Wednesday 9 April 2014

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition

Back in 1997 I took a day off from school because I was ill. Well, between you and me I was faking it, but that's beside the point. My point is this is where I first came across the Dynasty Warriors series. You see, the first title in the epic franchise was released that year, and despite being a completely different beast than it is now, it was awesome! The first game, simply called Dynasty Warriors, was a one-on-one beat-em up, while the following titles veered off in a significantly different direction. Though I didn't really keep up with the series post Dynasty Warriors 3, I was there when it was just cutting its teeth. Now, with this being my first Dynasty Warriors title in just over a decade, is it any good?

But wait! So chances are you're sitting there thinking, “what's the different between the Dynasty Warriors 8 on the PS3, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends also on the PS3 and this?” I know, it can get pretty damn confusing. Basically, the original release was Dynasty Warriors 8 with Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends being an expansion pack to that game. This release, which tacks on Complete Edition at the end of it, is the PS Vita and PS4 version that combines both the main game and its expansion. Got it?

Developed by series creator Omega Force, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition (Yeah, I know it's a mouthful to say), out now on the PS4 and PS Vita, is another entry into the widely praised franchise. The story remains largely the same throughout the series, and this entry doesn't exactly change that formula. Four powerful kingdoms are at war over land, and over the course of the game you're given a chance to control the generals of each kingdom. Your goal is to simply kill every enemy in your path. Some see it as a mindless exercise in button bashing, while others find plenty of method in its madness. Being the “Complete Edition”, an extra storyline focusing on the army of Lü Bu has been added. This extra storyline is impressive and gives a new perspective on the story. It adds around 4 hours of game to the package, and with an additional extra chunk of hypothetical missions added to the quests of the 4 main kingdoms, there's plenty to get through here.

Being a Dynasty Warriors title, its focus mainly revolves around combat. It doesn't feel much different than Dynasty Warriors 7 as it still retains its general approach and appeal, with that being a fast and furious hack-and-slash against countless foes. Sure, there is button bashing involved, but that's not exactly a bad thing. Cutting through a wall of enemies is incredibly fun, especially once your Rage Meter in filled allowing for a hugely powerful attack that sends enemies flying into the air. From horseback to face-to-face battles, the game does its best to place you in the midst of a confusing, badass and dangerous conflict.

There are over 90 characters to utilize that can be obtained during either Story Mode or Free Mode, and despite what you may already assume, they largely control and feel different from each other. Plus, with the huge amount of weapons to choose from, it's a rarity if some of these characters ever feel too alike. An interesting addition here is Ambition Mode, which lets the player essentially build a city for their peasants. While it's not exactly Minecraft, the player must partake in three different kinds of battles; one adding to their fame, another that finds the materials for “Tongquetai Tower” and last that recruits new partners. Like I said, it's not exactly hands-on, but it's an interesting take on adding some fresh content to the series.

All of this, on top of the various generals to command and multiple game modes to enjoy, clearly show that Omega Force are trying to make it the most content packed entry in the series yet. While it does get repetitive to a certain point, it's an undoubtedly enjoyable experience, and one that fans and non-fans alike will ultimately sink plenty of time into. If you already have Dynasty Warriors 8 I'd say think a little harder about it before buying, as in many ways its a very similar experience. But if you don't have Dynasty Warriors 8, well, there's no better time to get it into with this fantastically complete package!

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition delivers a killing blow and gets a 4/5, [★★★★☆]

Denis Murphy

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition at CeX

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