|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Omega Force|
|Pub: Tecmo Koei|
|Release: March 29, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Of course, you have the option of turning up the difficulty, and the higher levels do require a lot more strategy. You'll find yourself exploring more aspects of the fighting system, including blocking and jumping. But this only stays interesting for so long—it's still the same thing, over and over—and it gets frustrating as soon as you start having trouble.
If you manage to fight your way through Story Mode, you might find some of the other options worthwhile. In Conquest Mode, you're allowed to pick any character (of which there are tons) and fight your way through China, altering the course of military history. Local and online co-op is available in this mode, and it works fine, though it doesn't improve the gameplay any. There's also an encyclopedia, which will prove addictive to fans of series lore.
The voice acting could be worse, but like the gameplay, it's repetitive: Before the end of the tutorial, you'll already be sick of hearing the same two-second lines over and over. For example, when you beat them, officers often say, "I shall return! Remember that! For yours is the first head I shall seek!" The music, meanwhile, is cheesy hard rock, and it only gets worse as it, too, repeats. Basically, outside of the cutscenes, listening to this game is like listening to a CD skip.
Visually, Dynasty Warriors 7 is a big improvement for the series, but it's hardly a leader in the video-game market as a whole. This is no Gears of War 2; the character models look slightly unnatural, the environments aren't as detailed as they could be, and some of the animations look off. Nonetheless, the cutscenes look good enough to tell the stories, and the in-game graphics work well enough to let you fight some bad guys, so the series hardcore won't be put off by the looks.
The movement controls feel a little bit loose without being imprecise, like those in a Grand Theft Auto game. The camera doesn't always stay strictly over your shoulder, as it does in, say, Resident Evil 4, but rather lets you turn around a bit without jerking around. You can adjust the camera by hand if you'd like, but sometimes it's frustrating when you can't see the enemy you're trying to hit. Still, once we got the rhythm of combat down, we didn't have a problem executing combos and special moves.
Longtime Dynasty Warriors fans don't need a review to tell them to buy this game. They're caught up in the story, some of them probably really love hacking and slashing, and, well, good for them. For the average gamer, however, this is a long, tedious, repetitive slog through hundreds of faceless enemies. Avoid it.
CCC Freelance Writer