Dynasty Warriors 8
|Dynasty Warriors 8|
North American cover art
|Genre(s)||Hack and slash, Action|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multiplayer, co-op|
|Distribution||DVD, Blu-ray Disc, download|
Dynasty Warriors 8 (真・三國無双7 Shin Sangokumusō 7?, known in Japan as Shin Sangokumusou 7) is a beat 'em up video game and the eighth official installment of the Dynasty Warriors series. It is developed by Omega Force and published by Tecmo Koei. The story is based on the Chinese writer Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The game was unveiled on October 30, 2012 via Jump Magazine and released on February 28, 2013 for the PlayStation 3 in Japan. On April 3, 2013, it was confirmed by Tecmo Koei that there would be an overseas release for both North America and Europe in July 2013. It was released on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for both physical and digital release. The option of English and Japanese voice overs also return, where there is also an option to change the subtitles to English, French or German.
Having more than 82 characters featured in the game, the game largely based its system from Dynasty Warriors 7 and instead focused on adding more content for replayability as well as several tweaks in the combat system. The game is followed by two expansions. The first, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends was released for PlayStation 3 on November 28, 2013 in Japan and on 2014 in North America and Europe. Versions for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 are developed as well, both of which package the expansion with the original version and are released under the title of Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition. The PlayStation Vita version was released on the same day as PlayStation 3, while the PlayStation 4 version was released as a launch title for the console in Japan, on March 25, 2014 in North America, and on April 4, 2014 for Europe. The PC port for Complete Edition released on May 13, 2014. The second expansion, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires will be released for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 25, 2014 in Japan.
Gameplay and Features
Story Mode and Free Mode
The story mode retains the same faction-based storyline and returns with seamless cutscenes. In addition, each of the characters of the "Other" faction has one scenario dedicated to them, forming a loose "Other" faction story mode, in a first for the series. Stages now have more freedom of progression for the player, unlike the previous installment, which was strongly preset in means of stage routes. A selection of up to four characters will be offered for each stages in Story Mode, instead of controlling a pre-defined character; the mission objectives in each level differ based on the character chosen. The story has been entirely rewritten, with each of the four factions' stories dividing into a historical path and a hypothetical path at a critical portion of their stories. Each mission may have a number of optional objectives which unlock additional side story missions or alter the course of history,such as the moment where the flood attack in Fan Castle fails and therefore saves Guan Yu's life from being extinguished and therefore in relation also saves Zhang Fei from the betraying officers. In order to unlock the hypothetical path, players must complete all of the optional objectives in both the main and side stories prior to the critical point of the storyline. The game also allows a co-op play of the story mode and it can be played both offline and online. In the previous installment to the franchise, Dynasty Warriors 7, the story mode was only single-player.
Xtreme Legends adds an additional storyline for Lü Bu's forces, primarily focused on Lü, Chen Gong, and Zhang Liao. In addition, a series of hypothetical missions are added to the four main kingdoms' storylines, mostly recreating historical events with a slight hypothetical twist (for example, one Wei mission is premised on Cao Cao sparing Lü Bu after the Battle of Xiapi and utilizing him in the Battle of Guandu, while a Shu scenario has Liu Bei turning to Sun Ce rather than Cao Cao after the Battle of Xiaopei). Each of the three main kingdoms contains a two-part "mini-campaign" centered around the new character introduced to their respective factions (Yu Jin, Zhu Ran, and Fa Zheng), while the Jin faction, having no new characters, has a three-part mini-campaign featuring a fictional version of Zhong Hui's Rebellion. Each campaign concludes with a whimsical side-story mission, not set to any particular timeline. Additional "Other" scenarios are also included for the Other faction.
The music for the hypothetical portion of each Story Mode is taken from earlier Dynasty Warriors installments, with four pieces specifically remixed for this game (one each from Dynasty Warriors 3, 5, 6, and 7). Furthermore, the four kingdom leitmotifs introduced in Dynasty Warriors 7 return and are further expanded upon in the soundtrack of Dynasty Warriors 8; Xtreme Legends adds a kingdom leimotif for Lü Bu's faction based on his recurring theme.
Free mode returns for the first time since Dynasty Warriors 6 in terms of main game. Players will be given opportunity to play as an opposing faction in the stages a la Dynasty Warriors 3 and 4, instead of being forced to play in a faction as in Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends.
A new game mode, called the "Ambition Mode", has been introduced. In it, the player is tasked to create a social base for peasants called the "Tongquetai Tower" and to make Emperor Xian visit it. To raise the tower's status, the player must partake in three different kind of battles; Skirmish battles which give materials to construct the tower, Raid battles which increase fame, and Large-scale battles which can recruit new partners. Players start out with the weapon shop as their sole base facility. More can be added or expanded upon as the town gradually becomes populated with people. These include a food market, a trade shop, a menagerie, etc.
