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Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 review

AT A GLANCE
  • Dozens of classic Gundam mobile suits
  • Great new cel-shaded look with sharp cut-scenes
  • Mowing down thousands of bots
  • Nearly every mission is identical
  • Recurring camera and enemy AI issues
  • Constantly repeated in-battle quips

More than just about any other action franchise out there, Dynasty Warriors games are predictable – and we've all justifiably grunted and groaned about how similar and repetitive they are over the years. After this spring's impressively dull and unrefined Dynasty Warriors 7, we were ready to throw in the towel on the entire series with the force of a charged-up ancient warrior. But once we started digging into Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 – the third entry in the giant robot anime spinoff series – we struggled to find that sense of despair that past Warriors entries instilled in our hearts. In fact, we actually sort of liked it.


Above: Hundreds of identical enemies? Classic Dynasty Warriors

Which is strange, because Gundam 3 still embodies some of the worst qualities that the modern Dynasty Warriors games bring to the table. Each mission feels nearly identical to the last, as you're always blasting through massive crowds of indistinguishable robots to control sections of the battlefield before knocking out a boss. The bland locales are still populated by feeble combatants who rarely bother to attack, let alone escape their little squadrons, plus the close-up manual camera cramps the action a bit. And the storyline remains largely relegated to text exchanges and quips, though in this case, the large cast of anime favorites injects a huge and generally unwelcome dose of melodrama into the mix.

But even after clearing the few dozen very similar story missions, we came out on the other side feeling pretty OK about the experience. Maybe it's the bite-sized stages, which can often be toppled in 5-10 minutes yet still yield hundreds of robot deaths from the tip of your laser sword. Or perhaps it's the large cast of well-designed Gundam mobile suits, each of which can be upgraded and customized as you amass your collection through the campaign.

Most of all, though, the game seems more palatable than other Warriors entries due to the simple fact that you're commanding a giant, well-armed robot in fevered quests – and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 makes the combat feel faster and slightly better than before, thanks to tweaks to the dash system, new partner assists, and satisfying chain explosions following electrifying special moves.


Above: Remove the spear and it just looks like he's dancing 

Gundam 3's narrative is just window dressing for the combat – all the pilots from the various Gundam series are summoned into a dimensional void and nobody knows why – but if you're looking for an endless grind, you've got it. In addition to the dozens of story missions, the game also includes relationship missions, friendship missions, challenge missions, memorial missions, and many more, all of which hold the key to finding further mobile suits and upgrades. It even includes 15 exclusively online four-player co-op missions, which seems like a great idea, but the network battlefields are strangely barren compared to the solo ops, which really drains a lot of the fun out of the equation.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 is still very much a Dynasty Warriors game, warts and all. Yet the light tweaks and enhancements – plus giant robots and an attractive new cel-shaded look – really make the repetition a lot more enjoyable than expected. Gundam 3 still stumbles in bafflingly silly ways, but for the first time in a while, the thrill of singlehandedly charging into battle against hundreds of enemies has a flickering spark again. Savor it while it lasts.

Jun 30, 2011

More Info

Release date: Jun 28 2011 - PS3, Xbox 360 (US)
Jun 28 2011 - PS3, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Published by: Namco Bandai, Koei
Developed by: Omega Force
Franchise: Dynasty Warriors
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Fantasy Violence, Mild Language

15 comments

  • knightlead - July 13, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    ok i just got the game today and all i can say is OMG!!!!!!!!........ started out using the 00 riser and i love it just hope i can get to use heavy arms soon
  • knightlead - July 11, 2011 2:43 a.m.

    love some of the comments already inplace hoping to get the game in the next 24 hours but based on what i have seen i love the new look. and the new suits and cant wait to try out Heavyarms and the 00 raiser
  • mothbanquet - July 2, 2011 9:05 a.m.

    I love the grind... And I'm not ashamed to say it... ._.
  • joshuagutstadt - July 1, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    this game is sweet for reason and one reason only...my man duo in it and that all that matter lv 9 rank 3 death sycte ...as he says loseing not in a gundam specs
  • NanoElite666 - July 1, 2011 4:45 a.m.

    I do like the cel-shaded look.
  • SolCross - June 30, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    I always anticipate Gundam games getting scathing reviews from various outlets, so it's nice to see one that's at least okay with the game. I'm loving DWG3 so far, the cel-shading gives the series a whole new vibrant feel. I was just playing DWG1 the other day to finish off the achievements, and going from that to this and seeing all the improvements they've made is pretty great. There wasn't anything more to the first game other than hacking and slashing until a boss appears somewhere, and now you need more of a strategy to achieve those goals. So yeah it's definitely high up there on my list, next to Encounters in Space and Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam.
  • DJQQ - June 30, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    I hate the Dynasty Warriors series. I LOVE the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games. It's deff the robots.
  • shadowreaper72 - June 30, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    And I shall continue to ignore the Dynasty Warriors series.
  • Calicard - June 30, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    @Cyberninja G Gundam is awesome!
  • Cyberninja - June 30, 2011 9:44 p.m.

    if it has any G gundam levels let me know because then i will get it
  • sinwar - June 30, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    this game deserves more than a 6... It need a 8.5 in my opinion
  • Japanjack - June 30, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    If you don't think it's challenging, go play hard mode...
  • KuwaSanjuro - June 30, 2011 7:38 p.m.

    Hell Yeah! Game of the Year. Why do I love Dynasty Warriors so much....
  • xXxBattousaixXx - June 30, 2011 7:54 p.m.

    I got this game on Tuesday and I am still playing it. I like how many missions there are but it gets extremely repetitive. The AI needs to become more aggressive and the missions need to be switched up. They need to add a couple of survival missions, where the enemies keep coming til they decide to retreat or overpower you til you die. They also need some chasing missions, where the commander is trying to escape the battlefield with thousands of mobile suits standing in your way in strategic points.
  • DeathbyFira - June 30, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    @Kuwa Sanjuro lol its a question that will never be answered maybe sending 1000s of febal A.I guys to there graves maybe the over empowerment of it idk but yea i like to know why this franchise is like crack its bad for you yet you cant stop useing it why Konami why!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Showing 1-15 of 15 comments

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