|System: PS4*, PS3, PS Vita|
|Dev: Tecmo Koei|
|Pub: Tecmo Koei|
|Release: March 25, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends just came out and… goddammit how many of these things are there? It feels like only a couple months ago that Dynasty Warriors 8 first released, and there’s a reason for that. Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends isn’t really a new game. It’s more of an expansion pack that builds upon the original game’s release. It’s an especially good buy if you didn’t pick up the original, however, if you did, you might want to think twice about buying it again… unless you are just a huge fan of Lu Bu that is, which for Dynasty Warriors fans is a huge possibility.
Let’s get this out of the way first. Xtreme Legends 8 runs on the Dynasty Warriors 8 engine. In fact, much of the game is exactly Dynasty Warriors 8. I’ll point you toward our original Dynasty Warriors 8 review for extended thoughts on that title. But for the uninitiated, I’ll give you a brief rundown.
In short, it’s the same Dynasty Warriors action we have come to know and love. You choose a legendary Chinese hero, wade them through hordes and hordes of peons, and button mash your way to victory as they fall at your feet. The notion of “territory control” returns, as you and your troops slowly make your way into enemy bases, and as always, the only real threat in the game are enemy generals. There is a huge roster of characters to choose from, each with their own variety of attacks and special “musou” maneuvers, and each able to equip numerous different weapons. There’s also an interesting weapon affinity system and an interesting strategy type mode called Ambition Mode.
However, no matter what mode you play the game in, it’s always the same. Mash the attack button until people around you die. Stage variety is kind of bland, each stage really just being a series of wide open areas attached to each other. In battle strategy is actually rather shallow, usually comprised only of “when to mash” and “when not to mash.” The story was convoluted, the voice acting was horrible, and if you weren’t a fan of watching weak enemies fall to your repeated attacks, the game got stale and shallow very quickly.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because it is. The Dynasty Warriors formula hasn’t changed much since its first installment, and Xtreme Legends 8 is no exception. Instead of innovating on the formula, Dynasty Warriors 8 simply gave us more of the same, and Xtreme Legends 8 gives us even more than that.
The first addition that Xtreme Legends has to offer, is an increase to the playable character roster. Dynasty Warriors 8 featured over 70 playable characters, and Xtreme Legends 8 offers 5 more. Once again, the new characters have been totally rebalanced. Characters that used to be clones have had their moves separated in order to make them distinct from each other, and each character offers their own brand of attacks to choose from.
The main single player mode in Xtreme Legends 8 focuses on semi-villain and all around badass Lu Bu. If you don’t remember this guy, his crazy hair and his sky rending spear from previous Dynasty Warriors games, then you surely haven’t been paying attention. Lu Bu took more of a background role in Dynasty Warriors 8, but Xtreme Legends 8 puts him center stage once more.
His story takes several hours to complete, which is great for anyone who is looking for more single player content, however, we can’t rightly say that this content is anything new. The story is incredibly convoluted, and his missions feel exactly the same as every other mission you have already played in Dynasty Warriors 8’s campaign mode. But hey, who cares? It’s Lu Bu! He’s grossly overpowered and slaughters everyone around him easily! That’s why everyone loves him right?
If Lu Bu isn’t your thing, then there are also a number of new “What If?” scenarios to play as well. Unfortunately, these too suffer from the same repetitive gameplay as the rest of the single-player. The only real differences you are going to notice are in the characters you play, the enemies you fight and the cutscenes you get at the end of it all. If that’s enough for you, go nuts!