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The Dynasty Warriors series has been, frankly, pretty tired for some years now, and even fans were said to be getting tired of 2-3 games per year that never changed. How is this latest incarnation?

Posted by Staff on Apr 14, 2010 13:45 (Apr 14, 2010 13:45)

Written by: Ian
The end of a dynasty?
The Dynasty Warriors series has been, frankly, pretty tired for some years now, and even fans were said to be getting tired of 2-3 games per year that never changed. How is this latest incarnation?
Whilst we may only officially be in the DW6 era, the number of subtitles that the games are given means that on the Xbox 360 alone, there are six titles released since 2006, not even counting Bladestorm or the Samurai Warriors series. With its origins on the PSP as well, surely things are not favouring this latest title, "Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce" to be a classic ...
The story is certainly as confusing and not-really-very-historical as I would expect from a Dynasty Warriors game. I don’t think I’ve really learned anything about the time of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China from the various games I’ve played in the series yet- and to be honest, by now, I also have no idea about what is true or not either.
Presuming you don’t care about the history, you play as one of three various warring factions, and with your team of elite champions, set off on a journey to quash rebellion, and eventually unite three provinces of Ancient China and become the mighty ruler of them all.
Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce X360 screenshot #1
The usual over-blown cutscenes and story pieces apply here just as liberally as in the previous games in the series, and are all just as confusing as ever, although mildly entertaining at the same time.
Gameplay-wise, DW: Strikeforce initially seems very, very similar to previous games, except in more confined areas. Once you get past the initial stages though, you realise that the game actually features some significant upgrades. You fairly soon get to start fighting with a band of warriors, and although the AI isn’t perfect, it’s still a different experience to fighting by yourself. What is actually better though, is the XP and upgrade system. You now get frequent item drops, which can be used to craft items.
You also pick up new officers, who can be used to help upgrade buildings- and the higher level a building is, then the more you can do with it, whether it is buying rarer items, or crafting higher level weapons or upgrades. It makes the fighting more compelling, because now there is a random loot based element to the combat. Every time you go out, you could get a rare item, that you’ll be able to forge to a sword or to an ability orb. You can also forge entirely new weapons, changing the way that you fight too, which is a good system, because you are no longer stuck as a single class of fighter like in the old games throughout the game.
And as ever with the DW series, there is certainly a lot to get through, not to mention the DLC quests that have been made available already (and for free, so far).
The combat itself has also been through some minor changes too. The basic Ai is now a little more intelligent, and will actually occasionally cause some damage, and there is also more of a focus on aerial combat- you can now do some pretty scorching combos whilst jumping- and this is more necessary than previous games, as some enemies can bizarrely, for a pseudo-historical game, levitate!
Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce X360 screenshot #2
It’s not all perfect though- I felt that the camera was dreadful, and was in need of constant adjustments, and when left alone, playing the game for extended periods actually left me with some motion sickness, something I’ve not experienced in a game for many years. Additionally, I’ve decided I actually prefer the hapless ordinary soldiers- it was more fun hacking through waves and waves until you get to a boss than having to think a little about the combat with these guys, and the frequent loading screens are really, really annoying.
Additionally, the smaller areas generally means smaller and more linear missions as well, which is understandable, given the PSP heritage, but annoying on a 360, all the same.
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Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
Xbox 360

  • Release:
    US: February 16, 2010
    EU: February 16, 2010
  • Publisher:
  • Developer:
    Omega Force

ESRB - Not Yet Rated: Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)
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