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Game Info:

Dynasty Warriors 9
Developed by: Koei Tecmo
Published by: Koei Tecmo
Release date: February 13, 2018
Available on: PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Genre: Hack n’ Slash
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Teen for violence, mild language, alcohol references
Price: $59.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Koei Tecmo for sending us this game to review!

I’ve come to enjoy hack n’ slash titles ever since playing Arslan Warriors of Legend, Samurai Warriors, and Fate. Dynasty Warriors 9 is the first I’ve played in the series and it’s quite different from all of the rest by changing to an open world platform. The vast world is interesting and the fast travel waypoints are welcome, but there’s a lot of down time and horse riding to put up with in order to get to the over the top battles that I long for.

While you’re running or riding around, you’ll be able to collect materials for crafting weapons, medicines, and various accessories. Occasionally you’ll stumble upon wildlife to hunt including packs of wolves, deer, and tigers. If you happen to have bait on you and water nearby, you can stop and go fishing. Enemy encampments are scattered around the terrain and they can usually be captured within a minute or two. In order to capture the base you must take out the leaders and then it’s yours. Since there are merely dozens of enemies instead of hundreds, the battles for the most part are rather lackluster.

Dynasty Warriors 9
Highlights:

Strong Points: Different from the other Dynasty Warrior games by offering an open world; good visuals and music
Weak Points: The open world is rather empty and detracts from the hack n’ slash goodness that I’ve come to love in this series; mediocre voice acting; game crashed on me once
Moral Warnings: Lots of bloodless violence; cussing (b*stard, d*mn); female characters wear revealing outfits; other religions/idols represented in this game; characters talk about drinking and womanizing

In order to participate in epic battles and boss fights, you’ll have to complete story sequences of several warriors. The story sequences are good in this game, though you have to suffer through some poor voice acting during them. As you finish story chapters you can unlock more characters to play as. There’s a Steam achievement for having over forty playable characters in your army. Like other games in this series, by swinging your sword in a group of grunts, twenty of them will go flying and plop down on the ground like a rag doll. The unrealism is fun and that’s what I love about these games. Sadly, there’s a lot of fluff to go through in order to get to these parts.

Like many open world games, there’s plenty to see and explore. There are scenic areas and side quests to accept that will require you to travel the massive yet mostly barren world. In towns, you can visit shops to buy and craft items. You can listen to the banter of the townsfolk, which will talk about not letting certain generals near daughters at night or about drinking and drunkenness. Some of the villagers will offer you side quests to complete if you’re willing and able. If you save up enough money, you can purchase houses to call home.

Visually this game is quite pretty. The main characters are highly detailed and adorned in colorful and elaborate outfits. Most of the grunts you’ll be battling look the same. The bosses are intimidating and stand out among the crowd. One of the bosses required that I destroy the nearby altars in order to do significant damage to him.

Dynasty Warriors 9
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 71%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 5.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Even though there is a lot of violence, there is very little blood surprisingly. Despite an enemy getting run through like King Eglon in Judges 3, the Bible has more graphic detail than this game. Other issues to be aware of include language (b*stard, d*mn), and some female characters showing a fair amount of skin.

The voice acting is rather rough and leaves much to be desired. At least the sound effects are passable and the background music is great. I love the rock style music that plays during the battle sequences.

Though many users have reported slowdowns during fight sequences, I haven’t experienced any problems there on my SSD equipped desktop. I did however have the game stop responding on me during a loading screen. Thankfully, there are auto saves so I didn’t lose much progress as a result.

I used my Xbox One controller and it did work out of the box though the button mappings are a little different compared to most PC games. I didn’t realize it was configured at first since it wasn’t responding to the typical buttons for navigating the menu. Keyboard and mouse works just as well if you prefer those.

If you’re looking for a lot of action like the previous Dynasty Warriors games, you may want to look elsewhere. I don’t mind games trying new things, but you have to keep the audience in mind and for a series known for back-to-back battles, there’s too much downtime in this entry. If the game gets patched or goes on sale it’s worth considering since it does have its moments.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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