Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends (PS4) Review
Posted by Mark Salmela on 03.31.2014
The long-running franchise Dynasty Warriors makes the leap to next-gen consoles with Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends! But how does it stack up? 411's Mark Salmela checks in with his full review!
Title: Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Developer: Tecmo Koei
Rated: T for Teen
As you can probably guess by the number ď8Ē in the title, Dynasty Warriors has been around for a while. The Warriors series has been popular for Tecmo Koei, spawning spin-off franchises such as Gundam Warriors and several expansions for the Dynasty Warriors games. The last few Dynasty Warriors games have seen expansions released under the ďXtreme LegendsĒ name, including new missions and characters. Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends continues this trend, except now it also includes the jump to the PlayStation 4. So how does it fare? Letís find out.
For those who have been living under a rock, Dynasty Warriors is a hack-n-slash series loosely based off the old Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Each game tells the story of the Wei, Wu, and Han clans as they fight for control of China. Taking place long before we had modern weapons and advanced military strategy (i.e. any military strategy according to how Dynasty Warriors plays) Dynasty Warriors gives you control of one of around 75 playable characters as you let loose on the battlefield destroying entire civilizations of people. I say entire civilizations because Iím pretty sure I killed 5,000 people in the first mission, give or take a few small villages worth of people. Dynasty Warriors makes Call of Duty blush in terms of how much of a slaughter it is.
Dynasty Warriors is all about racking up huge combos while completing certain objectives such as clearing out a certain area under control by another army. For better or for worse, you can pretty much beat any Dynasty Warriors game by putting your brain on auto-pilot and mashing the Square button over and over again. There are light attacks and heavy attacks that can be combined to make impressive combos, but you never really need to use them. As long as you keep an eye on your health bar and save up your special attacks for sticky situations, you should never have a problem beating Dynasty Warriors.
By this point Dynasty Warriors has entered into the Call of Duty/Tony Hawk formula where you know what youíre getting. All of the games play basically the same minus a few small bullet points. If you played Dynasty Warriors 6 or 7, you know what youíre getting in 8. If youíre looking for a game with any real depth to it, Dynasty Warriors is not for you and I donít think itíll ever cater to you. People who enjoy Dynasty Warriors enjoy it for a reason. Itís mindless fun. It is rewarding to be surrounded by 200 enemies only to barrel your way out of it by killing everyone with a few slashes of your sword. The AI is dumbed down for a reason, so you can kill them all without having your combo interrupted.
The best part of Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends is that the game doesnít waste any time showing you its best parts. From mission 1 you are thrown into a warzone with a bunch of friendly allies, charging into battle against herds of enemies. One of the benefits of being on the PS4 is that the game does look significantly better than any Dynasty Warriors game to come before it, although it doesnít quite match the impressive visuals seen in other PS4 titles such as NBA 2K14 or Infamous Second Son. But the game does look impressive considering how many enemies are on screen. The lighting is also a lot more natural in the environment and characters are much more detailed in the PS4 release.
The biggest improvement to the Xtreme Legends version of Dynasty Warriors 8 is the Lu Bu special campaign and a new challenge mode. Lu Bu was one of the main characters from Dynasty Warriors 8 and now he has his own campaign. The story admittedly is near impossible to follow but it doesnít really matter in the grand scheme of things. Dynasty Warriors has never had a compelling story and things havenít changed here. Itís all about hacking and slashing your way through countless enemies. You also have a horse that you can now mount to really steamroll through groups of enemies. Just make sure there isnít an enemy who knows how to block nearby or else youíll be thrown off your horse. There are some neat streaming features through Twitch, but during my testing there wasnít much of a community to fully explore the range of options available in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends.
- The best looking Dynasty Warriors game to date
- The game doesnít waste your time teaching you how to play, you go straight into the action
- New characters and new stages
- Thereís a lot of content packed into the game. Completionists have their work cut out for them.
- The gameplay has never been anything more than hack-n-slash. Itís a button masher.
- The visuals are good and the framerate is smooth, but it isnít nearly as good as other PS4 titles.
- Dynasty Warriors 8 only came out a few months ago on last-gen consoles.
- The story is extremely hard to follow.
Playing a Dynasty Warriors game is kind of like eating at Pizza Hut. You know exactly what youíre going to get. Itís not going to be the best thing ever, but itís consistent, filling, cheap, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. You get an immediate satisfaction from playing Dynasty Warriors that unfortunately will wear off quickly unless you are really in the mood for a mindless button masher. If youíre new to gaming and have never played Dynasty Warriors, this is a good place to start. If youíre a diehard Dynasty Warriors fan youíve probably already bought the game and donít need a review to justify your purchase. If youíre a normal gamer who wants a game to sink their teeth into, Dynasty Warriors is probably not for you.
The game looks good for a Dynasty Warriors game, but not for a PS4 game
A button masher until the day the series dies.
Nothing even remotely memorable. You could classify the music as ďgarbage rockĒ.
There is a lot of content packed into a discounted game.
The problem is the content gets repetitive quickly.