In comparison to it’s predecessors, Dynasty Warriors 7 is presented incredibly well. The music still has that particular ‘Dynasty Warriors’ feel to it, Lu Bu’s theme also returns, of course. It’s pretty much become the main theme of the Dynasty Warriors series. However some of the music becomes quite repetitive after a while of playing, which is never good.
Most of the characters were also redesigned again, the redesigns are very good, all of the new characters are also very well designed, however there are quite a few flaws with the redesigns too; namely the new Voice Actors. Characters will spout phrases over and over during battles and it will eventually get on your nerves. Some of them I managed to block out, or the music did it for me but quite a few are still infuriating.
The graphics in the Dynasty Warriors games have never been amazing, Dynasty Warriors 7 follows suit by having the exact same graphics as it’s predecessor, the animations are much smoother; especially on capes and the like. While graphics aren’t really all that important to games, it would still have been nice to see Dynasty Warriors 7 get a graphical upgrade, it’s a little disappointing to see it looking almost exactly like Dynasty Warriors 6.
The Menus in DW7 are very easy to navigate, changing your weapons is incredibly easy, everything is where it should be and everything makes sense, it’s very comforting, considering how much of a chore it is to browse through menus in certain games.
The load times can be a little long at times, but load screens also have small character profiles along with them, so often by the time you finish reading, the loading will already be done. On Conquest Mode you can also change the music that will be played on the stage during the loading screen, which also allows you to listen to it.
Despite the load times, transactions from cut scenes to battle are completely seamless, and it’s very nice to see. You begin in your main camp at the start of every battle, this time allows you to speak to characters and buy new weapons from the weapon smith. When you’re done you speak to the target character (who have big red arrows above them) and the battle begins, often by the camp’s doors swinging open; right into the battle.
Speaking of the Weapon smith, once you go through one of the four story modes and buy the strongest weapons for your characters, all challenge is sucked out of the other three story modes, unless you only use the weak weapons at the start and the strong ones toward the end of the chapter. The story modes themselves also have a very nice length to them, up to five hours each depending on your skill level.
The Story Mode is the most well executed of the entire series, the characters are very well personified, and are very likeable when they’re supposed to be. The new Jin Empire characters are all very charming, too; especially Sima Zhao and Jiang Wenji.
Dynasty Warriors 7 is the first of the series to show the Jin Empire, as well as the downfall of the Three Kingdoms, making it very fresh and new.
Despite it’s flaws, Dynasty Warriors 7 is certainly presented very well, other than a few little graphical glitches here and there this is definitely the most well presented of the entire series. Adding to this it’s the first to have Online co-op, but only on Conquest Mode, Story Mode has no co-op at all.
The gameplay it’s self at the base is the same as it has been since Dynasty Warriors 2, however little things have of course been changed. You can no longer charge your Musou bar manually, but it’s much easier to fill. Musou attacks themselves are much shorter and more ‘cinematic’ they also seem to have been made considerably more powerful.
However, there was one change that I don’t exactly approve of. Unique weapons were removed, and replaced with Dynasty Warriors Strike force’s ‘equip whatever you want’ system. Any character can equip any weapon they want, but have different skill levels.
For instance, Steve is good at using swords, so his main weapon is a sword, his skill level is three stars (the highest level) this gives him a little special ability while using the sword. (Most often the ability to dash on the ground or in the air)
Steve also has a two star skill level with axes, so we’ll equip Steve with an axe; Steve still attacks at full power and full speed with the axe. However, Steve has a one star skill level with spears. This means his attack speed will be decreased while using spears.
On top of this characters also have EX skills, unique skills used with their main weapons. The most common EX skill is square twice followed by triangle twice. EX skills are basically a weaker Musou attack, most are very fun to use; like Sima Zhao’s body surf EX skill.
While it’s nice to see the series change, I still long for the characters all having their own unique weapons with their own combos. It’s rather saddening to see every single character using the Sword that used to be Xiahou Dun’s, and only his.
Things like controls are all exactly the same as they have been since Dynasty Warriors 2, a tutorial is also provided for players who are new to the series, which goes over everything you need to know about the game.
Dynasty Warriors 7 has little Replay Value in the story mode, however Conquest Mode; which has online co-op may have you coming back for more and more if you really like the gameplay: however this would only be for people who want to perfect the game and get all of the trophies/achievements.
You’ll most likely get a good 25+ hours out of Dynasty Warriors 7, but saying this the gameplay is very repetitive: people may get very bored very fast. I’m a huge fan of the series, and even I found myself sighing at times. The game truly shines as a multiplayer game, playing this with your friend or your sibling will give you hours of fun, with the addition of online co-op odds are you’ll get even more fun out of the game.
Dynasty Warriors 7 is debatably the best of the main series so far, the story mode is without a doubt the best, however the changes to the weapon system are a little unwelcome in my opinion, but the most important question: “Is Dynasty Warriors 7 worth it’s price tag?”
I would say yes, if you’ve tried the games before and didn’t really like them, you should give 7 a try. If you’re brand new to the series DW7 is the best place to start playing, but then it would be the only one worth playing. If you’re a huge fan of the Dynasty Warriors series then you already own the game; quite like myself.