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!
Challenge Mode brings in a lot of new ways to play the game and simply ditches the whole story razzamatazz. It includes time trials, survival challenges and more, all looking to test your mastery of button mashing martial arts. If you ever owned a Dynasty Warriors title and measured your DAPM (dead Asians per minute) then you will absolutely love this mode. The inclusion of online leaderboards has also deepened the experience, allowing you to test your speed running chops against the entire world, and earning some useful weapons and items along the way.
Finally, the biggest advantage Xtreme Legends 8 has is its graphics. It is easily the best looking Dynasty Warriors on the market. It’s also the most stable version of the game as well. While the original Dynasty Warriors 8 sometimes fell prey to slowdown, clipping errors and weird camera bugs, Xtreme Legends 8 has no such problem. The game is available for the PS4 as well as the PS3, but don’t let it fool you. It was very much designed for the last generation, and the two versions really don’t look all that much different.
Unfortunately, Dynasty Warriors Xtreme Legends 8 doesn’t really have much more to offer than that, and that’s disappointing. If you picked up the original Dynasty Warriors 8 , this expansion pack will feel like a tremendous rip-off. You’ll blow through the extra content in a couple hours at best. The new characters are only a drop in the bucket compared to the massive roster of the original, and you’ll get bored of them after trying them out once or twice. Outside of Challenge Mode, which does offer some major replay value for score junkies, you’ll end up paying quite the pretty penny for a game you already played.
So once again, I can only recommend Dynasty Warriors Xtreme Legends 8 to people who haven’t yet bought the original Dynasty Warriors 8 but this creates a weird situation. As I said before, the Dynasty Warriors formula really hasn’t changed and at this point really only appeals to die-hard Dynasty Warriors fans. As such, most die-hard fans will have already picked up the original Dynasty Warriors 8 . So one has to wonder, who is Xtreme Legends 8 actually marketed for? The best answer that we can come up with is Lu Bu fanatics, and you’d be surprised how many of those actually exist.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.2 Graphics
Flashy anime special moves? Check! 4.0 Control
For a button masher, it sure is responsive. 3.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Thrash metal and bad voice acting, same as ever. 2.5 Play Value
You really don’t want to pick this up if you already picked up the original. 3.0 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best