Dynasty Warriors is a franchise with a complicated reception: you either fall in love with it, or never manage to understand the appeal. Regardless of that, there have been eight entries in the core so far and a large number of spin-offs, including adaptations of manga and anime (One Piece Pirate Warriors, Arslan, Berserk).
In a twist nobody expected from a game so devoted to providing the players with discrete missions, DW9 goes open world, because it’s 2018 and we still aren’t over open world experiences.
We will be able to travel the ancient China on foot, on horseback, or by boat, if you choose to. Either way, the world is going to be reasonably fleshed out, with cities and settlements for you to defend, conquer, or just visit for resources and probably pandas.
It remains to be seen how much of the entire game is going to resemble a more flexible Ambition mode from DW8, or how the mass combat is going to work in open fields and forests. It’s one thing to funnel regulars through a mission map’s corridors, another to manage them out in the open.
We also know that there will be a day/night cycle as well as dynamic weather, affecting the experience appropriately.
One of the things most people can specify about a Dynasty Warriors game is that the playable heroes are units of incredible power, even by the video game standards. Capable of slaying dozens of enemy fighters in a single swing of whatever weapon they are using.
What lies under the surface is typically a rather complex system of mixing regular and strong moves, executing throws, counters, weapon switches etc. It’s been claimed that the movesets have been reviewed and revamped for DW9, with attacks performed changing relative to your own an your enemies’ position. There will also be three attack types: ones that set up a combo, ones that exploit it, and finishers. Unfortunately dynamic weapon switches are gone in this iteration.
One way or another, be sure to expect large killcounts, after all it is one of the series’ trademarks.
Open world, open strategies
Dynasty Warriors 9 is going to feature sieges and city infiltration, which are going to be aided by the grappling hook accessible to the playable characters, but that’s not the end of what we can expect from DW9.
There’s also talk about very demanding missions with difficulty modified by the auxiliary objectives you complete, such as disrupting supply lines, blocking the way of potential reinforcements etc. With a much bigger territory to play with come more ways to mess around and experiment, so that’s always good.
DW9 is going to feature all the 83 characters you might remember from Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires. Of course the key characters from each kingdom, such as Guan Yu or Cao Cao make their way back for you to guide their way to glory. There are also going to be several new characters, among them Xun Yuo, Cheng Pu, or Man Chong.
As most if not all of them drawn from Chinese history or the pages of the Romance of the Three Kindgoms. As is usual, the characters will be drawn from Chinese history and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Despite imaginative spin-offs, the core series has been content with introducing mostly QoL changes, and some occasional experimenting with the nuts and bolts of combat. Dynasty Warriors 9 appears determined to break the trend, changing completely how the game is going to play out. Open world structure, fortress infiltration, interconnected mission, all of it sounds fascinating and Koei Tecmo has the experience needed to pull it off.
Dynasty Warriors 9 launches on February 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.