We've had a bit of a Warriors gluttony period as of late with four games from the franchise coming in quick succession. It started out with Warriors: Legends of Troy, then came Dynasty Warriors 7, Samurai Warriors: Chronicles and as the piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance, we now have Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3. Despite each game having the same basic premise, they are all very different in their own way and with Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, Omega Force has shown once again just how different a Dynasty Warriors experience can be.
Attempting to unravel the story of the Mobile Suit Gundam series would probably need its own thesis. And bearing that in mind, you may well pump hours and hours into Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 without having any clue what's going on. To cut a long story short though, everyone gets trapped in a world that they deem is "warped" somehow. Things aren't happening how they should and nobody knows what's going on - it's rather apt.
As you progress your small squad will expand and you'll end up with a team of characters who can all undertake the same basic missions. You have, Those Who Understand (Earth Federation Special Force Heroes), Those Who Doubt (Neo Zeon's Red Comets), Those Who Disagree (Axis Rebellion) and Those Who Fight. Although as you go through the story, the sides get a little bit jumbled up.
What's interesting about this concept is that, while you will have a main character, you can go back out and select another character from the same group and then continue where you left off with the other one. It gives you a nice array of choices, so you're bound to find at least one character in each team you enjoy. The bad thing, is that the game sometimes enforces selection upon you - certain characters can only be used for certain missions. Why is this bad? Well, if you've spent your entire time using one character and you've managed to get quite far, the game then forces you to use a character you've never used before, in a very weak Gundam - you go from kicking ass, to getting your ass kicked.
There's nothing wrong with doing a bit of grinding here and there, but the way it's done forces you to disconnect from the story so you can go and power up your character. And it's not just the odd mission here and there, sometimes they come in clumps. So you'll need to grind up 3-4 characters just so you can do a mission that would normally take you a few minutes with your normal character.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3's core gameplay isn't too dissimilar from other Warriors games of the same ilk. You have your basic melee moves, your powered up moves which change depending on the depth of your combo and your charge move. However, due to the nature of what's fighting in the battles, a few extra mechanics are thrown in too.
First of all, you have the ability to call in a partner. You can select this person before you go into battle, but when the bar is full, they will come down from the sky and rain hell on a chosen target, or just anyone they feel like. You also have the ability to perform a manoeuvre called the Emergency Dash. Whenever you get hit or anticipate a strike, you are able to dodge to a more advantageous position. What this means, is that the action is much more fast paced - no longer do you get dumped to the floor when you're hit, you can go on the offensive in an instant.One of the other ways the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 differs from its Warriors counterparts is with its mission structure, although at times it feels as though the game limits itself.
The battlefield is split up into different zones and small passages link the zones together. What this means, is that it's not an open battlefield - it's more like a chess board. If you enter into an occupied zone, a limitless supply of enemy forces will attack. However, if you destroy enough before they can regroup, you capture the zone for yourself. The catch is that there are multiple types of zones, with many offering advantages for their capture.
Some zones allow you to travel across the map in a flash, while others will restore the armour of allied units. They also denote whether or not your Home Base will defend itself against enemy assaults, as the more zones you own, the lower your opponents (or your) battle meter will be. When it's under 50 percent, your Home Base's defensive cannons will cease to operate, making for easy pickings. Die when your battle meter is at 0 percent and it's game over, and when the opponent's is at 0 percent, the boss of the level will appear.
Why this feels limiting, is because levels can be over quite quickly. Now, this isn't too dissimilar to other Dynasty Warriors titles, but because everything is so placed, it feels as though you're pigeonholed. Is it necessary to have so many tiny corridors between the different zones? There must be some other way to make things a bit more interesting.
As you complete missions, you will gain experience for your designated pilot and this is one of the aspects that Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 gets right. Not only does experience obtained correlate to your character's statistics instead of collecting random items from defeated foes. But the system for upgrading your Mobile Suit, works hand in hand. It strikes a perfect balance between getting something you earned and having a little bit of luck now and then.
The game also has some real legs. You have the four core storylines to play through, but there are hundreds of other missions too. As you play through the game, extra missions will unlock depending on what you do. For example, you might unlock some Memorial missions for attaining a certain amount of kills on the battlefield. As you develop friendships by using a certain partner or operator, new Friendship missions may become available and so on and so forth. In other words, if the you find the story to be too short, as impossible as that might be to comprehend, there is still a ton of content to keep you occupied.
As if that isn't enough, the game also features four player online co-op, where you will find another fifteen missions. They are designed for you to work as a team too, so there's plenty of fun to have here.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 is a game that proves that no matter how many Warriors games there are, there is always room for more. The gameplay is probably the smoothest in the series so far, with the Emergency Dash making the combat so much quicker. It does feel as though there's more that could be done here, as some of the other elements, such as progressing through the story, could have been handled better. Overall though, it's a solid title and if you're a fan of the Warriors series, it's worth experiencing. If you love beating stuff up with big mechs, it's also worth a whirl.
|There are tons of characters to unlock.|
|This game has more missions than you can throw a stick at.|
|New mechanics help to make the combat much more fluid.|
|Passages between the zones make the experience a bit disconnected.|
|The story can be a bit disjointed sometimes.|
|Grinding is required at rather abrupt times.|