Jul 21, 2013Let me start by saying I love, I LOVE this game. There are several fatal flaws that frustrate me to no end, however, which is what leads to this score, because I've also grown to HATE this game.
First the positive. Dynasty Warriors 8 is everything we were promised with Dynasty Warriors 7 and then some. Every character has a unique weapon and moveset, and with the wide range ofLet me start by saying I love, I LOVE this game. There are several fatal flaws that frustrate me to no end, however, which is what leads to this score, because I've also grown to HATE this game.
First the positive.
Dynasty Warriors 8 is everything we were promised with Dynasty Warriors 7 and then some. Every character has a unique weapon and moveset, and with the wide range of characters everyone plays differently and feels like their own unique characters. On top of everyone having their own unique skillsets, every character can play with a second weapon, so if your style of play is more crowd clearing you can equip a second weapon for the more down and dirty one on ones against generals. Weapons also have individual abilities, such as charging attacks for the short halberd or the dual swords immediate switch. This lends a level of strategy the previous game was lacking and it adds another layer of fun. The story is fairly historically accurate, and most of the additional characters were quality adds that should have been in from the beginning such as Yue Jin, Li Dian, and Han Dang. The story is lengthy and enjoyable for the most part with varied objectives, occasionally frenzied time limits, and a reasonable difficulty arch.
The game was not released completed, and there are crashing issues all over the place, most notably within Story Mode, which is required to unlock characters. Nothing is more frustrating than killing over a thousand enemy soldiers in a long battle, locking in the final general in a rage attack and then...the game crashes. Worse still, the crashes also affect Ambition Mode, and you could be several battles in when the game crashes, losing not only one but multiple battles with the crash. No game should ever be released if you are unable to complete the game, that is a terrible way to do business. Regardless of how many improvements your game has, how fun it is, you completely ruin that experience by leaving the game with such gaping flaws such as that.
Visually, the game looks fine. Fans have complained about a lack of real improvement in the games visuals for several releases, and this one does nothing to allay those concerns. Darker areas are terrible to navigate and it becomes habit to find your way to your next group of enemies not by the terrain but by the red bars above their heads. The maps are updated, which is a very welcome change, but the minimap is so tiny that it is almost impossible to navigate.
The sound is for once one of the lowest points of the game. The voice acting is once again atrocious for the English release, and while fans had hoped for a superior Japanese voice option they are once again left waiting for DLC. The sound effects are barely updated and can become annoying in prolonged throughways. This is made worse by a score that sounds recycled and somehow manages to turn heavy guitar riffs into an analogy for boredom.
The character models have all been updated and this is a mixed bag. While I'm glad to see them updated yet again, some of them seem lazy (Dian Wei is the clearest example). Most of the female characters are nothing but fan service with only a few notable exceptions. That's fine on occasion, but again seems lazy as if little time was spent on the character modeling.
While I appreciate the addition of Ambition Mode to the franchise, even without the crashing the mode is unpolished and I had varied experiences. Some of the battles were fun, with different quests popping up requiring completion. Some times, however, the quests that popped up were vague and near impossible to complete. For instance, on one occasion, while escorting a general he became injured and I had a "Find the Medicine" quest pop up. there was no indication where I would find it, so I started checking the bases in the level (where you normally find materials). None there, I started killing off every troop I could find. With only 5 minutes left in the battle, I finally found the medicine, carried by a lone Mobile Unit Commander in the bottom corner of the map, far away from any route I would take in the escort mission. Situations like those are not isolated, and take away from the overall experience.
While I like Dynasty Warriors 8 and consider it the best in a long line of the series that has been faltering for several years now, the overall functionality of the game is severely lacking and take away so much from an otherwise very enjoyable game. While I'm sure the game will improve with patches, I shouldn't have to pay my money to wait several weeks while the developers work out the bugs, just to be able to complete the main storyline of the game.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
games(TM)Aug 21, 2013Quite easily one of the best Dynasty Warriors games for a long time. [Issue#138, p.112]
Play UKAug 20, 2013Fans of the series will be pleasantly surprised. [Issue#234, p.78]