Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition
When Dynasty Warriors 2 released 14 years ago, they very much seemed state-of-the-art. Huge battlefields, intense action and a staggering amount of enemies on screen at once made the series an instant classic, akin to a modern day Golden Axe or Double Dragon. It can be hard to constantly please fans and critics with each release, and it seems that the Warriors games have had their fair share of bad games as well as well-received ones.
The latest release in the series is ‘Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition’ for the PlayStation 4 and the PS Vita, and it combines the standalone Dynasty Warriors 8 with its Xtreme Legends expansion as well as some brand new content. Is this a triumphant entry in the long-running series? Or will fans be disappointed?
New to Dynasty Warriors? Read this intro!
Okay, so not everyone will be familiar with Dynasty Warriors, and for that reason I will introduce the two of you. A retelling of the beloved book, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dynasty Warriors casts players are various soldiers that belong to different forces during the troubled Three Kingdoms era of China. Once, China was divided into various states, with three different forces (Wei, Wu and Shu) all vying for control.
Dynasty Warriors is an action-heavy action series, with a few sprinklings of RPG elements. In it, players will unlock new costumes, equipment, and advance in experience levels as rewards for their bravery and skill in combat. While it may sound like a boring history lesson, the series is well-known for its larger-than-life (okay, superhuman) characters and events. Throughout your time with Dynasty Warriors you will dispatch countless foes in a number of very stylish ways. If you’ve ever wanted to experience what its like to be a legendary hero, the Dynasty Warriors games can provide that experience.
So what’s new in Xtreme Legends Complete Edition?
Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition adds a number of new features, most notably an entire campaign dedicated to the legend of Lu Bu and his companions, as well as an extra EX-attack for every character (EX-attacks are special attacks unique to each character that follow up a charge attack). There are also 5 new characters (bringing the total number to 82), as well as several tweaks to existing characters. What kind of tweaks? Well for one thing, most clone characters have been eliminated or given their own unique combos, weapons and musou moves. This makes for a refreshing change from past Warriors games where several characters were identical to each other.
DW8XLCE retains a lot of the best features introduced in previous games, such as Dynasty Warriors 7 and Dynasty Warriors 8. The “three-point” system returns, where weapons contain either an affinity of Heaven, Earth or Man. These three elements act in a “Rock, Paper, Scissors” fashion, and can trigger several abilities during combat. When you hold an advantage over a certain type of enemy, you can trigger a Storm Rush, which is a flurry of overpowered rapid-fire strikes. It makes whooping the tar out of a weaker enemy feel more satisfying than a tedious and regular fight.
If you are at a disadvantage in a fight, you are given the opportunity to counter your enemies charge attacks and get a few uninterrupted hits into them. To put things bluntly, Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends contains more strategy and depth than any previous entry in the series. Long-time fans will be delighted by the new features and newcomers will find the game more accessible without being too daunting.
Also new (though it should be expected) is the graphical upgrade on the PS4 version of the game. While it isn’t a dramatic leap, the processing power of the PlayStation 4 does mean that the game has a greater draw distance, improved graphics, and is capable of delivering an experience which I believe to be more faithful to Omega Force’s original vision. when I played as Lu Bu, I was launching numerous enemies into the air, some of them didn’t stop flying until they hit the castle wall some 50 metres away from me. Enemies don’t disappear before they hit the ground (or shortly after), and overall the scenery and characters are much more crisp and defined than ever before. It won’t “wow” most non-Dynasty Warriors fans, but series regulars will appreciate DW8XLCE’s pretty coat and newly-found draw distance.
I wasn’t a fan of Dynasty Warriors 6, 7, the Fist of the North Star spinoff or the Dynasty Warriors Gundam spinoff, but both Dynasty Warriors 8 and Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition have impressed me greatly. So much so that I would say that DW8XLCE is quite possibly the best Dynasty Warriors game in the series. There are a ton of characters and new maps, as well as strategy and depth for those who wish to truly dive into the game. All I need now is a new Samurai Warriors game or a character creator so I can make my own mark on ancient China.
- Great value for its price
- Great graphics and presentation
Score – 8.5/10