Dynasty Warriors or Shin Sangoku Musou as it's known in Japan, is about to release its 8th iteration in the series, when exclusion of Empires and XL versions is applied. Surprisingly Dynasty Warriors 8 is releasing on July the 16th and 19th in the USA and Europe respectively, which is mere months after the release of Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires. The real question posed by this is, will it be different enough?
Those who've played previous Dynasty Warriors games will know that the series follows the story of Romance in the Three Kingdoms. However, for those that are out of the loop, it's essentially about the rise and fall of the unification of China under the three kingdoms of Shu, Wei, and Wu. With Dynasty Warriors 7, this was expanded upon with the introduction of the Jin dynasty.
In typical games, the story is more centred around the different kingdoms, but with Dynasty Warriors 7 this changed to allow more focus on the individual stories of the officers. As a result, the game became a little bit more character developed throughout each associated storyline. The only sad thing about this was that co-op was excluded from the story mode as a result, and this has been one of the fundamental appeals to the series. After all, there is nothing better than destroying over a 1,000 men with an ally by your side.
With Dynasty Warriors 8, this is finally possible. This is true of both online and offline, which is fantastic news. This carries through into an alternative story mode which can be created through player-made decisions, as well as the more structured paths found in Dynasty Warriors 7.
Free Mode also makes a welcome return, as well as the Ambition Mode. There are also some combat changes, such as allowing the use of up to three different musou attacks (specials) and a rage mode. There is also a unique type of counter that causes a player's weapon to be randomly changed.
There have also been a number of visual changes to certain moves, particularly the EX weapon associated combos which were often shared between certain officers. These have now been given more unique changes and in some cases completely new weapons.
Along with these changes, the weapons now have fixed affinity types: Earth, Heaven and Man. In a clockwise order these three affinities form the basis for a rock, paper, scissors mechanic. During a situation where a player's affinity beats an enemies there is a chance to perform a special move called the Storm Rush.
Along with this is the usual addition of new characters to the roster, which will now stand at a phenomenal 77 characters. Among returning Zuo Ci to the "other officers" category, they've added Guan Xing, Guan Yinping, Zhang Bao, Li Dian, Yue Jin, Hang Deng, Lu Su, Jia Chong, Wen Yang and Zhang Chunhua.
More importantly for those disappointed with the exclusion of English voice overs in Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires, you can now rejoice as the game features both English and Japanese voice options.
Check back with us in the coming weeks for a full review of the game.