Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition 0 Cinema 1280 0

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends

Complete Edition Review



It has happened. The fabled Dynasty Warriors series has finally reached Steam and sits happily at the Top Sellers page for quite a while now. No wonder, since it has garnered a fanatic following (that may or may not include yours truly) since its reimagining back when DW3 was introduced. It has a very specific story, characters and gameplay that have no real competitors on the market. Of course, it’s also an acquired taste, and there’s a good chance some people will just scoff at the ridiculousness that is the Dynasty Warriors franchise.

As with any coin you might or might not have seen, this one has two sides to take notice of. One half makes up the whole gamey part, while the other one marks what is the technical side of things.

If you’re well versed in how Dynasty Warriors plays out, you will be very pleased with what’s going on here. The game has a whole bunch of game modes that, while not being inherently different one from another, offer a couple of very interesting takes on the whole DW mythology and gameplay. Of course, there’s the original story mode that takes your warriors of choice for a spin against pre-determined armies and commanders. It’s pretty good, but not especially interesting, and will serve as a fine introductory campaign to the game, but not much else. Challenge mode places you into the boots of a stock character (without custom weapons, skills, animals and such) and gives you an arcade-like challenge to complete. Finishing these can yield unique weapons that are otherwise unobtainable, thus giving incentive to play it. The game also boasts a   mode that allows the players to set their own gameplay parameters and play as they see fit. Feel like controlling Cao Cao armed with a katana and a weaponized rake hunting Lu Bu across the land? Sure, why not. Add a purple grizzly bear as a combat pet to the mix. DW8 also allows every character to use any weapon you might have in your mode-persistent arsenal. As cool as this might sound, there’s only a single moveset connected to every available weapon. What this means is that if a female character by default uses, say, a metal whip to destroy her adversaries, your Xiahou Dun will use it in the exact same way should you equip it on him. That’s the stuff of nightmares right there. After prancing around (read: murdering half a dozen men with a single sword slash) in the Free Mode, you will want to take a look at the brand new Ambition mode, which is what’s probably going to interest everybody the most. This game mode allows you to build a base, form kinship, gain allies and kick ass across the country, all the while retaining any character progress you might have gained while playing in other modes.

As for the combat itself, Dynasty Warriors 8 is amazing. While it doesn’t have anything mind-blowingly new to differentiate it from the rest of the franchise, it’s obvious that the overall level of polish is a cut above all the previous games. The player has three types of attacks at disposal: normal, heavy and Musou. Normal and heavy are pretty straightforward, but Musou might be abstract to people who haven’t had contact with the franchise yet. These attacks unleash an array of high powered slashes that are capable of striking down hundreds of enemies at once. Now, when Musou gets combined with Rage, there’s no way anything will be left standing after this attack. This is fairly reminiscent of the Musou attacks as they were depicted in the earlier games of the franchise. The Rage Mode is another addition to the working formula that adds even more dynamic to the gameplay. It allows for high powered attacks to be dealt quickly and effectively, dispatching even stronger enemies with little to no effort. The weapon system has been given layers of coolness, too.

Every armament has one of the three affinities that determine its effectiveness against a specific enemy type. Of course, there’s also a buy/sell system offered that allows for easy and fast weapon trading and upgrading. As you can see, Dynasty Warriors 8 has a whole bunch of things to show off with, and trust me when I say that there’s even more to it that I’ve described here.

However, there’s the other side of the coin, too. As awesome as DW8 might be as a game, its technicalities simply suck on PC. First of all, my frame-rate originally never went higher than low-twenties. Graphical settings, resolution, virtual synchronization… none of those had any effect on the game performance whatsoever. It doesn’t make any sense, and the solution I’ve found is even stranger. The game runs perfectly in windowed mode. As long as I play it in a window, it runs just fine at the highest settings. Switch to full screen, and it’s as if I’m trying to run Crysis on PS2-grade hardware. And it’s not just that, either. I’ve had the game randomly crash on me several times, and freezes are also an ordinary occurrence. At least I haven’t encountered any real bugs, but that’s a physic victory if I’ve ever seen one.

For reasons I simply cannot grasp, the developers have seemingly decided to port the PS3 version to PC, all the while marketing the game with the obviously more interesting screenshots of the PS4 version. There might be some factors to this decision that we’re oblivious of, but as far as I know, Sony’s latest console infrastructure is much more similar to that of a PC, than the previous one’s complex workings are. So why port the inferior version, then? This is what made me lower some of the scores for a considerable amount of points. While better than it was in the previous games, the visual fidelity on PC pales in comparison to the PlayStation 4 version.

And so, this review wraps up on a both sad and angry note. The game itself is brilliant, and outshines every other DW we’ve had the chance to play so far, but the fact KOEI has seemingly messed this port up so much significantly lowers the overall impression. If you think you can turn a blind eye on these issues, give the game a spin, but otherwise, hope for a substantial patch from the developers.