Dynasty Warriors 6: A One Trick Horse?

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Gaming Reviews
Tags: , , ,

The rule of thumb when it comes to sequels is to expand on the previous game; adding many new features, plots points, and generally improve the series. However, one gaming series seems to ignore this rule. Dynasty Warriors is the culprit, and their first next gen game, number 6, shows how little has changed since their PlayStation 1 debut.  And with the 7th game due for release, now might be a good time to have a look at this franchise.

The whole game series is set in China, around the Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms Dynasty.  Three opposing factions (Wei, Wu, and Shu) wage war with each other to gain full control of china.  The story is told usually in small cut scenes, or via a narrator explaining the events that lead up to the next stage.

Dynasty Warriors 6 Cover Art

Dynasty Warriors 6 posted on gamingbytes.wordpress.com by Satchel

The stages are usually the same; huge battle grounds for two armies to beat the living daylights out of each other for an hour.  The player takes control of a general, and must basically defeat the commander of the opposing army, while protecting their own. Each general is based on a real figure from Chinese history, with their own back story and allegiance to a particular faction.

Now that the basic premise is out the way, it’s probably a good time to take a look at how DW6 plays out.

Each level plays out very much the same; run around, smack enemy soldiers in the chops, run around some more, beat an enemy general, more running, defeat the commander, win, rinse, and repeat. There may be the odd variation, such as assist a castle siege, or escort a target, but it’s pretty much the same. No matter how much KOEI changes the layout of each field, there’s no real variety.  Combat is pretty easy to understand in the game; mash the X button (on the Xbox), and the Square button (on the PS3) until the crowd of 200 enemies are killed or retreat. You get the opportunity to use a wide range attack, but you will always return to the quick endless attack button. Smack around enough enemies and you can use what’s called a “Musou attack”, which is a stronger combo.  Each individual Musou attack looks nice, but it’s all very samey, no matter which character you use.

Now while I may be playing DW6 to give this review, you could technically apply this to any of the previous games; just cross out 6 and write 2, or 4, or whatever. The biggest flaw in this game ism, and will probably always be, the lack of variety, and the lack of new developments. One great example is, in DW6, you can now climb ladders; a feat which was alien to the character in previous games.  Oh how groundbreaking (!)

It’s repetitive, and samey… but I have to admit I have a soft spot for this game. While you may read about me point out the flaws, when you play it, you will be able to experience the satisfaction of laying waste to over 1000 soldiers in one level.  Seeing the entire army run at your presence can give you a warm sense of glee… until you send them flying off a cliff. Then that glee turns to cruel enjoyment.

It really is a love hate relationship when it comes to Dynasty Warriors; love the whole getting stuck in with the fighting, but hate the lack of new developments.  If KOEI can give the 7th game in the series (not including the add-on games, of which there are at least two per game) a good overhaul, they can redeem themselves. If not, maybe they need to consider taking DW round the back with a shotgun, and lay it to rest.

Score: 7/10

Review cobbled together by: Satchel

Comments
  1. Ashley says:

    I totally agree with everything said; nothing annoys me more than repetition in a game, but owning a horde of rather feeble soldiers with several taps of a single button seems to slightly make up for it.
    Like the review!

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