed since the second Dynasty Warriors game and because the core gameplay isn’t exactly groundbreaking, it makes the whole experience feel very dated. I should also point out that literally every Dynasty Warriors game has taken place in the same period of Chinese history and, save for a few different pronunciations of names and the like, is exactly the same story-wise.

As much as I love the Dynasty Warriors series, it’s reached the point where the name is synonymous with repetition and how little it changes between each game – it saddens me to say that nothing short of a complete reworking or the core gameplay and story will likely ever really redeem the Dynasty Warriors franchise.







5 responses to “Dynasty Warriors 7”

  1. Paul R avatar
    Paul R

    I dont want Dynasty Warriors to change, Warriors Orochi and Gundam can switch it up, for the mainline game I just want more of the same. More corny dialogue, more textures, more weather effects, the ability to swim. Stuff like that would be great.

    DW is the type of game I don’t play when it first comes out, I play when I’m in the mood to play it, because that’s what I want to play.

  2. Lauren avatar

    Another series I need to be exposed to. I remember playing a demo of the first one many moons ago and was not getting really into it.

  3. Mike avatar

    The first one is utter pump. The second one is when the series started getting good.

    If you want to get into it, I highly recommend this one. You’ll love it if you’ve never played a Dynasty title before.

  4. Lauren avatar

    Cheers Mike, thats another title for the rent list XD

  5. MatheusOda avatar

    Did you really played any of the other games? It seems you only played 7…

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