|System: PS3, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Omega Force|
|Pub: Tecmo Koei|
|Release: July 16, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
This carbon-copy mission format unfortunately tends to make Dynasty Warriors 8 slog quite frequently. You’ll play three missions, get tired of button mashing your way through the same objectives over and over again, and then put the game down. However, the sheer flashiness of the game never lets you put it down for long. Give it a couple hours and you’ll be drooling at the prospect of stabbing everyone in China, only to pick up your controller, play three missions, and put it down once again.
The Story mode of the game is broken up into historical campaigns and what-if scenarios. Granted, “historical” is kind of a debatable term in the anime-esque Dynasty Warriors world, but I digress. Dynasty Warriors 8’s Story mode hasn’t really changed much from 7’s. You’ll be given several different missions across four campaigns that have to be undertaken with a variety of different characters, which level up and gain new gear as they complete the missions they are given. The basic pattern of complete a mission, see a little bit of story, and completing another mission returns, and it’s about as compelling as it was before. The biggest thrill here is the search for hidden objectives that open up the what-if stages, and the Free mode, which allows you to grind for items and experience on stages you have already completed.
However, it’s the Ambition mode that is easily the coolest new mode in Dynasty Warriors 8. Your goal is to impress the Emperor with your awesome military palace. You’ll start with little more than a weapon shop, and you’ll have to fight in skirmishes in order to find new materials and items to upgrade your base of operations. Defeating enemy officers in battle allows you to recruit them, which not only allows you to take them into battle, but also makes your palace grow. You’ll also have to go on raids to increase your fame, which will make it more likely that the Emperor will take notice and visit you. This mode is kind of like a stripped down version of Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends, something more akin to an RPG or a sim game than a hack-and-slash action game, and it works. It’s incredibly addictive, far more so than the simple story mode, and it will likely be where you spend most of your time.
Dynasty Warriors 8 is a simple, solid title that does the Dynasty Warriors franchise proud. It’s not really reinventing the wheel, nor is it trying to cater to fans outside of its small demographic. It just wants to be the best button-mashy, Chinese-soldier murder simulator it can be, and in that, it succeeds. If you are a fan of the Dynasty Warriors franchise, definitely consider picking Dynasty Warriors 8 up.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: July 16, 2013