Dynasty Warriors 7

7.0 Overall Score

Written by on April 21, 2011 in

In my short time on this Earth, I’ve come to a conclusion that all great things come in 7s, The 7 wonders of the world, The 7 Dwarfs, Windows Phone 7, S Club 7… OK, maybe not everything.  There is however, something else to add to the list of 7s, Dynasty Warriors 7.  Being that this is the seventh title in the series proves that there’s a definite fan base intact that will buy anything with a “Dynasty Warriors” logo on it, but is this a game that you should invest your time and money into?

OVERVIEW

Starting back in 1997 as a fighting game on the PS1, the Dynasty Warriors franchise has definitely evolved over the years to the point where it’s almost its own genre.  Taking its roots from being a traditional fighting game and building onto it, the Dynasty Warriors series transformed itself into a hack & slash title where your character must take on hundreds of enemies instead of  a just  1-on-1 battle.  This formula has proven to be quite successful over the years which has spawned many sequels and spin-offs which all feature the same formula of 1 player fighting a massive army.  Since the success however, the developer, Koei has not changed the formula at all and if there’s one thing that can hurt this franchise, it’s lack of change.

STORY
The story for every Dynasty Warriors game is almost identical in every single entry in the series and the same is true with the newest edition, Dynasty Warriors 7.  Dynasty Warriors tells the tale of “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” an ancient story which tells the tale of the power struggle between 3 Dynasties in ancient China; Wei, Wu and Shu.  The story is a throw away in my opinion and only does one thing, it sets the stage for the epic battles of the game and nothing else.  That’s OK though because you don’t play a Dynasty Warriors game for the story, you play it for the hack and slash gameplay.

GAMEPLAY

When a game franchise lasts as long as Dynasty Warriors has, you know there must be something special right?  So what is it that keeps gamers coming back for more?  Hands down, without a doubt, it’s Dynasty Warriors‘ unique gameplay.  Nowhere else can you play a game where you must singlehandedly defeat up to 3,000 enemies on a battlefield, it’s an experience that never gets old no matter how repetitive it may get.

Most of your goals in a standard level of Dynasty Warriors consists of battling your way through an army to reach and defeat its commanders and leaders.  There really is nothing else to the gameplay of Dynasty Warriors 7 and it plays just as simple as it sounds as most of your attacks are executed with the press of just one button, X.  Sure, there are other buttons to use, but for the most part, you will be pressing that X button all the way through this game, making it a true “button masher.”

Although running down hoards of enemies is fun and addicting, there are some problems with the AI in this game.  With an army of thousands staring you down, you would expect some challenge right? Sadly, Koei, the developer of Dynasty Warriors doesn’t see it at way.  Enemy and ally troops alike seem to only be on the battlefield as a decoration, something to put in the game to give it that feeling of “war.”  These soldiers are the dumbest people I’ve ever seen portrayed in a video game, sure, they move, but they never do anything to affect the battle, it’s entirely up to you.  It’s almost as if every soldier in the ancient Chinese armies had a lobotomy before going into battle.  The only real threat to you and your army of dimwits are the enemy officers and commanders. Unlike the mindless zombies patrolling the battlefield, these guys can actually fight and if you are playing on a higher difficulty level, they can actually pose a threat.  Fighting these enemies is really the focus of the game so you’ll find yourself going from one commander to the next until you clear them all out.  Sure, it’s repetitive, but highly addicting.

In this edition of Dynasty Warriors, there are 2 game modes to delve into, the story mode and conquest mode.  Story mode is straight forward and is as you would expect.  You start out by picking one of four dynasties and proceed through the levels until its end.  There are no surprises in this mode, but there are four separate stories for you to enjoy.  Conquest mode however, is the bread and butter of this game and you will spend most of your time progressing through it.  Conquest mode is designed like a board game where you progress by fighting battles, but it also has RPG elements where you can customize your character’s weapons and skills.  In between the battles, you can visit towns where you can buy weapons and speak to citizens as well.  There’s not much more to say about this game mode, but it’s tons of fun and is very addicting.

VISUALS

It’s safe to say that with every new Dynasty Warriors game, the graphics are more impressive than the last.  With that being said, Dynasty Warriors 7 is the best looking Dynasty Warriors game yet.  Sure, it’s not the most beautiful game out there, but it’s got it where it counts and it gets the job done.  One thing to mention though is that the draw distance is lacking as many times enemies will instantly appear 100 feet in front of you.  You will know the enemies are there because you can see them on the mini-map, but as you approach, they only seem to appear when you can see the whites of their eyes.  With many more Dynasty Warriors games on they way, I hope Koei puts some more effort into this issue, I think that by making the draw distance greater, it will help sell the feel of a battlefield littered with troops as far as the eye can see.

AUDIO

There’s not much to say about the audio in Dynasty Warriors 7 as the developer does a great job in creating the sounds of a battlefield, but there is one issue that needs some attention, the voice over.  I’ve seen some pretty bad voice work in video games before, but Dynasty Warriors 7 has some of the worst I’ve seen.  It’s not that the sound quality or the sync is bad, but every single character’s voice feels stereotyped and over the top.  This may be because the story telling is directed this way, but it does nothing to grab my attention, instead it makes me just want to skip the scene so I can get back to the game.

ACHIEVEMENTS
If you’re going to be going for the full 1000 gamerscore in Dynasty Warriors 7, I hope you have patience because it’s gonna take a very long time to complete.  First off, you are going to have to complete each Dynasty’s story mode which can take 4-6 hours each.  Once you’re done with the story mode, you’re ready to tackle conquest mode which is going to take forever and a day to complete.  In order to complete it, you need to make your way through the whole game board.  Sure, it sounds simple enough, until you see the size of the board and you realize that each place on the board has a battle to fight.  Dynasty Warriors 7 is not a hard game to complete as you can set the difficulty to “Beginner,” but the amount of time required is insane, maybe 100-120 hours total.  If you’re looking for a game that you are gonna play for a long time, Dynasty Warriors 7 is the perfect game for you and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

FINAL THOUGHTS AND SCORE

I’ve been a huge fan of the Dynasty Warriors series for years and even though the core model of the game does not change, I keep coming back for more.  If you are a fan of the series, I would definitely recommend this game as you know what you’ll be getting into. If you’ve never played a Dynasty Warriors game before, this is a great game to get you started into the franchise.  It’s got great graphics and the conquest mode is worth the purchase alone.

If I’m honest though, the franchise has a way to go on improvements. I’d love to see a different game engine be used to make the game more unique and to fix the draw distance.  I never got the feeling that the Dynasty Warriors series ever had its next gen treatment and I’m still waiting for the series to have a complete overhaul, maybe it could do with a reboot. The Dynasty Warriors story is completely overdone and watered down, I’d love to see Koei find a way to freshen up the story on the future installments.  Dynasty Warriors 7 is a good game, don’t get me wrong, it’s the best in the franchise to date, but I think the developer can do a bit more with it.  Obviously with 7 installments, the series has its fans intact and they don’t want to lose those fans by taking a risk, but I think that’s what the series needs at this point in order to stay fresh and not be forgotten.

A copy of Dynasty Warriors 7 was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of review and evaluation.

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Author: Miles Messenger View all posts by
I'm a 28 year old guy who enjoys all things gaming. I am married to a wonderful woman who is working on a career as a published author and I'm so proud of her for all that she's accomplished. For my day job, I am a supervisor at a Home Warranty company. It's not the greatest job, but it brings in the bacon.

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