KOEI have been churning out game after game of their everlasting franchise – Dynasty Warriors. 2008 is no exception with their latest installment in the series – Dynasty Warriors 6 (DW6). This isn’t the first outing for DW with Dynasty Warriors: GUNDAM and Warriors Orochi already out on Microsoft’s Xbox 360. The question is does DW6 offer something new for hardcore fans or is this something we’ve all seen too many times before? Let’s find out, as I get dressed up and prepare for battle.
Dynasty Warriors is based on the famous novel, Romance of the three Kingdoms - written by Luo Guanzhon - which takes place in the Han Dynasty commencing in 168 and finishing in 280 with unification of the land.
Improvements? There isn’t that many but probably the biggest improvement you’ll notice once you have selected your character is that the visual presentation has been enhanced, with stunningly beautiful backgrounds and multi-coloured sword-slashing moments.
The audio in Dynasty Warriors 6 has improved since Empires with the same Japanese rock music prevailing. While there have been improvements on the sound, from the clashing of swords to the thumping of the horse hoofs, this doesn’t quiet save it from getting mundane.
Let’s get down to facts. Dynasty Warriors is by no stretch of the imagination a hard game to master. The button configurations consist of ‘Button Y’ so whether you are a newcomer or a dedicated fan, you’ll be slicing, dicing, jumping and riding your way to victory within minutes.
If you’re expecting to pick up Dynasty Warriors 6 for its easy achievements, you’ll be sadly mistaken, as you will have to play and replay the game with every character for most of the achievements, which in return will unlock new characters and gamer-points (Wa-Hey).
Hardcore fans of the game will be glad to see that they can get more ‘hands-on’ with their character creation. With the new levelling up tree you’ll be able to upgrade and adapt to each battle as and when it happens. KOEI have also added a new feature entitled ‘Renbu’ which actually rewards you for slaughtering hundreds upon hundreds of enemies. Your Renbu gauge will continue to fill as long as you do not take any damage and keep smacking enemies left, right and centre. Once the gauge fills, you’ll unlock new moves, weapons and unlimited combinations. We are glad that KOEI are continually trying out new features and hope this improves in the inevitable, Dynasty Warriors 7.
New to the Dynasty Warriors franchise is the ability to climb ladders to knock off annoying archers and take a boat for a joyride around the Chinese oceans. Whilst this is about the most exciting part of the game, it adds a lot of depth and accessibility to the rest of the map. Animals also feature heavily in the game although they do not add any stimulation as you can breeze right past them. They are pretty though.
Dynasty Warriors 6 now gives you even more bang for your buck with Challenges. Race against the clock, or duck, dip, dive and dodge the gauntlet. Whatever you fancy Dynasty has it and while this gives us a nice breath of fresh air, even this can become frustrating and repetitive.
Playing Dynasty Warriors gives you a bad headache, a sort of Déjà Vu feeling, constantly fighting the same modelled characters across the same bland maps. Inevitably, it soon becomes a button basher.
It is a pity that Dynasty Warriors 6 still has no online multiplayer game modes, as it would have been nice to take your customised character online against a friend, although you will still be able to upload all your statistics and show off to your friends just how good you are at mashing buttons. If you do want to play with a friend, as in previous titles, you’ll be able to have some split-screen fun as you and a friend hack and slash your way through thousands of clones, I mean ancient warriors.
Overall, while KOEI have brought some new features to the game and have upgraded the graphics, Dynasty Warriors 6 still feels as old and repetitive as the previous five reincarnations. Unless you are an avid fan and have £40 to spare, Dynasty Warriors 6 isn’t a must have game. Hopefully Dynasty Warriors 7 will change that, but until then, Game Over.