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I am quite the fan of the Dynasty Warriors games; no, I haven't bought every single one of them but I've played enough of them to know that they're consistently fun action games with impressive visuals, and an agreeably arcade-like style. While this is by no means a bad game, it seems quite retrograde for what is the first next-gen entry of the series.
Visually, the differences are noticeable, but frankly more could have been done with the PS3's graphical capabilities, and while the textures are a lot smoother, the actual detail doesn't seem to have been ramped up all that much. However, I'm not one to judge a game solely on graphics, so let's look at the gameplay...
Well, the plot is quite negligible at this point; it takes place in Feudal China, depicting a few famous battles that I personally have never heard of, but history buffs will surely get a kick out of their attempt at authenticity anyway. However, the game's problem is its new "Renbu" system, which truncates any nuance the game had into a simplistic button-bashing exercise. While there are some nicely done animation sequences of characters fighting one another, it does get very repetitive because these animations have been bound to the vast majority of the characters, meaning that size and other attributes have no real bearing on the fight situation.
The game's reductive treatment means that it's just not as fun as before. While the games were never that textured or complex, they've made it totally one-note, and once I'd played through the shortened campaign mode, I didn't really feel like going back unless for a quick brainless fight when I was bored.
If the developers were hoping to latch onto a new generation of DW players with this new iteration, I think they've actually regressed somewhat, for this is probably my least favourite in the series.
The Dynasty Warriors series of games has been running for as long as I can remember and this being the first iteration on a next-gen console there are big expectations both from a graphical standpoint and a technological standpoint.
In a nutshell the Dynasty Warriors games all tend to focus on China and the rivalries between the armies of Wei, Shu and Wu all fighting for different reasons in an attempt to unify the land. It's loosely based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms epic work and many if not all of the battles in the game have some steeping in the real history. So far you would think this game takes itself seriously right? Well luckily for the player, it doesn't.
Dynasty Warriors 6 is an all out action affair that essentially throws you into a battle as a warrior of your choice. In Musou Mode (the main story mode) each warrior has their own personality, story, cutscenes and individual weapon. They all feel very different which is refreshing. Sun Shang Xiang fights with a bow for example and as a result can fend of enemies from afar but lacks the close combat skills of Gan Ning fighting with his dual knives and cutting the opposition to shreds with his speed.
Combat itself is combo driven and the more enemies you kill in succession makes your Renbu gauge increase (a new addition to the series) which means that the better you fight the more moves and combo's open up whilst increasing in strength at the same time. It certainly helps to bring a sense of immediacy to the fights, putting a stop to the hit and run tactics as when you aren't fighting this Renbu gauge can slowly decrease in level too.
For each general you defeat or task accomplished you will gain exp which levels up your character as in a RPG and after each battle you will receive skill points relative to the amount of levels you have increased. These vary from giving you boosts to attack, defense, health or musou (special attack) to making your warrior immune to ice attacks, faster movement speed and many many others. Every character has their own skill tree as well with different abilities which really adds to the replayability immensely.
As you complete battles you may start to find new weapons for your character as well that have their own special skills built into them. Each weapon has a variation - Green=Normal speed, Red - Stronger but slower Blue - Faster but weaker and choosing the right one for the right situation has its importance. You may have one weapon that has the ability to deflect arrows while attacking, one that lets you unleash your true musou attack or maybe even both. More weapons and skills tend to be discovered as the difficulty increases which keeps you on your toes.
Graphically, the game looks good with crisp cutscenes, good character models and fluid animation. The camera can be an issue sometimes but this can be manually adjusted when necessary and there is some pop in and slight slow down in some areas but considering there can be hundreds and hundreds of characters on screen at any one time it is not too much of a problem.
There are many more things to touch on but I'll leave them for you to discover. On the surface it looks like a relatively shallow experience that some may intially think is simple and too repetitive. However, once you give it a go you'll realise that the battles, the characters, the music, the weapons and the stories offer so much more than the previous games and done with more focus. You'll get hours and hours out of this game and I'd certainly recommend it if you like your action or have an interest in large scale battles with a strong dose of Chinese flavour.