Dynasty Warriors 5 review

  • The body count in your wake
  • Gameplay remains familiar
  • Powerful jump combos now possible
  • Really hasn't evolved much
  • Story slows the action a bit
  • Gets stale after a while

Dynasty Warriors must seem so strange to those who haven't played it. There have been about a trillion games in the series, and they never seem to change. The same faces, situations, soundbites... Dynasty Warriors 5 (which isn't actually the fifth in the series, confusion fans) is, to untrained eyes and thumbs, the same as DW4. But, for those who are sick of the series by now - you ardent warriors who've found every weapon, and aced every expansion pack - it's a slight, enjoyable change.

There's forty-eight characters, individual storylines, dozens of items to unlock - the game takes strength in numbers to its logical conclusion by crowding you with dozens of enemies at a time. It feels easier than ever to carve your way through the masses in DW5, though, and is all the more satisfying for it. It's a game that revels in repetition, and is gratuitous in a way that no amount of blood or cleavage can match.

It's meditation, really, of getting into the groove of an endless series of katana-swiping combos, and just wallowing in that old-school beat-'em up rut of battling endless swarms of enemies, with variety taking a backseat to the rush of hitting lots of people.

There's nothing here for anyone who's never fancied being a Dynasty Warrior; check out Kingdom Under Fire for a serving of chaotic warfare laced with serious strategy. The PS2 and Xbox versions are fairly similar, but since yet another DW doppelganger will only appeal to the hardcore, one may as well pick up the one in the green case, as it has the option of listening to the original Japanese voice-overs, instead of cornball English dub.

For hardened fans of the series, DW5 is one of the most enjoyable but, as per usual, you can't help but wonder how much more fun it would've been if they'd really jiggled the guts around and maybe put jeeps in there or something. Well, perhaps not jeeps, but, you know..

More Info

Release date: Sep 13 2005 - Xbox
Mar 29 2005 - PS2 (US)
Sep 13 2005 - Xbox (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox, PS2, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Koei
Developed by: Omega Force, Koei
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Use of Alcohol, Violence

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