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Dynasty Warriors 7 review

Troubled
AT A GLANCE
  • That familiar "Dynasty Warriors" feel
  • Tons of content to sift through
  • Long single player campaign
  • That familiar "Dynasty Warriors" feel
  • Nothing changes ever
  • Dated graphics

Once again, Tecmo KOEI pulls us back into the war torn lands of ancient China where all the men wear pretty silk dresses and all the women wear next to nothing (albeit, it’s probably so you can differentiate them from the men). And, to absolutely no one’s surprise, Dynasty Warriors 7 is basically Dynasty Warriors 6, which was essentially Dynasty Warriors 5 and... well, you get the idea. With ten years under its belt, brainless hacking and slashing is still the name of the game with this franchise. Hey, at least we can’t call them inconsistent, right?


First off, we’re not saying that sticking to your guns is a bad approach for a videogame franchise to take. We wouldn’t have series like God of War, Halo or Call of Duty if their developers decided to reinvent themselves for every sequel. If you have an awesome concept with solid gameplay mechanics to back it up, then more power to you. It’s just that Dynasty Warriors is not in that camp. The series relies on gameplay that’s about as solid as Lindsay Lohan’s acting career.

There are two game modes to choose from: Story Mode and Conquest Mode. Based upon Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Story Mode is your basic single-player campaign and enables you to play through the faction campaigns of Wei, Wu, Shu and the new kingdom of Jin. Each segment can last anywhere from 8-12 hours and completing them unlocks droves of content ranging from Encyclopedic entries on historic battles to character art and biographies.


Above: Yawn… 

Employing a small change of pace from previous titles, DW 7 no longer allows you to select the officer or general you’d like to play as but instead tailors each mission to a specific character. Considering the character roster stands strong at 62, you won’t be spending too much time in any single person’s shoes.

Predictably, this variety in character doesn’t transfer over to the combat in the slightest. While you can choose whatever weapon you’d like for the character you’re currently shoehorned into playing as, the weapons system that DW 7 employs ensures that specific characters are only proficient with specific weapons. Likewise, the move sets for each weapon never change between characters, with the exception of a special EX Attack that characters can pull off with their favorite weapon (and certain characters share the same EX Attack). The only thing that’s truly unique to each character is their Musou Attack – a veritable martial arts atomic bomb that can clear out hundreds of enemies at a time.


Above: ZzzZZZzzz… 

Conquest Mode kind of functions like a “Story Mode Part II.” You can select any character that you unlocked from Story Mode to then move about a hexagon-style board engaging in random battles with specific objectives. You’re rewarded with unique weapons and character-specific storylines that we can only assume weren’t considered important enough for the main Story Mode. Like Story Mode, Conquest Mode is an incredibly lengthy endeavor that can easily suck up several hours of your time. You can also engage in online co-op (which we would love to talk about, but found it impossible to connect to anybody).

If DW 7 has got one thing going for it, it’s the sheer amount of content. The problem with this is that any gamer who isn’t already a self-proclaimed Dynasty Warriors super-fan will just become bogged down by the fact that you simply do the same damn thing over and over and over again. Whether you’re annihilating 1,000 hapless peasant-soldiers or escorting some mentally deficient NPC who refuses to stop dying, no battle ever feels different from another. Challenge never really enters the equation, either. Over 90% of the enemies you face don’t even friggin’ fight back, making the experience feel less like an epic battle so much as a systematic genocide. Sure, you’ll face enemy officers who will actually take a swing at you, but this mostly boils down to you mashing on the attack button a little longer than normal to take the enemy out.

Graphically, the game looks dated at best and downright ugly at worst. Character models look stiff and goofy, textures get extremely muddy up close and the level environments are bland and barren. The game looks like an HD remake of an older Dynasty Warriors game, if that makes any sense.

The story could’ve been engaging if it weren’t for the incredibly awkward voice work and the slew of poor comedy segments that just spring up out of nowhere. Every time we found ourselves getting even slightly drawn in to the world, a character would say or do something so stupidly out of place that we’d get kicked right back out again. It’s a shame as there are a few genuinely engaging moments.


Above: It’s easy to be a badass when no one fights back 

If you’re a fan of this series, there’s plenty of content to keep you busy till all hours of the morning. If not, it’s best that you just keep your distance. The Dynasty Warriors franchise is a beast of inveterate laziness. The gameplay is tired and, while the story and characters could be intriguing, the presentation is too bland and wonky to draw in gamers who are new to the series.

