I am not a big fan of hack and slash games and, to be honest, I’ve never really immersed myself in the long standing Dynasty Warriors series. While I’ve gotten to play a few games here and there, it has never really hooked me in enough to appreciate the lore. During the Tokyo Game Show, Sony Interactive Entertainment was awesome enough to give us a chance to test the latest installment in the series and the game has now certainly piqued my interest! Check out the brand new trailer below.
For the first time in the series, Dynasty Warriors shifts into an open world setting and this change was meant to bring life and revitalize an aged system that was losing its shine. Akihiro Suzuki, the producer of the game, was kind enough to answer some questions from the press, stating that they wanted to try something new this time around since the series was getting a bit stale. Changing to an open world was definitely a welcome feature and it indeed shows that Koei Tecmo was listening to their fans, bringing into light the fact that they wanted the players to discover their own approach and style to the game by providing them the freedom to roam around and explore the world.
Taking on the challenge of an open world setting, Suzuki-san explained that apart from the main storyline, there are tons of things to do in the game such as side quests, fishing, hunting animals, and treasure hunting among others. It is also interesting to note that the power balance of the kingdoms in the game shifts dynamically depending on what has transpired during your playthrough, changing minor behavior and circumstances along the way.
During our limited playthrough of the build, we were immediately thrust into battle and the first thing you will recognize is that you’ll be able to choose which missions to undertake via a map filled with pointers on where to go. When traveling halfway across the map, it was a sight to see the weather and environmental effects change through the passage of time, adding that much needed immersion to the game.
One mission I was in pit me against a group of hyper aggressive troops and my initial instinct was to dive in and just kill everybody but as it turns out, you may use the environment to your advantage like using your bow to shoot explosive barrels littered around the field. Another instance was when I helped a battering ram mow down a castle door and this in turn allowed my group to charge in and finish the mission with ease. It is this dynamic world and events that give life to missions and allows the player to incorporate his own personality into the game.
The meat of the battle comes from a new feature called the state combo system, wherein your attacks can either alter the state of the enemy or react to their incoming actions. Trigger, Flow, and Reactive attacks add a whole new level of depth and strategy to Dynasty Warriors 9 and suddenly, it’s not your basic hack and slash anymore. Combos feel more fulfilling to pull off and countering the opponent at the right time with a Reactive attack that chains into an air juggle is deeply gratifying.
Overall, Dynasty Warriors 9 is a huge step forward in the right direction and more importantly, fans of the long running series will appreciate the new design that the game is taking. There are tons of things to do and the battle system is as smooth as ever, allowing you to enjoy the game the way it was meant to be. PS4 Pro players will get to experience various enhancements to the game, so expect Dynasty Warriors 9 on that console to be THE definitive experience.
Dynasty Warriors 9 will be released in early 2018 on the Sony Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC so stay tuned for more details on this greatly revitalized franchise!