Dynasty Warriors 8 Review

Welcome back to the series with the most spin-offs since The Land Before Time. If you know the series, welcome back. If you happen to be new…I hope you like your X (or Square button for those of you on PS3).

Release Date: February 28th, 2013    Hdr edit: July 16, 2013 is the NA release date with the EU release date of July 19, 2013

Genre:Hack and Slash

ESRB Rating: T for Teen – Alcohol Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes, and Violence (Violence in a game where you single-handedly kill thousands of enemy troops? Impossible.)

Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Developer: Omega Force

Publisher: Tecmo Koei

TL note: Posted by Haidaraaaaa means written by Acharon

Veterans of the series will immediately be hit with a wave of nostalgia as incredibly inappropriate rock music begins to play and the opening CG (as crazy and physics-defying as ever) starts. Most if not all characters return with minor visual changes, and in some cases major overhauls for certain main weapon styles. As far as options go, there’s not a whole lot of difference from the old ones: Story Mode, Free Battle, and the newcomer, Ambition Mode.

Story Mode is mostly the same as ever with one interesting difference: each faction story takes place at different times. For instance in the Jin campaign, Zhuge Liang, a strategist for Shu and Sima Yi’s greatest rival, is already dead. It was an interesting touch, and much appreciated from the mostly repeated scenes in each game.

Ambition Mode is the one that really adds a lot of gameplay. You begin by choosing any unlocked officer you have, and begin a quest to gain the Emperors favor. By fighting – what else? Along the way, you fight in however many battles as you see fit while collecting resources, experience, weapons, and allies to bolster your cause. How beating the crap out of enemies makes them want to follow you, I will never quite understand. Honor, fame, etc. Anyways, when you defeat an actual playable character, most of the time they will join your cause, and you will then be able to play as them in any mission you wish. It also helps for once knowing the names of characters in this if you want to unlock a certain person, as in the battle select screen it will say “(Insert historical figure) is rumored to be in the area,” or some such hint that whoever it says will be there.

As far as the characters go, anyone who’s ever played a Dynasty Warriors title will recognize most of the ones here instantly. The blood brothers Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei remain strong until history reminds them the game needs to be somewhat factual; Cao Cao and his cohorts are up to their usual schemes, world domination and all that; the sad tale of the Sun family and their quest to bring the Imperial Han back to power includes all members of the family we know and laugh at; and of course Sima Yi, his sons, and allies all continue to seek whatever it is they happen to be seeking at the time. There were, however, a good few additions to the roster this time, including two fairly obscure relatives to Guan Yu, one of Cao Cao’s generals named Li Dian, and Sima Yi’s wife Zhang Chunhua, who seems to make even the great strategist somewhat flustered (which I found rather entertaining).

Zhang Chunhua

Now for the gameplay. Surely even if you have never played any one of the numerous Dynasty Warriors titles, you have heard about the king of button mashers. Nothing has changed in that, so if you like to smash your button until it shatters like the enemies onscreen before your virtual Eotena onslaught… welcome, friends. The combo system remains the same with minor changes to some of the game dynamics like the new Storm Rush ability, which will trigger whenever attacking drains a little bar to the side, releasing a flurry of wide-range attacks you can mash attack to extend the duration of. Naturally, things die when this happens. Unfortunately, weapon switching in game remains, as do the special attacks every character will have with their assigned weapon.

Now for something older players may be concerned with: weapon addition and reworking. As I did not in fact play every single character in this, I know that the “bow & arrow”was for some reason changed to “bow & rod”. All I know is that it gives a good weapon the shaft; though the Musou attack remains the same. As for new weapons: the Short Pike, Spiked Shield, Arm Blade, Siege Spear, Dual-Headed Mace, Boomerang, and one of my personal favorites the Throwing Axes, are all new. Though there are plenty more to experience.



-Graphics were pretty good this time around

-Ambition mode adds a ton of replay value

-Lots of new weapons to experiment with

-Cutscenes were implemented better, blending well into gameplay

-Lip sync was good for once

-Decent loading times


-Incredible slowdown times when there are a lot of units or foliage nearby Update: A patch has been released to fix lag issues.

-Some of the voicing is fairly stilted and sounds awkward

-A couple small glitches with power attacks near walls (dead enemies freezing for a second or two)


Overall, it’s really just another Dynasty Warriors. Looks nice, had some new stuff, but to those that didn’t like the older titles, you probably won’t find anything you love here.

I’m giving it 6 out of 10 button mashes.

With fan-padding, 8/10.

Posted by Haidaraaaaa under PS3, Video Game Reviews, Xbox360 | Permalink

17 Responses to “Dynasty Warriors 8 Review”

  1. Acharon says:

    I suppose that’s what I get for believing Wikipedia.

  2. Shawn263241 says:

    Thank you for this concise review, Acharon.

  3. Choob says:

    Got this game last week, and can’t stop playing. Skipped out on the past 2 entries. It’s loads of button mashing fun and all the new additions are welcome and keep the game refreshing.

    One correction to your review though. You said the “bow & arrow”was for some reason changed to “bow & rod”, but actually there’s another weapon that you unlock called just the “Bow”. It’s Huang Zhong’s ex weapon.

    • Acharon says:

      I never played him, and I’d usually think the bow would be in the menu, but I guess I scanned over that.

  4. DxDark says:

    “and Sima Yi’s wife Zhang Chunhua, who seems to make even the great strategist somewhat flustered (which I found rather entertaining).”

    Ooo…looks like I wasn’t the only one then! :D
    Only thing that jarred me is how western she looked/sounded…still hot though.

  5. DxDark says:

    Oh, did you have those stupidly annoying FPS drops on the burning boats? I’m thinking it’s because me and a friend were split-screening that it was happening, but 20 FPS trying to hunt down people with nothing but flames is just…

  6. Carpetfluff says:

    Which version are were you playing? The 360 version is still waiting on a patch to try and fix the slowdown issues that are much worse than the PS3 version.

    • Acharon says:

      360, and I hadn’t heard of an incoming patch. That should make the game much more playable.

      • Carpetfluff says:

        Yup, folks got up in arms about it and Koei posted that they were working on fixing it on their FB page right after it launched.

        • Acharon says:

          Good. Been playing the crap out of it, and that lag is literally worse than Hitler; I find myself seeking the bigger groups of enemies nearby to eliminate lag faster. Also to boost my kills, but that’s a given, right?

  7. Carpetfluff says:

    The patch is with MS for certification, so shouldn’t be long now. They aren’t promising it will never slow down when it’s busy on screen, but it should fix all the weird for-no-real-reason lagging.

  8. Carpetfluff says:

    Tell a lie, it should be available now.

    • Acharon says:

      Bit late, but yes, it’s up. And JESUS CHRIST, what an improvement! Hell if they’d had this little lag at the start, I would have rated it a little better.

  9. not_telling says:

    -_- press A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, B.

  10. Sapp says:

    Got through all of story missions, have all officers unlocked and currently im kinda close to finishing the Building-whose-name-just-cant-be-spelled-correctly. Only thing that kinda bothers me is that outside of story mode theres really nothing that interesting, ambition takes lots of grinding and when you get all the oficiers, it gets boring with just Group commanders. For free mode – if you play story mode maps its okay, but if you switch sides ti gets little dull (you get unlocked whole map and you can either choose to wipe map, or just rush to defeat leader – while protecting just your leader). Weapon switching is great loved it in DW7, and now its even better, because Koei implemented mechanics that actually makes you think what waepons to take with you and use on officer. Personally i cant wait till DW8 Empires.