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E3 2013: Dynasty Warriors 8 hands-on

E3 2013

Dynasty Warriors never changes. Its gameplay is never refined, its story always nonsensical, its graphics are uninspiring. The incremental upgrades over the years have done away with the near and distant fog, but it still is an ugly game to look at. Sure there are still dozens upon dozens of soldiers on-screen at all times, but they all look exactly the same. At least the first Dead Rising had a handful of different zombies to display.

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In here it’s the same old crowd, out for your blood. Lu Bu is up to no good, as he’s always been, and it’s up to Cao Cao to put a stop to him and his cohorts. Not now, though. Cao Cao isn’t strong enough. Only by making a hasty retreat can he expect to live, grow more powerful and come back to fight another day.

“Dynasty Warriors never changes”I did not choose to play as him. Instead I hopped into the field of battle as a female warrior armed with two circular blades. I can only assume she has some relevance as an ally to Cao Cao, as her involvement in the story seemed to be relegated to genocide. Only by killing hundreds of identical twins within a few minutes can your leader, and possibly you, make a desperate escape.

As Dynasty Warriors goes, it plays tolerably enough. It’s easy to move about the battlefield, determine what needs to be done and who you have to kill to do it. Despite the fact that you’re surrounded by armies, both allied and opposing, it never feels like a war. There are the sheep that scatter about the battlefield, casually awaiting your blades to put an end to their miserable existence. There are the vague, generically named guards whose deaths offer greater rewards. And then there are the leaders, the one’s with names and faces and clothes. Their deaths are always a priority.

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If there’s any game series that could use a format update or a technical upgrade, it’s this one. It’s like a sports game that has fallen too far behind, its incremental upgrades too sparse. But then again, Dynasty Warriors never changes.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2011.

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