Dynasty Warriors 8 Review

Dynasty Warriors 8 screenshot
Dynasty Warriors 8 screenshot

Since the franchise debuted in 1874, it has been customary to open any review of a Dynasty Warriors game by mentioning that the latest installment is either a) exactly the same as the previous titles, or b) to start the piece by mentioning that previous reviews have mentioned it's exactly the same as previous titles. If you think that's quite repetitive, or even outright lazy, well it is. But then, it suits the series perfectly.

This one is a little different. Only a touch, mind, but enough to make it stand out. There's still a whole campaign stuffed with characters wading through the Romance of the Three Kingdoms saga. And by that, we don't mean meditations on the art of diplomacy; we mean going into battle with the sort of sword that would shame the Kurgan and killing (or, ahem, KOing) literally everyone in China dead.

Bosses and sub-bosses act players accessing newer parts of the utterly bland maps (usually a series of funnels between open areas), and mission types vary from killing rival officers to escorting your own to safety. There are plenty of options available to players, such as customising their character's abilities and weapons; certain blades are more effective against certain enemy types, meaning you also have to choose the right tool for the job.

For the most part, however, you'll be swanning around on a battlefield, cracking skulls. A few other nuances mix things up, such as the special move-giving Musou gauge - that fills up as you lay waste to entire continents - and the new 'rage' mechanic that triggers as you lay waste to... you get it.

It's fun at first, and then distinctly not fun. I nearly fell asleep twice during the review process, and that's generous: I've known colleagues to slip into comas and wake up years later speaking Mandarin.

Despite this counter-intuitive dynamic it is still utterly addictive, like attempting to eat everything at the Pizza Hut buffet in one sitting. There's a moment when you know you should stop, but at the same time it's nearly impossible to do so. The feedback loop of most combat games is in the gratification of smashing people's faces: in Dynasty Warriors this happens all the time, and while your enjoyment of said violence may wane in the short-term, long-term you'll be back for more. Especially if you're likely to play in the on or offline co-op modes.

Dynasty Warriors 8 screenshot

The highlight of Dynasty Warriors 8, however, is Ambition mode. Whereas the campaign seems like one long trudge through the Three Kingdoms stuff until you either aren't good enough to progress or you suffer brain-death, here you've got to build a base so that an emperor will come and visit you. Starting at your camp, you've got to head out onto the battlefield and choose between scrounging materials, recruiting allies (by stabbing them, of course) or acquiring fame (by stabbing people, of course).

While that's not really any different to the main game, the fact that the missions are broken down into smaller chunks and objectives means that there's some form of choice, and there's always another level to play should you get stuck. There's also the inherent appeal of crafting your own base - and as such filling it with people and shops - with the spoils, which nicely incentivises all the war-facing you're going to have to do to get them.

Is it new? Not really. Does it run, look and control like a drunk forklift truck ? Yes. Will it make you question your sanity due to its repetitive nature? Undoubtedly. But is it fun? Yes.

Version Tested: PS3

Played for 7 hours.

5 / 10

  • Violence is golden
  • Ambition mode is a welcome addition
  • Poor looks and controls
  • Very repetitive

6 Comments

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User Comments

AhmadCentral's Avatar

AhmadCentral@ Whitewolf

Oh no worries.

It's just annoying when reviewers don't actually review the game properly and just try and use humour to cover up the fact they actually haven't played/researched the game at all.
Posted 20:40 on 16 July 2013
Whitewolf's Avatar

Whitewolf@ AhmadCentral

i see your point and i totaly agree with you and i didnt mean any offence via previous reply :)
Posted 19:00 on 16 July 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

No use complaining, he doesn't get back to respond to the claims of mistakes or inaccuracies.
Posted 18:41 on 16 July 2013
AhmadCentral's Avatar

AhmadCentral@ Whitewolf

I'm talking about the fact he hasn't done any research, hasn't listed any of the key changes or features, hasn't played the game for more than 7 hours and yet he feels he has the right to mock the game and entire series.

Someones probably going to say all i did was look at the score. But i couldn't care less about the score. The guy can give it a 5 but his justification in this review was poor.
Posted 18:09 on 16 July 2013
Whitewolf's Avatar

Whitewolf@ AhmadCentral

Dude its your opinion as its his in the review il be buying it regardless of scores as i know its gunna be the same with a few new characters and tweeks here and there there BUT i love DW games since dw2 and i know what Mr burns is pointing out and if ur a fan u would know it to.
Posted 17:44 on 16 July 2013
AhmadCentral's Avatar

AhmadCentral

Your review is a disgrace. Hardly playing the game or going over any new features.

I know at the end of the day it's your opinion but when you actively mock the series as a whole and then this game it proves you really don't know how to write a review or even review a game.
Posted 14:36 on 16 July 2013

Game Stats

Dynasty Warriors 8
5
Out of 10
Dynasty Warriors 8
  • Violence is golden
  • Ambition mode is a welcome addition
  • Poor looks and controls
  • Very repetitive
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 19/07/2013
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 8,966 187
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