Dynasty Warriors 9: Impressions After a Week

I’m going to try and get all 90 endings oh no

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I’ve been playing Dynasty Warriors 9 for a week now, hoping to review it soon.

In that time, I’ve spent 19 hours with the Xbox One X version and about 3 hours on PC.

I read an interview with one of the producers from about a month ago in which they said that playing Liu Bei’s story would take between 10 and 15 hours.

Well, I’ve been playing as Liu Bei on Xbox. And I just started chapter 8 of his story…out of 10 chapters.

After 19 hours.

Dynasty Warriors 9 is, so far, just what I’m looking for. That’s not going to be the case for everyone. The game is just as polarizing as any other entry in the franchise. Some loathe it for being different…and others love that Koei finally made a Warriors game that’s not just the same thing again.

I’m firmly in the latter camp.

Now, I love the earlier Dynasty Warriors games for many reasons: the fun simplistic action, the story that’s an adaptation of a 14th century novel, the over-the-top character designs, and the single-minded devotion to creating a large battlefield martial arts movie experience.

Dynasty Warriors 9 still has all of those things, and ramps each one up to a new height. The world is now stupidly huge and fully seamless, allowing battles to spread across a larger area and dynamically change over time. That world also has some of the most gorgeous visuals that Koei has ever produced, especially for one of these games.

Yes, the trees pop in. And the framerate can be a little wonky. But these aren’t deal-breakers, for me.

The story is closer to the novel than any other game in the franchise so far. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s cool, because so many details and little moments they’ve never done before are now here…but oh man there’s so much dialog and so many different storylines and side quests.

The game has 90 characters. And each one has their own unique ending. The game is spread into 13 distinct chapters/eras of time, and not every character’s story stretches across as many as Liu Bei’s.

Even so, I think I’m probably going to be playing this game for the rest of the year if I want to see it all?

The character designs are the best they’ve ever been, with much higher detail 3D models than any previous game… save for perhaps DW8XLCE on PS4.

Yes, that jumble of letters and numbers in the previous sentence is the abbreviated name of a real product: “Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition.”

Video Games.

As I wrote about a few days ago, I love the new dynamic battle system. Yes, this sometimes means that individual encounters are smaller than they used to be…but I’ve still fought thousands and thousands of soldiers, and often the whole screen is filled with them.

I’m going to review the game when I’ve finished Liu Bei’s story, and had the chance to check out a few other characters.

It’s expansive. It’s chill. It’s fun to play. It’s not as “hardcore” of an action game as the previous installments sometimes were.

But it still feels just as enjoyable to me now as it did at hour one, even if I’m getting a bit anxious to see the credits.

If you’re the sort of person who wants a “Most” game, and not necessarily a “Best” game, then DW9 will more than have you covered and you should just check it out.

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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