Developer: Omega Force
Release Date: November 18, 2008
Dynasty Warriors is Dynasty Warriors is Dynasty Warriors — unless it's the first Dynasty Warriors. Funny how that works, isn't it? There's just something about the ability to stab a metric ton of things at once that makes it more enjoyable than many vastly superior games, and while its brush with Gundam may have been a little slow for my taste, the Xbox 360 and PS3 release of Dynasty Warriors 6 finally seems to be getting things right. While there were few things like officer creation to vary play, what was there looked good and felt right, and successfully brought me back to the good old Yellow Turban Rebellion scenario, enjoying the results end-to-end. (Someday, I swear Koei and LucasArts will team up, and we'll have a Yellow Turban Rebellion in a "Star Wars" game and a Hoth Invasion in a Dynasty Warriors game. It's about the only way you could really renew these scenarios.)
Dynasty Warriors 6 is now coming to PC, and the port job thus far is looking pretty nice. Not only does the game keep the full quality of graphics of the 360 version, but its sense of speed doesn't suffer in the process. My machine is not precisely a powerhouse, but it handled the game's fullest settings with a playable and enjoyable frame rate, which is quite rare in PC games, and especially PC ports, these days. The environments and character models offer the requisite resolution increases. Sadly, many a cut scene is pre-rendered, which can sometimes have the effect of making the scenes look worse than actual gameplay, even if the rendering is rather impressive.
The gameplay held up well enough. By default, the game uses your keyboard as a control device, which is not precisely an optimal choice, but it worked surprisingly well. On a lark, I decided to try plugging in an Xbox 360 controller; while I had to manually set everything, I was able to make it play with surprising effectiveness, in spite of a few glitches. (One of those glitches includes Saitek-brand keyboards, which cause numerous breaks for unclear reasons. DW6 is not the first game to have this problem.)
Nothing gameplay-wise is especially new compared to the 360 or PS3 versions, other than a few expected factors, such as the elimination of memory units in favor of a direct — and fast! — save system. You can still save in mid-battle, which is very useful if the fight happens to so much as mention Lu Bu, and combat is centered on capturing bases as much as defeating enemy officers. There are also more complex invasions that you cannot easily skip past to win the game, as compared to previous iterations. With that said, the more things change, the more they stay the same. You're still strongly encouraged to go out and kill just about everything within a 12-mile radius, but the order in which you kill them can now benefit you.
I'm definitely looking forward to the final version of Dynasty Warriors 6, as the quality of the preview build has left me impressed. The graphics are beautiful, and even decent machines can run the game well enough to experience the beauty. The series' typical attitude and style has been retained in full force. If you skipped the 360 or PS3 versions and you happen to enjoy the Dynasty Warriors series, you should check out the PC version.
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