Koei Tecmo và Omega Force’s 21-year-old Dynasty Warriors series has never been a series known to lớn step outside its comfort zone, but Dynasty Warriors 9 is not your typical Dynasty Warriors game. For the first time, the developers have retired the tried-and-true segmented mission structure in favor of a large, open-world bản đồ with missions, points of interest, & random activities scattered sparsely about. But if this is the vision of what a modern Dynasty Warriors trò chơi is, then I’d prefer a flashback to lớn the series’ more focused và co-op friendly past instead.

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Combat in Dynasty Warriors 9 is its simplest joy, và at its height it’s lượt thích a ballet of beautiful, high-flying violence. I’ve shot tornadoes out of swords that wrecked an entire battlefield, juggling dozens of enemies in the air. I’ve rained ice & fire from the sky with the point of my finger. I’ve even created a vortex of electric storms that erupted all around me during a flurry of sword slashes. The shouts of enemies in agony, my allies supporting me, and the sounds of my attacks rampaging through the battlefield meld together with the rocking soundtrack.
Basic combat is the expected simple button-mashing lớn cut down enemies along the path lớn victory, but now there are Trigger Attacks that let you stun, launch, and knock down enemies. You can then follow those moves up with Flow Attacks, which let you chain combos together and go directly into another Trigger Attack, or phối them up for a Special or big Musou Attack. Flow Attacks act like the glue that connects all of the pieces of Dynasty Warriors 9’s combat system together, & even though it basically just means mashing square over and over, it keeps the intensity high. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, but once your thumb falls into the rhythm it’s all very natural.

If you’ve never liked how repetitive the combat is then Dynasty Warriors 9, unfortunately, won’t vì chưng anything khổng lồ sway that feeling. Despite the changes khổng lồ the combat system it all still boils down to lớn button mashing, but even so, it certainly does make a strong case for why mindless murder can be a ton of fun. Turning off my brain lớn just cut through swaths of literally hundreds of enemies on screen at any given time taps into a very special type of power-fantasy fun lượt thích few things can.The downfall is that, from the very start, Dynasty Warriors 9 tries too hard to lớn cater lớn too many types of gamers without doing any one thing particular thing well. Its open world checks a lot of boxes in terms of features, such as large xuất hiện spaces to explore, tons of collectible materials to lớn gather for crafting, và dozens of cookie-cutter missions peppered across the landscape from a variety of quest-giver NPCs without personalities. But despite all of the “content” there just isn’t anything interesting or worthwhile within the mở cửa world’s borders. For example, you can go fishing và collect a bunch of crafting materials, but it’s all just a time sink since none of that is put to use in any meaningful way. The entire trò chơi is perfectly beatable without ever touching the crafting system, other than making healing items every now và then.
The mở cửa world also backfires when it comes to keeping the momentum of gameplay going. While it’s nice that you don’t see many loading screens between missions, at least as much time is spent doing nothing of interest because you & your horse often have to gallop across vast, empty landscapes for minutes on end to get to your next waypoint. For every dramatic, flourishing step forward, Dynasty Warriors 9 takes a stumbling cascade of two or three steps backward.

