PS3 Review – Dynasty Warriors 7

The Dynasty Warriors series has been around for quite some time, spawning large quantities of sequels since its early beginnings back in 1997.  Tecmo Koei has teamed up with developer Omega Force to bring out Dynasty Warriors 7, which looks to take the series to new heights by offering more action than ever before. But is this one amongst dozens worth a look?

One of the top features within the Dynasty Warriors series is that it allows players to experience the story from the perspective of many characters, and this is no different in Dynasty Warriors 7. The list of playable characters has now grown to an incredibly high number of over 60 total, with many of the characters being real-life historical figures. This not only adds a great level of depth to the game, but also draws your attention as you seek to learn more about these relatable people.

These  dozens of characters mentioned all fall into four available “campaigns”, each representing a different kingdom that draws from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a Chinese novel deriving from the 14th century. These “campaigns” include the Shu, Wei, Wu, and the newly added Jin. Each of these offers it’s own story, so it is essentially four stories combined into one game, though the game does suggest that you complete the three original campaigns before you attempt to take on the Jin storyline. Other than that, there is no specific order that the game must actually be played in, and as such you’re given free reign.

The stories that are presented in Dynasty Warriors 7 aren’t bad by any means, but they will absolutely not appeal to everyone, which can even be said for the game in general. The game follows the history of Ancient China as presented in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, so if you have any curiosity in that subject matter, you will possibly enjoy the story and the coinciding narrative.

There is also a full fledged Conquest Mode which allows both online and offline co-op, giving rise to players taking on battles with friends. In the Conquest Mode, you can choose from a number of officers within the game, all from different story lines and factions. Once you have chosen your officers from the group readily available, it’s time to pick a scenario. There are well over one hundred different scenarios spread out on a huge map to progress through with not only battles, but towns to explore as well.

A tutorial section is included which allows newcomers to the series to get used to both the basics, as well as the advanced commands and features within the game. Gallery Mode allows players to reflect upon their accomplishments achieved during the journey. It tracks everything that has been unlocked within the game, and displays data for you to review. Other things included for the player to learn or familiarize themselves with is the Encyclopedia section of the game. To put it simply, this is a massive collection of data for you to look over when needed, and a great spot to check out when looking to grow.

Those that have played the series before know the massive amount of enemies presented. There are times where it seems as if there are endless waves of enemies rushing towards you. Many of these waves have their own “officer”, which is essentially a mini-boss for you to take on. There are so many enemies that you will find yourself topping over 3,000 enemies defeated in some battles; heck, there’s even a trophy for this. Needless to say there is tons of button mashing for those that choose not to learn some of the more advanced moves, and while the combat isn’t varied enough, it does offer some very nice combos to help defeat your opponents. It is worth noting that you can progress through the game with no problem by simply mashing buttons, so at times there is very little incentive to learn the combos.

Every character can choose to have a regular equip or dual equip setup with all weapons in the game. If you become advanced enough in your combos you will find yourself switching between weapons on the fly to string together a longer attack on your foes. The only problem with the weapons is that many of the attacks end up looking alike, so if you are looking for different animations for each weapon this may upset you. Sure there are a lot of weapons to choose from, but you will still find yourself looking at the same attacks far too many times. To attain some of the other weapons within the game, simply visit the weapons dealer, or you may be lucky enough to pick some up on the field of battle as they are sometimes dropped by enemies.

The level design of the game is expansive to say the least. There are multiple points of attack on many of the levels, so it will be up to you and your allies which route you would like to take. The only problem is that there is very little variety overall between levels and some will feel like direct copies of previous levels you’ve finished.

Dynasty Warriors 7 also features a power up system that boosts many of the statistics of your character, from speed to power. These drop from time to time when you defeat an enemy. Using them in certain situations can easily turn a difficult situation into an easy win for your group. Speaking on people fighting alongside you, your performance is evaluated within the battles and can actually raise the morale of your allied troops, significantly helping you in battle.

Graphically the game isn’t bad, but it isn’t anything that is going to make your jaw hit the floor. Given the huge maps and endless waves of enemies, it was pretty much a given that it wouldn’t be a top notch graphical powerhouse. The audio in the game is another thing that will do it’s job, but doesn’t overly impress. Most won’t be playing this game for great graphics and audio anyways, it will be the addicting gameplay.

Dynasty Warriors 7 is a definite step in the right direction for the series. It offers a lot of content for players that are fans of the hack and slash genre. Its new Conquest Mode allows for a different take on the multiplayer component of the game, and it’s executed well enough to make you ask a friend to play alongside. However, at the end of the day this is a title that will only appeal to hack and slash fanatics, and will push away many people looking for something more. For fans its the typical Dynasty Warriors release, but for just about everyone else it’s just an average action title  begging for your purchase.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Strong additions to a long-running franchise.

+ Huge maps with tons of enemies to engage.

– Average look and feel that leaves much to be desired.

6 out of 10