Xtreme Legends introduces a countdown timer into Ambition Mode, where a player is initially given 7 minutes of time (the base game granted 15, 30, or 60 minutes per scenario, based on the game map), and is granted additional time for every 100 enemies killed, for every officer defeated, or for achieving stage objectives (up to a maximum of 15 minutes). It also introduces a second portion to Ambition Mode, reminiscent of both Dynasty Warriors Next and the Empires installments, where, following the construction of the Tonquetai and the visitation of the emperor, a false emperor has arisen and the player is tasked to eliminate the false emperor by subjugating territories under the false emperor's influence. The bodyguard system of the base game is expanded, where, instead of the ability to bring one (playable) character with them to battle, they may bring three (generic or playable) officers with them. The ability to select bodyguards is based on a "fee" system, constrained by the playable character's leadership rating as well as an inherent cost to hiring the character as a bodyguard (for example, playable characters cost more than generic officers). Each bodyguard is also associated with a particular bodyguard skill, which may be used by the playable character to affect the course of gameplay. Bodyguard skills may be upgraded with use, or by releasing other officers (the released officers return as enemies, and may be re-recruited), while the leadership rating of playable characters may be upgraded by using the skills of their bodyguards.
As with previous Dynasty Warriors games, Xtreme Legends adds a Challenge Mode, which uses stock characters (as opposed to the customized characters in Story, Free, or Ambition modes) for various arcade-style challenges. There are a total of five mini-games, each of which reward the player with a customizable weapon based on the character's score in the challenge; these may include weapons with weapon elements that are unobtainable in any of the other modes.
The game features new battle mechanics that rely on a new concept called the "Three-Point System", where each weapon is given an affinity of either "Heaven", "Earth", or "Man"; each affinity is strong against one of the affinities and weak against the other. If the player faces an officer whose affinity is weaker, they may trigger the "Storm Rush", a multi hitting attack that requires repeatedly pressing the attack buttons. It is shown through a blue gauge above the opponent which decreases as you attack. Storm Rush is then initiated automatically when the gauge is fully depleted; in Xtreme Legends, this can be configured to be triggered manually by pressing both the normal and charge attack buttons. Conversely, if the player faces an officers whose affinity is stronger, they may trigger the "Switch Counter", a counterblow attack that allows you to avoid a hard hitting attack from an opponent while also blowing them away before switching to another weapon. It is shown through a red exclamation mark. A switch counter may be triggered by pressing the weapon switch attack button when the opponent is preparing a charge attack or a Storm Rush; a visual indicator will appear when the opportunity to Switch Counter arises.
Dynasty Warriors 8 also adds Rage Mode; this mechanic is similar to the Musou Rage system from Dynasty Warriors 5. This requires the Rage Gauge to be full, which may be achieved by attacking enemies. When it is full, it can be initiated (with R3 on the PS3 and PS4, and by touching the screen where the Rage Gauge lies on the PS Vita) where the player's stats dramatically increase while the gauge slowly depletes. While in Rage Mode, the player's Musou bars merged together, and is automatically replenished; when the player presses the Musou attack button, the player is able to perform a Rage Attack, a powerful move reminiscent of Musou attacks from past Dynasty Warriors games, in that it will slowly deplete a character's Musou guage, and ends whenever the player releases the Musou attack button or the gauge is empty (the Rage Gauge may be depleted while a player is performing the Rage Attack; Rage Mode will end in this case when the Rage Attack ends).
In the previous installment, each character could hold up to two musou attacks; either two ground attacks (termed "Musou 1" and "Musou 2"; the latter triggered by pressing the Musou and weapon switch attack buttons at the same time), or one ground and one air attack. In this installment, all characters have all three types of Musou attacks, though the ability to use the aerial Musou and Musou 2 attacks must be unlocked through strengthening the character.
