Dynasty Warriors 8 : Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is the latest version from the famous beat 'em up series. There's no time to even breathe in this exciting game: waves of enemies come one after another amidst a the historical Chinese setting, as you mash buttons to deal with them all. Fans will enjoy it, others might find it all a bit repetitive.
The umpteenth installment in a worn out series
As its name suggests: Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is the latest in a long series, punctuated by new versions and expansions. With a premise that's been unchanged since the beginning: in a historical fictional version of China, you follow the journeys of different characters in a war that never seems to end.
Meanwhile, the gameplay remains anchored in the canons of beat 'em up with thousands of enemies to beat. Fortunately, there are various additions to give a little more depth to the gameplay. You can choose between different game modes: free mode, story mode, and the especially interesting ambition mode, which lets you to develop your domain through a series of missions.
You earn bonuses that unlock new costumes, new weapons, but that's only a handy mechanism that breaks the monotony a little.
A fun, but repetitive gameplay, poorly suited to PC
Dynasty Warriors 8 offers a beautiful tutorial for beginners, so there shouldn't be a lot of lost players. With the help of a few buttons, you'll be typing, typing and typing again, trying to vary the best attacks - all the while trying not to permanently break your keyboard. As is customary in adaptations of console action games, a controller is almost essential to enjoy the experience without pulling your hair out.
Note that the publisher didn't bother to develop a real port on PC. The menus are identical to the console versions, and the game will always display the keyboard screen controls even if you use a controller. The game is a catastrophic PC adaptation which won't surprise anyone, and we add many compatibility problems and crashes and an absence of an online multiplayer mode (which is promised on the Steam page of the game).
Even for a game developed for PS3, Dynasty Warriors 8 is limited from a technical point of view. While the engine has its virtues; displaying an impressive amount of enemies on screen without slowdowns.
The list of its qualities, however, stops there: with poor textures, disappointing graphics effects, low quality character models, Dynasty Warriors 8 really just seems like a slightly smoothed-out PS2 game. It's worth noting however that developers have had the good sense to add a graphics options, which is rare enough in the context of a console port.
A sequel without surprises
Dynasty Warriors 8 isn't great. With basic and repetitive gameplay and a poor PC port, all crowned off with a fair share of technical problems, the action game is unlikely to raise the profile of a series that is slowly falling into oblivion.
Some ideas are interesting, however: the ambition mode, the wealth of unlockable weapons, and especially the proposed escape point. Perhaps it's enough to convince beat'em'all fans, but others may turn to more well-produced games such as Guacamelee! or Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3.