Open world warfare – Dynasty Warriors 9 preview

Dynasty Warriors games have certain traditions, like discrete missions, multiple tactical decisions to make mid-battle, or somewhat iffy English dubbing. Upcoming Dynasty Warriors 9 aims to revitalise the franchise, introducing several new mechanics and a whole new world structure.

Let’s take a look at what we can expect.

Dynasty Warriors 9 and its open world

Throughout the series we’ve been provided with specific missions to complete, each with clearly defined tactical objectives to fulfil in order to win. And while we are still going to have missions in Dynasty Warriors 9, instead of mission-by-mission structure the world opens up, letting us travel as we please across ancient China.

And it’s not going to be empty, either. There are going to be settlements and towns pepper throughout the land, as well as event and roaming bands of bandits between them. Not unlike the Ambition mode in Dynasty Warriors 8 we’ll get to build and support hideaways to gather fame, get access to special resources, or just hoard all the junk we collect during gameplay, that works too.

It remains unknown how large exactly the map is going to be, but one would assume: large enough to handle representing three kingdoms and giving a good abstraction of distance between key locations.

dynasty warriors 9 combat system spear

A side effect of the open world structure is how the missions will be approached. Certain major battles are said to become easier as you complete missions tied to them. They are going to represent cutting of supply lines, blocking off reinforcements and other actions a good strategist would take before committing to a battle.

Sieges are back as well, complete with battering rams, siege ladders and even some infiltration using a grappling hook, possibly inspired by Omega Force’s earlier adaptation of the Attack on Titan anime, with its signature Vertical Maneuvering Equipment.

Tuned Dynasty Warriors gameplay

Any long-term follower of the franchise can attest, the core combat mechanic is tweaked every so often. The developer tests out new solutions to keep gameplay fresh while maintaining the series’ identity. Dynasty Warriors 9 State Combo System is going to be much more responsive to the positions of your opponents, changing attacks and animations appropriately.

We’re also getting several new types of attacks. Flow strike are fast strikes changing depending on the enemies’ position: mid-air, downed, or standing normally. Reactive attacks are meant to improve your tactical situation, like counter attacks, guard breaks or finishers. Finally there will be trigger attacks, setting opponents up for a combo, and Specials, mighty attacks tailor-made for every officer individually.

Dynasty Warriors 9 mass battle system

Massive roster

Dynasty Warriors games have always boasted a large number of playable characters with a sweeping selection of signature weapons ranging from pretty grounded guan-daos and swords to hand cannons (literal cannons, not just oversized pistols) and brushes.

The roster of Dynasty Warriors 9 is going to feature 83 characters previously seen in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires and several new additions, never before seen in the franchise.

As always, the playable characters are drawn from the pages of Chinese history and the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a massive epic detailing a very interesting part of history. Of course the series mainstays like Guan Yu, Cao Cao or Xiahou Dun are going to be present, and every character faced a review of their moveset, and some have received new weapons to wield following said review.

Either way, with 83 characters and dozens of weapon classes and movesets, DW9 is bound to keep one playing for a long time, figuring out every character’s playstyle.

Finishing strike

With its release set for February 8 in Japan and China and February 13 worldwide, Dynasty Warriors 9 is just around the corner, coming two weeks short of five years after the last entry to the core series. It’s time to dust off your favourite officers’ weapons if you are a returning fan, or to browse through the roster and see which character appeals to your visually or gameplay-wise.

Will we meet on the battlefield, two god of war slaying dozens of army regulars with contemptuous ease? Oh, by the way: Dynasty Warriors 9 launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Console Monster

Console Monster is an independent gaming website that is dedicated to the 'core gamer. Established in 2005 our team of UK and USA volunteer gamers bring our readers regular console gaming news, features, reviews, previews and gaming videos.

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