Another example of that is the more serious take on storytelling. Dynasty Warriors 9 tells an intricate story from a wide variety of perspectives across various kingdoms, but there just isn’t enough meat on the bones. You can bounce back and forth khổng lồ see how the wars affect each empire in different ways and play out pivotal battles from different viewpoints, which is interesting, but there’s little incentive khổng lồ actually vì chưng that other than unlocking characters. The main story is presented in five different Kingdom-based arcs, each of which overlaps with the same 13 or so chapters. Each chapter under each Kingdom can be played through as a single character. Once completed you move on khổng lồ the next chapter, & so on. After an hour or two of story missions, you’ll likely find yourself skipping dialogue just khổng lồ speed things along a bit. Voice actors recorded thousands of lines of just standing around and talking about battles with a woeful lack of enthusiasm.
If you wanted khổng lồ play through the story from each of the ridiculous 90 characters’ perspectives you could easily spend hundreds of hours doing so. They all mô tả the same control schemes but vary in their speed & execution. For example, Cao Cao is a bit slower and more deliberate than average but delivers steady và targeted damage. Liu Bei, on the other hand, ravages enemies in a flurry of steel & lightning with his dual-wielded swords. I’m confident in saying that there is very likely a Warrior to lớn fit everyone’s playstyle in Dynasty Warriors 9 – it just might take a while khổng lồ find them.
Switching characters can be a great change of pace though, as the differences between a dual-wielding, fast-paced nhân vật and a giant, hammer-wielding, slow và powerful hero are pretty dramatic. That said, the novelty wears off fairly quickly, and many of the 90 feel lượt thích re-skinned clones of each other. Since the majority of their movesets are derived from the weapon type they’re using, any two characters with a longsword will feel very similar.That similarity diminishes the desire to replay missions và slaughter thousands of soldiers in the same, repeated battlefields, changing nothing but the avatar of your destruction. It's inconvenient, too – the only way to pick a new character is lớn quit out of your game back to lớn the main menu and select a chapter, then pick the specific character. You cannot change mid-chapter & you cannot change mid-combat at all. Thankfully all of your character-specific progress is saved so you could theoretically have dozens of active save files going, which is something you’ll eventually want to bởi vì if you’re trying to level up each Warrior individually. Things lượt thích money and items can be shared across playthroughs và you can even unequip gems and weapons from one Warrior & give them to another mid-playthrough, which is a welcome quality-of-life addition.

Even if the characters were significantly different, the mission variety of Dynasty Warriors 9 is sorely lacking. Most consist of showing up, cutting through a few dozen nameless grunts, & then taking out a named enemy that has a few extra attacks and a lot more health. Of course, you can skip the fodder và target the named enemy first, & defeating them will cause the remaining enemies to lớn either suddenly vanish into thin air or turn tail và retreat. This means that other than your character of choice and the surrounding scenery, virtually every combat encounter feels about the same.The repetition is made worse by the fact that there are no Kingdom management modes, no Survival or Challenge modes, or anything else available outside of Story mode. You can eventually unlock a basic free Play mode, but Dynasty Warriors 9 desperately needs more variety up front.

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To be very clear, there is no multiplayer whatsoever. That means no online co-op, no local split-screen co-op, and no competitive modes. Sharing in the bloodshed of slaying thousands of digital soldiers with a buddy by your side had become something of a staple for Dynasty Warriors in recent years, so this was immediately noticeable as a major missing piece.

Dynasty Warriors gets radio towers

Omega Force knows what its fans want when it creates Warriorsgames. Lord knows tons of outsiders have asked, begged, or pleaded with Koei Tecmo khổng lồ “try something new,” and for the most part we’ve had the same hack-and-slash foundation since the year 2000.

Insiders know that there’s plenty of nuances within the endless supply of offshoots & mainline entries, from different combo systems lớn siege capabilities to inventory & character management, but looking at the big picture Dynasty Warriors has always had a niche appeal.

Koei Tecmo is looking to literally turn this franchise around with the xuất hiện world Dynasty Warriors 9, but ends up mostly just satisfying its existing fans in the process.


That’s all good silly fun, but Dynasty Warriors 9has some rough spots that come along with the xuất hiện world territory. Enemies occasionally disappear and re-appear in different areas — & I’m not talking old school Warriorsframe-popping jank, like fully glitched teleportation. Even on a PS4 Pro there’s some performance issues, especially when you’re riding your horse from place lớn place — an kích hoạt you’re going to lớn spend a lot of time doing.

There is an air of familiarity to lớn it though & I think a lot of that has to do with the combat system. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, & regular và special combos return as vì chưng Musou supers, but there’s more of an earnest attempt to incorporate a radial spell menu that can be customized with gems, and a poor man’sArkham-like button press counter that also doubles as a finisher (called reactive attacks). The new stuff isn’t quite there yet (and neither are the quality weapon choices for each character), but it’s still satisfying to mow down hundreds of people with giant screen-filling explosions on a dime.

The hack-and-slash moment-to-moment kích hoạt works in its favor even when transitioning lớn a new style of play, butDynasty Warriors 9, like some of its predecessors, is clunky và unwieldy; hampered by the aforementioned bugs và performance problems. If you’re into the idea of playing an mở cửa world trò chơi where its arcadey elements are entwined withtherapeutic but sometimes dry exploration, maybe give it a shot.


Slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.

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Chris Carter
EIC, review Director - Chris has been enjoying lc.edu.vn avidly since 2008. He finally decided to lớn take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!