Seriously I’ve been dreading writing this review. But here goes, this game makes me feel ashamed to be a long time fan of Dynasty Warriors.
Dynasty Warriors has always been about hacking and slashing your way through hordes of enemies with unique characters and weaponry. The maps were well designed and the previous format made battles seem meaningful with little in game objectives.
Dynasty Warriors 9 is the first open world entry into the series. And at first I was incredibly excited for it but when actually playing the game, I was disappointed.
Open world is great when it’s done well, when you actually design the world.
This open world feels the same, all castles and battles feel similar. The only unique battle I must say was battle of Chi Bi. Only because we got to see something other than poorly designed castles , forests and the occasional mountain. I genuinely got excited to see a few boats chained together, which says a lot at how exciting this game is to play.
Let’s go deeper into this open world. Gameplay unfortunately suffers because of it. The traditional battle system has been stretched out into smaller battles that have no meaning. Yes completing the side missions mean that your allies join you in battle. But does that mean anything anymore when you can just scale the back of Guan Du castle with your grappling hook and defeat the main boss.
The combat has been overly simplified, it feels as though the game has 8 button combinations, which makes combat look the same. And that doesn’t help when you are fighting the same enemies over and over.
When you aren’t in combat you are traveling sometimes up to an hour in real time to get to a fight. Which is ridiculous, I understand that there is small skirmishes along the way, but I’d rather not waste time doing something that doesn’t advance the story.
Speaking of the story; I like how it’s arranged. Splitting the story across each character is great, it reminds me a lot of DW5. And the UI is really well designed (although can be buggy most of the time). It feels that not all characters have much of a story , I understand that DW9 has 90 playable characters but 2 chapters isn’t much of a story mode especially when other characters can play the same chapters.
Dynasty Warriors 5 had a minimum of 5 proper missions for each character. And Warriors Orochi 3 , a game with over 120 playable characters... each character had a defined , well structured story line. So I can’t accept the argument of “there is too many characters to give them proper stories”
Weapons in the game are disappointing to say the least.The unique weapons, weapons that added replay value to the game, have been removed in favour of “realism” . Whilst characters like Xun You use a “floppy whip” and much like Xun You’s weapon this game is utterly flaccid. I don’t think it’s down to realism I think Koei made these changes to make the game more accessible to the Chinese Market.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms doesn’t mention such weapons so , they want to stay true to the story. That’s why “what if” story lines don’t really exist. It’s also why the Chinese Dub is great. Koei simply invested more money where they know they will get a return on.
Remember this game is the first time in a while that China has had access to consoles, and with that first time in a while that DW was sold on China. A game that is based off a famous Chinese Novel. See where I’m going with this. I’ve noticed a very political undertone in this game much higher than previous games. Simply put Dynasty Warriors 9 isn’t trying to be Dynasty Warriors game , it’s trying to be a Visual Novel based on the ROTK book.
Let’s talk about Dubs, if you want to play this game I recommend playing in Japanese or Chinese dub. Only listen to the English dub if you want to punish yourself. They’ve decided to ditch the voice actors that have grown with the characters, who have been voicing the game since it’s second entry. Instead we get voice actors who are odd and clunky. To be honest they match how clunky the game is. The voice cast has been cut to 40 people voicing 90 characters, meaning characters often sound the same , which wasn’t an issue in previous characters because the actors were amazing.
I feel that the Japanese Voice cast could have done a better job of dubbing the game in English. And it probably would have been cheaper for Koei as well.
This review is already long enough as it is, so I will end it by saying don’t buy this game unless you like being disappointed. I must say if you own the game on steam and played less than 2 hours please request a refund. You will be doing your a favour by skipping this game.
If you want to play a half decent Dynasty Warriors Game then DW8 CE is going for £20 on psn currently. To be honest any DW game is better than this one even DW God seekers.
+ Great Character Design + Best Cutscenes of a Warriors Game + Lovely Chinese and Japanese Dubs
- Sub-par English Dub and Localisation
-Poorly Designed Open World
- Cloned Weapons/ Removal of Quirky Unique Weapons
-Many Game breaking bugs/glitches
-NPCs Offered as DLC (not included in season pass)