The game retains the EX weapon system from Dynasty Warriors 7, where each character's six normal and charge attacks are determined entirely by the two weapons that they have equipped; in addition, each character is associated with a single weapon, for which a special EX attack (a character-specific followup to a charge attack) is available to them; in Xtreme Legends each character gains a second EX attack. Each character may equip two weapons, and may freely switch them in battle by pressing the weapon switch button; a character may perform their Musou attack regardless of which weapon is equipped. Unlike Dynasty Warriors 7, characters no longer share EX weapon types; each character is now associated with a unique EX weapon type. Examples include Sun Jian featuring a new nine-ringed blade. This is a dao that has a total of nine rings that connect to the sword's back. The rings are able to produce sound that inflicts damage upon enemies. All weapons from Dynasty Warriors 7 and its expansions return, with many new ones added. Unlike Dynasty Warriors 7, players may keep multiple copies of a single weapon type, each of which containing six "element" slots. Weapons broadly fall into two categories in terms of customization: standard weapons and "treasure weapons". Whereas treasure weapons have preset elements and cannot be customized, players may customize standard weapons through one of three methods (all inspired by the Warriors Orochi series): weapon tempering, reforging, and, in Xtreme Legends, fusion. Weapon tempering and reforging require the use of "weapon materials", which may be obtained through Ambition Mode play; tempering sacrifices a weapon to strengthen another one while reforging trades three weapons for two stronger ones. Weapon Fusion requires the use of Gems, acquired through Free and Ambition modes, where players may selectively replace an existing element on a weapon with elements found on another weapon (which will be sacrificed in the process), change the affinity of an existing weapon, or improve the base attack rating of a weapon. The process of weapon customization must be unlocked through Ambition Mode, though in Xtreme Legends once unlocked it may also be used in Free Mode.
A weapon's type now includes an affinity, being one of the following three elements: 天 Heaven, 地 Earth, 人 Man. With these three affinity elements, a triangular relationship connecting the three in an infinite manner determines which affinity will outdo one another. This triangular relationship is similar to Rock-paper-scissors. The relationship states that the "Man" affinity is effective against the "Heaven" affinity, the "Heaven" affinity is effective against the "Earth" affinity, and the "Earth" affinity is effective against the "Man" affinity.
Dynasty Warriors 8 features upgraded graphics compared to previous games in the series, with less lag and fewer framerate issues. The weather effects on the stages have been improved and there are more gimmicks implemented in the system, adding a more unique playstyle.
Enemy and Ally A.I. in this title is designed to punish players who fail to pay attention to their allies. Recently, the AI has been revised again for difficulty in the oversea ports to appeal to North American audiences. The morale gauge also returns. Horses are now called by pressing L2 where if held down, players can automatically mount their horse. Clothing will also be dirtied throughout the course of battle.
The following is a list of the 83 playable characters in the game. Characters available by default are the ones who are selectable in the first stage of each kingdom stories; other characters are unlocked by unlocking the first stage they are made playable in Story Mode. Players who import saved data from the base game to Xtreme Legends will have the new characters unlocked for use in Story Mode and Free Mode by default, in addition to the characters that were previously unlocked in the base game. In Xtreme Legends, if the character is defeated as an ally in Ambition Mode or if they are released to strengthen another officer, they will be re-locked until they are defeated and recruited again.
* Denotes new characters to the series
** Denotes characters added through Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends
*** Denotes characters added through Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires
Bold denotes default characters (Dynasty Warriors 8 only)
The game has received generally mixed to positive reviews.
Among the Famitsu 2013 Top 100, a listing of the top 100 Japanese retail software sales for the year of 2013 from data collected by Famitsu's parent company Enterbrain, Dynasty Warriors 8 ranked number 19, with 354,980 physical retail sales within Japan.
Like previous games in the series, Dynasty Warriors 8 is followed by two expansions. The first, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends (真・三國無双7 猛将伝 Shin Sangokumusō 7 Mōshōden?) was released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on November 28, 2013 in Japan while the PlayStation 4 version was released as a launch title in Japan. Both versions were released on March 25, 2014 in North America and Europe on April 4, 2014. A PC port was also released on May 23, 2014 in Japan as well as May 13, 2014 in North America and Europe. It includes additional features not present in Dynasty Warriors 8, such as a new story mode dedicated to Lü Bu and his allies, new stages for the rest of the kingdoms and other characters, new content for Ambition Mode, Challenge Mode, a new EX attack for each character, and five new playable characters, Chen Gong, Fa Zheng, Lu Lingqi, Yu Jin, and Zhu Ran. It also enables cross-platform multiplayer. Players may also have the option to buy just the expansion or a package with the original version (called Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition for the PS4, also called Dynasty Warriors 8 Portable for the PlayStation Vita) through either physical discs or digital download. The second expansion, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires (真・三國無双7 Empires Shin Sangokumusō 7 Empires?) will be released for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 25, 2014 in Japan. Like previous Empires expansions, it will focus more on strategical and tactical battle system. It will allow players to modify the player force's flags, horses, and soldiers, as well as featuring large-scale strategems, enhanced from Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires. In addition to the marriage system, players' officers can have children with their spouses. A new playable character, Xun Yu will also be added in Empires.
