Dynasty Warriors 9 is the next game to receive a full update from me. I’ve played for 30 more hours to bring my total up to 97 and I’m ready to give my updated opinion on this game. Do I still like it?
This Dynasty Warriors game has 90 playable characters. Yes, I said 90. How many of them will I actually bother to play with? I make it a habit to try out every character at least once, but my favorites haven’t changed much since I started playing Dynasty Warriors back on the PlayStation. Guan Yu, Zhang He, Lu Bu, Cao Cao, and Sima Yi are still my most used characters and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Yes, I’m disappointed that Koei thought it would be a good idea to fuck up Zhang He (again), but he’s still fun to play with. He’s just not my favorite Dynasty Warriors character to play as anymore. That has gone to Guan Yu now. The roster is solid. Some characters (Sun Ce, Huang Zhong) has been fucked up big time, but the majority of the characters play fine.
I think this might be my favorite Dynasty Warriors gameplay. I love the changes that were made to the combat and it’s really easy to get into. It took me a few minutes to familiarize myself with the new combo system, but once I got used to it I was kicking ass in no time. The 1 vs 1,000 is still present in this game. I get more kills in this game than I ever did in previous Dynasty Warriors game. The biggest change is the open world. Instead of battling on tiny maps Koei decided to follow the trend and make this game completely open world and I honestly like it. It’s not the best designed open world, but it’s a good first attempt. Every war feels like an actual war now. It’s not resolved in 10 minutes (unless you rush right to the boss and murder him) and it takes time to turn the tide of battle to your favor. I can usually go through two or three stories in an hour in previous Dynasty Warriors games. It takes that long to complete a single one now.
Dynasty Warriors 9 is a sandbox. You can fish, talk to NPCs, get bodyguards (like in Dynasty Warriors 4), and even get pets. There’s a lot to do instead of just rush and kill shit like it’s always been and I like it. And you can do this with all 90 characters! Characters that have been updated and now have their original weapons back (with paid DLC unfortunately) and are more fun to play as. This game has improved a lot since it released last year.
I originally placed this in the bad section because of all of the texture and shadow issues I was having with the game a year ago. All of that has been fixed and the game looks absolutely amazing now. This is by far the best looking game in the Dynasty Warriors series. Every character (all 90 of them) has neat little details on their clothing and weapons. The horses look good, the world looks good, and the issues I was having with the shadows is gone too. Smashing the ground with Guan Yu’s weapon and watching as the debris flies everywhere is fantastic. I had a much better experience in this area of the game this time than I did a year ago.
I really like the soundtrack in this game. If you love the electric guitar you’ll probably love the soundtrack too. I like that when I’m exploring it’s nice and peaceful. There is no electric guitar playing, but as soon as I start a battle it ramps up with some nice tunes for me kick ass too. The English voice acting in this game is probably the worst its ever been. I changed the voices to Japanese and never went back. The Japanese voice acting is excellent for the most part. Some people (like Dian Wei) sound funny. Cao Cao has an awesome voice and he’s also my most used character so I was treated to some really awesome voice acting the entire time I played. If the English voices were better I would have bumped this up a section. They even changed Lu Bu’s English voice…
We all know the story of Dynasty Warriors by now. It takes place during the Three Kingdoms periods of China. Three Kingdoms battled it out for supremacy. The kingdoms are Wei (my favorite kingdom) Wu, and Shu. Each kingdom has its own storylines and Koei did a decent job with the story this time around. I don’t like the laziness in the story though. Previous Dynasty Warriors games had really nice cutscenes. This one doesn’t. Every character usually had their own story filled with cutscenes and nice dialogue. This one, once again, doesn’t. It’s like Koei spent all of their resources on the open world and everything else was an afterthought. Compare the death scenes in Dynasty Warriors 9 to the ones back in Dynasty Warriors 7 and you’ll understand what I mean.
This is another area of the game that was in the bad section of this review. Dynasty Warriors 9 ran like hot shit when it released last year. I could barely run the game on medium on my old 980m with my Asus Rog and that card was more than capable of running games that looked twice as good as Dynasty Warriors 9. Most of the issues that I had with the optimization has been fixed. This is actually a decent PC port now and I applaud the developers for taking the time to fix their game instead of abandoning it after all of the negative press it received at launch.
The voice acting in this game is terrible. The Japanese voices are fine. What I’m talking about is the English voices. Lu Bu’s iconic voice is gone. He’s been replaced with someone else and that person sounds like shit. Everyone’s voices have been changed and not for the better. I don’t know what Koei was thinking when they hired these people, but if you do play this game make sure you play in either the Chinese voices or Japanese. Save your ears the trouble and do not play in English. You’ll thank me later.
After a year is Dynasty Warriors 9 a worse game? No. It's a much better game than it was a year ago. The newly added features (co-op!) and improved performance make this game worth the asking price. This is one of, if not THE, best Dynasty Warriors games ever made. Omega Force put their heads down and went to work on this game and they should be applauded for that because most people would have considered this a lost cause. It didn't deserve all of the negative feedback it received last year and it definitely doesn't deserve it now. Dynasty Warriors 9 was a good game that's become a great one with some quality of life patches that deserves another chance from everyone.