Apr 6, 2011

More Info

Release date: Mar 29 2011 - Xbox 360, PS3 (US)
Apr 08 2011 - Xbox 360, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Published by: Tecmo
Developed by: Omega Force
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:
16+

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39 comments

  • Kuro - January 31, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Rented this for a good old hack-n-slasher, and I'm good with it. Yeah, it's not a hard game.. but the enemy will screw you over if you don't pay attention. I'm playing on normal and I've died twice because the enemy officers triple-teamed me while I tried to button-mash them. Twice I failed because frickin' Cow-cow (cao-cao) kept trying to hug the endless army of enemies instead of attack them. But besides that, I'm satisfied so far. With that said, I'm only a few hours in.. xD But yeah, man.. If anything, CoD should get horribly smashed around for its consistency simply because there ARE other options. What alternative do you have for DW? Closest I can think of is Ninety-Nine Nights, and dear god that's more of a scream-n-bitch than hack-n-slash. I've only played one or two other DW games on earlier consoles, but this one is pretty good for what it's worth. I like it.. Except Lu Bu. He's so godly strong to begin with and there was a time when he attacked and we had to hold his forces off until another officer could spring a trap.. so he skips in all merrily talking about how he's better than us and I'm outside fighting someone.. Next thing I know, someone is talking about trees being on fire? I see none.. sparks coming from wood, sure.. but no fire. And it's SO far away. And Lu Bu is all "Fire, eh? Sneaky sneaky! I'm so frightened I'll run away for now..again..again..again." All in a matter of twenty seconds of him arriving. I didn't even get a chance to swing at him. xD More of a ridiculous moment than bad though.
  • AlbVega - November 2, 2011 1:33 a.m.

    The best statement from the comments: "People in japan actually have taste" Hilarious.
  • wrpen99 - April 24, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    I'll summarize it: If your a fan, play it. If not, don't. 4.
  • soccerdude51 - April 14, 2011 1:06 a.m.

    I can't wait to play this game, that being said, there are a few features I miss. I'd like a return of officer duels, that added more flexibility to the game's strategy. I'd also like to see the different pre-game rock/paper/scissor strategies come back (the different options of attack, defend, or speed... which I'm not sure if they are from Samurai Warriors or not). I buy all the games and all the spin-offs. My buddy and I can't get enough of the split-screen coop, which makes us hate strike-force more than DW6.
  • Imthedoctor - April 13, 2011 3:46 a.m.

    I do enjoy Dynasty Warriors..but it does get repetetive. They should just..hold off on making them for a few years, and release a great game, instead of mediocre games. These are The Doctors Orders
  • SerpentineZERO - April 11, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    I'm not going to hate on 7 since i've never played it (i might give it a rental) but i find it funny that the ability to climb ladders was a bullet point on DW6. Shows how much it has changed.
  • DeathbyFira - April 10, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    i am one of the reasons why they keep makeing these things maybe one day they will fix what needs to be fix or a game that will fix all of what needs to be changed but i dont mind hacking a slashing a crap full of things but anyway i will wait till it drops or comes out with its 100th DD empirs 7 lol but agian i am sorry lol but also no way in hell it was a 4 maybe a 6 or 7 but you game reveiw guys just like to bitch at but thanks for looking out for us anyway lol
  • bball42242442 - April 8, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    i just wish people weren't such hypocrites. Every CoD is game of the year material supposedly when it's been doing the same thing for years and comes out yearly. IDK i just don''t understand people.
  • Kouhei1074 - April 8, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    bball, I wouldn't worry about it. The title of this review is "ZzzZZzzzZZZZzzz..." after all. This reviewer spent about 10 minutes playing the game, piggy backed on some other reviewers and posts from forums to come up with incredibly non-detailed content (some of it inaccurate, as no two characters actually share an identical EX attack animation) and slapped it together to come up with an uninteresting and, ultimately, poor attempt at a review. This was a joke to him and the final product demonstrates that. It's unsurprising that most reviewers that actually spend time with the game rightly award it at around a 7. It's unfortunate is all.
  • bball42242442 - April 8, 2011 12:02 a.m.

    ok i just noticed something that really ticks me off. DW6 got a 6 on here... and DW7 gets a 4?! Even DW fans know 6 has awful and yet i got a better score than the best DW since 3 or 4 (depending on which 1 you preferred)? I just don't get it, i love this site for their list and updates and crap but most of their reviews i disagree with big time. I know it's your opinion but c'mon seriously?
  • bball42242442 - April 7, 2011 5:05 p.m.

    The point is you guys give every CoD a 10 and pay over $100 dollars for it and its DLC when they make a new one every year and their are minor changes. DW doesn't come out every year but yet it is dogged for not changing, when realistically it changes a lot more than CoDs do and sports games do.
  • bball42242442 - April 7, 2011 5 p.m.

