I remember back in late 2002 getting Dynasty Warriors 3 for my Xbox and enjoying the hell out of it. My best friend and I would play Dynasty Warriors for hours on end every time he came over to my house. It’s the good memories like those that got me excited when I heard Dynasty Warriors 8XL was going to be on Playstation 4. Now, I haven’t played Dynasty Warriors since the fifth installment. I picked up Samurai Warriors and Gundam Warriors back in the day, but it’s been a solid 7+ years since I last played this series of games. So finally getting to play Dynasty Warriors again on my PS4 was a fun jaunt down memory lane. The game looks pretty nice graphically. It’s obviously a PS3 port, but since I skipped the last generation of consoles, I am really digging how the game looks. The battlefields are gorgeous and feel very different from one another, unlike the older Dynasty Warriors I was used to. Back in the day, one level was yellow grass with castles, one was green grass with rock outcroppings. The only level I remember being different was a level where you run across ships that were on fire. Though, in Dynasty Warriors 8XL, each zone is huge, filled with all sorts of different areas, and they aren’t as repetitive as before. Another thing the new installment in the series has, over the ones I played years ago, is the massive number of enemies they can graphically fit on the screen now. There are hundreds of npc allies and enemies on the screen at once! I remember enemies popping in from only ten feet away, or even disappearing because there were too many enemies surrounding me, during Dynasty Warriors 5. Game systems back then just couldn’t handle so many npcs on the screen at once, but that’s definitely been fixed.
The voice acting and the story are still very cheesy, but if that’s something that bothers you, you’ll never like Dynasty Warriors, or did in the first place. Clearly dubbed cut-scenes, cheap voice actors, pure golden entertainment. Games like Dynasty Warriors aren’t for everyone. They’re the button smashiest button smasher games ever made. People find them boring or repetitive and I get that, but for people like me, who buy these games no matter how much has changed, they’re therapeutic. After playing long hours of MMORPGs or FPS games, nothing is better than just loading into Dynasty Warriors and mindlessly smashing your way through thousands of enemies singlehandedly. It’s a game you can still play even if you have a lot on your mind. So the people who loved the older Dynasty Warriors installments, are going to love this new one. It’s got a ton of features added since the fifth installment. Now you can equip any type of weapon on any hero. Each hero has two different weapons they can switch between at any time, and you can find even more powerful upgrades to weapons and armor along the way. Remember when Lu Bu would appear as you were about to win a battle and just wreck your face? Well you can play as Lu Bu right off the bat, and see his story and how he became such a powerful general. Want to play as a Lu Bu who wields a horse whip and chucks bombs? You can do that. There is something like eighty three characters to choose between, and they each have their own role in the story campaigns, and their own unique affinity with certain weapons. Dynasty Warriors 8XL introduces Rage Mode, which turns your general into a god of death, and a three-point system that involves the elements Earth, Fire and Man (One being weaker and stronger against the other two, kind of like Pokemon). There are three different Mosou attacks you can perform to destroy your enemies, which doesn’t include the Rage Mode ten second long Armageddon like Mosou! I think after all is said, this is still a Dynasty Warriors game. It’s a very good one, graphically and gameplay-wise, and I would recommend picking it up for a console if you were a fan before or if it sounds like something you would enjoy. I don’t think KOEI has a good reputation for PC-ports, but if all you have is a PC, you can find Dynasty Warriors 8 on steam as well. For me personally, I recommend putting this game on the hardest difficulty, have your friends come over or play online mode, and just revel in the pure enjoyment of swinging ridiculously large weapons into crowds and crowds of enemy soldiers. That’s how you get the most out of this game.