Dynasty Warriors 5 Review: Is It Worth Buying?

dynasty warrior screenshot

Dynasty Warriors 5 Review: Is It Worth Buying?

Dynasty Warrior 5 was published by Koei for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows in 2005. Based on the previous Dynasty Warrior games, this game features the same hack and slash style. Dynasty Warrior has been refined so many times gamers would expect it would be unbeatable by now, however, the changes are so subtle it is almost indistinguishable from the rest. Let’s dive into whether or not the new version is worth buying or just a rental.

Dynasty Warrior 5 Story

Dynasty Warrior battle screenshot
Fight with interesting weapons and worthy opponents.

Events take place in ancient China where you get to play as almost 50 different characters. Each character is imbued with incredible powers that allows him or her to take on entire armies. Armed with little more than a blade, your character will hack and slash his or her way through hundreds of troops. There are more enemies on screen in Dynasty Warrior 5 than ever before, making you feel like a warrior god on PCP – not that anyone should ever be able to identify with that feeling.

The background textures are plain and boring, and the fog of war shrouds any details that may lurk in the background, like a town or a mountain range for instance. The enemy hordes are done extremely well but not so much as to justify the lackluster background graphics.

Repetitive Gameplay

Dynasty Warrior screenshot of battle in courtyard
Battle scenes may start to feel repetitive after a while.

Slicing through the crowds is great therapy. I only wish I could do this in line at the amusement park or at the buffet. But too much of a good thing is not very good. After a while the enemy seems like nothing more than blades of grass – and you’re the lawnmower. It’s too easy to wipe out entire armies, not to mention very tiring. It takes a toll on you physically and mentally as your fingers get sore from button mashing and your mind gets bored from the repetition.  Cutscenes attempt to explain the various battles, causes and motivations but they are so forced and void of any personality it’s like a history book come to life. It’s not that it’s always serious, it’s just that there’s no depth or range in the voice acting. 

A Few New Additions in Dynasty Warrior 5

Dynasty Warrior fight
Choose your battles how you want.

Some of the new additions include a bodyguard that will actually fight alongside you, in addition to the ability to take over bases by killing the commanders thereby increasing morale among your troops. There is a Free mode which lets you pick a battle and jump right in as well as a Challenge mode that features a number of mini games including Bridge Melee in which you try to keep enemies off of your bridge. It’s kind of like King of the Hill. It’s fun but it won’t keep you occupied for days. For some strange reason the Empire mode has been omitted.

Final Thoughts

The changes from the last game to this one is subtle, which is another way of saying virtually negligible. It’s still powered by the same engine so you can expect the same graphics, gameplay and control system. Pass on this if you’ve already played the PS2 version. Pass on this if you’ve played the last version. If you just want to be safe, pass on it altogether. You won’t be missing much.

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