- Dynasty Warriors
- Samurai Warriors
- Tecmo Koei
- Romance of Three Kingdoms
- Three Kingdoms
- Warriors Orochi
- List of Dynasty Warriors characters
- "Shin Sangoku Musou 7 release date". Twitter. December 3, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
- PS3F (December 6, 2012). "Dynasty Warriors 8: New Faces Plus Japanese Release Date Announced". PlayStation News International. Retrieved December 6, 2012. "Shin Sangoku Musou 7 will storm PS3s in Japan on February 28th. A western release is likely but remains TBA."
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- Tally "xelissa" Callahan. "Dynasty Warriors 8 Announced for PS3 Co-Op Story expected (story mode to include 77 characters and new battle mechanics)". Retrieved 31 October 2012. "What IS known is that the story mode will support a roster of a whopping 77 characters, ten of which have been revealed so far."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Retrieved 1 November 2012. "There will be more than 77 characters appearing in total (71-75 is most plausible)"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Retrieved March 3, 2013. "DW8's concept is "Infinite Deepening" rather than "Evolution", thus focusing more on the quantitative addition"
- Romano, Sal. "Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends release date set". Gematsu. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Retrieved 1 November 2012. "Story Mode is still faction-oriented and has seamless cutscenes"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Retrieved February 20, 2013. "Story Mode is also confirmed to have storyline for Other faction"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 1 November 2012. "DW8 will have more freedom in the stage's progress route, unlike DW7 which had a quite preset progress route"
- Li_An_Di. "Post #3524". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 7 November 2012. "It was confirmed today that the story mode you can pick numerous characters per stage depending on the stage. And the what if missions were confirmed last week. So no need to worry Like the example blackite gave 'Hei Fei you can choose between Zhang Liao, Yue Jin or Li Dian"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 1 November 2012. "The stories are being rewritten from scratch. There may be also what-if stories"
- Tally "xelissa" Callahan. "Dynasty Warriors 8 Announced for PS3 Co-Op Story expected (story mode to include 70 characters and new battle mechanics)". Retrieved 31 October 2012. "So far, the game has only been announced for the PS3, and while a Co-Op Story Mode is expected, there's no word yet on how many players will be able to play together, and if the co-op is online, offline, or both."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 1 November 2012. "Free mode is returning."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 1 November 2012. "There will be also another new game mode for the replay value"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 25 January 2013. "New mode is Commander mode"
- Tally "xelissa" Callahan. "Dynasty Warriors 8 Announced for PS3 Co-Op Story expected (story mode to include 70 characters and new battle mechanics)". Retrieved 31 October 2012. "Dynasty Warriors 8 also features new battle mechanics, which change based on the enemy commander's affinity. These new mechanics include Storm Rush (triggered when weapon affinity reaches a certain level), Variable Counter (a counterblow which sacrifices the weapon and grants the user a random new one), and Awakening Action (empowers skills as well as XP gain when a certain number of enemies have been killed while it's going)."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8 Information Thread". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 5 December 2012. "All characters now have 3 Musou attacks. 1st Musou: O, 2nd Musou: R1+O, 3rd Musou: Aerial O. The Musou variety is unlocked as the character is strengthened up"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 1 November 2012. "EX Weapon clones are to be reduced as much as possible. Character's main weapons are basically based on their latest weapons in DW7 series."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 21 November 2012. "Sun Jian is decloned with the weapon Nine-Ringed Blade, a Dao blade that has nine rings attached to its back which can emit sounds that can damage enemies."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 1 November 2012. "Weapon switch system from DW7 is returning. All DW7 weapon types up to DW7E will be returning along with more brand-new weapons."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8 Information Thread". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 5 December 2012. "Weapon types have one of these 3 affinity elements: 天 Heaven, 地 Earth, 人 People There is a triangular relation to determine which affinity is better than which, Heaven is good against Earth, Earth is good against People, People is good against Heaven"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8 Information Thread". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 5 December 2012. "When the player's weapon is advantageous, a greenish Vigor Gauge appears at the top of the officer's name & health. (the red circle is only for marking) An outer circle forms around the gauge, and when the circle is full, Storm Rush is activated. On the contrary if the weapon is disadvantageous, a red mark appears instead. If the enemy officer is hit with a Variable Attack when they're doing their strong attacks, the Variable Attack changes into Variable Counter."
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 21 November 2012. "Stages are to be revamped with better graphics, weather effects and more visible gimmicks"
- BlackKite. "Dynasty Warriors 8". Dynasty Warriors Series. Retrieved 25 January 2013. "Story Mode is confirmed to be playable in co-op, both offline and online"
- "Warriors Orochi 3 for PS3 - Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- "Warriors Orochi 3 for Xbox 360 - Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
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- 2013-01-29, Famitsu: Top 100 best-selling games of 2013, Nintendo Everything
- Official Japanese site (Japanese)
- Official North American site
- Official European site
- Dynasty Warriors 8 review on IGN