    @philipshaw You obviously haven't played a DW then, or you're a moron. You don't just press square to win. There are things called charge attacks, and ex attacks, and musuos. Also way to try and find one sports series and try to justify all of them. I used to buy NBA Live every year, i bought tons of sports games, now i only get them half price on black friday because they come out every year and don't change much. DW is not every year and people that actually play them notice lots of changes, the rest of you are just bums who read how bad it is and just join in w/o knowing what they are talking about. i'm sick of arguing w/ idiots that don't even know jack about the series.
  • fffanatic1 - April 7, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    I enjoy the DW series, even though I haven't played 6. The game I really enjoyed was DW Tactics. That game was fun and challenging. Wish they would finally make a sequel.
  • philipshaw - April 7, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    People in the comments saying that them not innovating or changing is no different to what they do in sports games have clearly never played a sports game. PES 1-6 on PS2 all played completely differently and brought new features with each game. Whereas DW games are just press square to win and repeat this a million times
  • mattdark - April 7, 2011 6:23 a.m.

    @ deadpool125 Well, thats stupid logic on your part... If you take the new story, new characters and new combos out of almost any other game, then of course you have no innovation. That'd be like telling a COD fanboy to say how the series has innovated itself, but you cant include the new settings, weapons or gadgets made available. Its quite laughable that people enjoy slagging off a series like DW, yet they will probably be huge fanboys of games like the COD series, or Fifa (Or any sports game for that matter) But for some reason, despite the fact that these other series change just a little as DW, they apparently cant be faulted for be the same repetetive game. At least with DW, its not a new version every year... And unlike the others, they have genuine hits-and-misses. DW6, for example, was probably the worst in the series, with a new battle system that didnt work all that well (you had to build up your 'Renbu' and hope it stayed high as you ran from one set of enemies to another) and some sudden huge changes to characters, that didnt go down well. Thankfully, people in Japan have taste, and can actually enjoy this series for the 'sit-back-and-relax' hack-and-slash fest that it is.
  • usedforglue - April 7, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    Did you guys review this as a joke? cuz it's pretty funny
  • sgloomy - April 6, 2011 11:48 p.m.

    I bought this game and don't regret it at all. yes, it is a Dynasty Warriors game. Yes, I am a bit ashamed of playing it but I cannot help liking a game where you can kill 2000 people without any real effort. I play this game purely for the pleasure of killing a lot of people and the very hilarious and cheesy conversations. I haven't played any of the spin offs, but i have played all the main titles. the one I really liked was DW3 and this one is the closes thing to that ( better in some ways). going into some detail, the games is a lot more story driven and historical than the ones before it and that is a huge plus. it also gives you the option of letting a tiny girl who seems to weigh around 50 pounds wield an axe twice her size. that alone should make you want to try this game. to finalize, the review is very accurate if we are ranking this game in comparison to any given game, but if you like DW or a mindless hack and slash game, then you should definitely try this.
  • TheMole - April 6, 2011 11:39 p.m.

    This review exists because there won't be any repercussions from it, unlike a low score for AAA games that have used the same mechanic for years.
  • Letter11 - April 6, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    How are these games still getting made? There's something wrong with this world when Mirror's Edge, Okami and Enslaved can't find a good sized audience, but this crap can. GO AWAY KOEI, I HATE YOU!
  • bball42242442 - April 6, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    @foxdenracing There are tons of dif cutscenes, have u played the game? They seriously added a new faction, online co-op, like 20 characters, better graphics, can control juggernauts, catapults etc, better voice acting, crap renbu system from DW6 is gone (which actually was repetitive). I don't get how a game w/ 80 characters can be called repetitive. It's a system seller in Japan, you can keep paying over $100 for every CoD and their DLC w/ minimal changes, i'll stick to DW and it's free or dirt cheap DLC. If you actually spend time playing the game you could pick up all sorts of little things that they added or improved. @Kudoshinichi lol 6 was pretty bad, but i think it has made me appreciate 7 even more. If you think they're crap, good for you, leave us few that enjoy it alone. Most of the people that talk about how horrible it is haven't even tried it. Everybody I've ever had at my house and had them play a DW enjoyed themselves. They may not have liked it enough to buy it, but the games aren't as terrible as people act like they are. If you never liked previous entries you most likely won't like the new ones, but don't talk about how terrible it is if you haven't even given them the chance. I'm not somebody that buys every DW game that comes out but the ones i do buy, i enjoy. Give em' a try and you might too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTVLB1hYqTE&feature=player_embedded check out this review, 1st time playing a DW w/ 7, you may be surprised and enjoy yourself.

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