If you listen to the Steam Reviews this is probably the worst game ever made. Here’s my review of Dynasty Warriors 9!
If you’re here expecting me to follow the trend and bash on this game you will leave disappointed. I’m not going to shit on a game for not having Chinese language support.
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.
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 their 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.
I think Dynasty Warriors 9 is a good looking game when it works. I wanted to place this in the good section because I don’t think the graphics are horrible, but this game has too many issues for me to do that. Textures refusing to load, horrible pop-ins, and other graphical glitches have plagued my game since day one and I have no idea when/if Koei is going to bother to fix them. When I’m slaughtering thousands of soldiers I don’t really notice the muddy textures, but when I’m standing around town doing nothing it’s a real issue. Shops don’t load correctly and staring down at the ground is like looking at Morrowind’s ground. It’s super muddy and no game should release like this in 2018.
If the year ended right now Dynasty Warriors 9 would win the award for the most poorly optimized game on PC. That’s a shame because this is a really good game. I love the changes that were brought to the long-running series. I’m hoping that Koei proves us all wrong and fix this game, but their track record isn’t good on PC. I can’t run this game at 60fps and I run games like The Division, The Witcher 3, and Mass Effect: Andromeda flawlessly and those all look much better than this game does. There’s no reason why this game shouldn’t be running well on my rig. I did manage to get my game running at 30fps. I’m not lagging (anymore) and I am enjoying the game so that’s something I guess.
Dynasty Warriors 9 is a good game that needed some more time to bake. Is it poorly optimized? Yes, but it's not a horrible game. I can understand that these changes might not be for everyone. Not everyone likes open world games, but I do and I recommend buying this game in a few months after a few patches drop. Dynasty Warriors 9 is already one of my favorite Dynasty Warriors games and I'm excited to see where the series goes from here.