- Developer: Omega Force
- Publisher: Koei
- Genre: Hack and Slash
- Release Date: 8/2/18<//li>
- Platforms:PS4/Xbox 1
- Reviewed on: PS4 Pro on Samsung 4k TV
- Game Supplied by: Koei Tecmo
- The most immersive and ambitious DYNASTY WARRIORS experience to date
- Explore China through the waning days of the Han dynasty + emergence of the Three Kingdoms era
- Classic “one versus thousands” action iconic to the Warriors series as feudal warlords vie for dominance over the land
- Expansive open world environment with new features, characters, content and an unprecedented world map
- Adapt to your surroundings to gain the upper hand in battle
- Throw enemies in to the wall or use the environment to hide from your foes
- Play as all-new and returning characters – 83 characters from the DYNASTY WARRIORS series + a selection of new faces
As a self confessed fan of Japanese games, especially the hack and slash genre, when the details of Dynasty Warriors came out, I like many was very excited that on paper the series was going in a new direction, that could add impudence to the long standing series. However, my hopes were soon dashed within the first ten minutes of playing Dynasty Warriors 9. It’s awful. I was bored and unimpressed within the tutorial, let alone a few hours of gameplay further in.
The graphics, are hugely underwhelming. As someone who still regularly plays PS3 games on my 4k TV, there are PS3 games with far more definition and clarity than this supposed 4K enhanced current gen game. It’s not the artwork. That’s actually very good, IE the costume designs, and the surroundings. It’s just the definition, clarity, textures, rendering and character animations are truly worse than last gen. Everything has a grainy lather, so it just blends into one nothingness. The lip syncing and character animations during cut scenes is criminal. They are nothing more than bland, non expressional faces opening and closing their mouths. I’ve seen more emotion from a Thunderbirds puppet, than I have here in this game. I would like to say the lip synching is in time to the audio, but not even in its native Chinese language does the audio match the character talking.
The audio, sigh, is just so dated. The music is ok , with it’s over the top, soft rock guitar trying to lift the mood of the game above stone cold dead. However, with the English voice acting so gut wrenchingly pathetic, ( I swear I could do better ) I was advised to switch over to the Chinese, but that is just as bad. Anyone talking just sounds like they are so bored to be there. It truly is industry leading bad! Yes worse than Mass Effect Andromeda! For example, the opening of one of the characters is having a chat with some others in the pouring rain, but the audio sounds like exactly what they did to record it, IE it sounds like a bored man talking in a box. There is zero emotion in any of the dialogue. Not that the dialogue gave the actors much to work with in the first place. It’s first school simple.
“Wow, he is very strong, I will follow him.”
“ Yes let’s all follow him.”
“ I wasn’t sure what to do but now I do. I will follow him too as he does seem very strong”
To some these things won’t really matter as the meat and bones of this game is 3rd person open world, hack and slash combat. I’m not a fan of 3rd person open world games, mainly because, although I like the idea of constructing your own adventure in the way you want to, very few 3rd person games make the art of getting from A to B fun. What’s the point of making the game big and open between objectives if there is nothing to do in it? Well, hello Dynasty Warriors 9. That’s the experience. Utterly boring. It takes too long to get anywhere, and when you do, the mission structures are repetitive. Very, very repetitive. When you do enter combat, it’s about the only time the game borders on being acceptable. The move set is good, and there are some new combat moves to be able to string combos together, in a fairly responsive manner, but there is no flair or excitement to the moves. Part of the reason I find the Samurai Warriors series so endearing and addictive is the over the top, stylized, flashy and different combat moves. This is sadly missing from Dynasty Warriors 9.
So if you can be bothered with the game, you have a roster of 83 playable characters to play over 4 different clans. To progress the game and it’s story, you need to take objectives which can be far too much for your character level. To complete this you then have to take on sub missions to reduce the main targets strength, to then be able to battle them. As the world map is huge there is a lot of gameplay here to do that, it’s just will you want to.
Finally, and again negatively, there is absolutely no online aspect ( and thankfully no micro transactions either ( looking at you Mordor Shadow of War ) ), which unfortunately means no co-op, or even couch co-op or multiplayer aspect whatsoever. A series that championed this to then leave it out for a game built from the ground up, seems idiotic to me.
I’m at a complete loss as to how the same and such a good developer and publisher can get one series so right and moving forward, ( Samurai Warriors ) yet their more established franchise ( Dynasty Warriors ) so wrong. It really feels like the work experience team made Dynasty Warriors, while the veterans make Samurai Warriors.
The only ounce of credit I can give this game, is that I really do appreciate that they are at least trying to push the series forward into a new direction rather than churn out the same old guff each time. I mean this is the 9th instalment so something had to be done. Be that as it may, although what was down on paper looked brilliant, it’s actually just an absolute, poorly and frustratingly executed, bore fest.