After being released in July of last year for current gen consoles, Omega Force and Tecmo Koei’s Dynasty Warriors 8 has finally received its standalone ‘Xtreme Legends’ expansion. It has been bundled togther with the full game as Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Completed Edition for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. Is it a worthwhile update, or just fluff?
The game features five story campaigns that loosely tells the historical tale of the “Three Kingdoms”. Four of them make a return from DW8 but the fifth is all new and focuses on the strongest warrior of them all; Lu Bu and tell his side of the story. Each campaign will take around 5 hours or less to complete depending on skill level. If you’ve played four them on the PS3 version already and don’t really feel all that enticed to do it again, the game now features an ‘Ultimate’ difficulty level to make things even more challenging and new what if storylines to unlock.
Lu Bu is not impressed with Chen Gong.
Gameplay is largely unchanged from the previous version and for now that’s okay as the game is still fun as hell to play despite its simplicity. The game continues the trend of making the player a one man/woman army, as you hack and slash your way through large groups of enemy soldiers all the while racking up a ridiculously high combo chain with flashy over the top attacks. Everything from DW8′s gameplay is back; Commander Affinity, Storm Rush, and Rude Awakening, the improved character progression, its all there (Read the DW8 Review for more info, if you are unfamiliar).
This time around, every playable character (A total of 80, including the 5 new ones) has gained a second EX attack for their weapons and a little more variety to the combos. They are also all unlocked from the get go, no need to play through any modes in order to get them. While this may bother some who would prefer to earn the characters, it makes sense as most of players who purchase the CE would most likely have played DW8 on PS3. This game features the option to transfer your saved data from the PS3 version to the PS4 version, so rather than anger those who have leveled up an unlockable character, only to find them locked, Omega Force decided to have everyone available from the onset. That’s what I’m assuming anyway.
New weapons are available to unlock and they add more variety to the combat. Many of the weapons are pretty outlandish but are fun to use, so unless you are the type that sticks with just one weapon, there are plenty of reasons to experiment. Combine that with the ability to equip any two weapons on your officers and you are looking at a plethora of combinations to go into battle with. Yes the game can still get repetitive, the camera will occasionally get in the way and the frame-rate will drop when the actions get too hectic on screen but it still manages to be quite fun. It’s even better when playing with friend, which can do either locally or online. The game also supports cross across the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita versions. That’s not a feature I have been able to test out but when I do I will update. Anyway check out this sweet combo. Seriously, where else can you pull of insanely high combo chains such as this?
If I only I could have gotten it over 9000…
Yeah I know there isn’t any sound, that footage was recorded using the PS4′s game capture feature and for some reason there isn’t any audio when recording this game. With other games I own, it works fine but with not this. It could be an issue on Sony’s side or it could be the game itself. This is just a warning to those looking to record and share their footage using the PS4, it may happen to you. This doesn’t affect the score in anyway.
Ambition mode makes a return and has been revamped for the better; while in Dynasty Warriors 8 the end goal was to build a Tongquetai Palace worthy of a visit from the emperor, this time around your overall goal is even more ambitious. Once building the Palace has been accomplished, players will set their sights on putting an end to the chaos and uniting all of Han China.
Gaining allies, fame and materials by engaging in battles is still at the core of this mode, though more strategic elements have been implemented. Players can assign their allies to be their bodyguards on the battlefield, each of them possessing a ‘support’ and ‘battle’ skills. You also order them to use these skills when you see fit. They can also be upgraded by using your allies’ knowledge. Doing so however, results in that ally becoming a free officer once more who no longer serves under you but can be recruited again should you defeat them.
When it is time to unite all of China, players must expand their territory by occupying as many strategic locations as they can. Whenever a territory is challenged by the enemy, they must defend it by defeat however many soldiers are required as well as their commanding officer. Ambition mode continues to live up to its name and is worth playing, even if you’ve already done so in the previous game. It still feels familiar but features enough new content to feel fresh as well.
Free mode, which allows you take any warrior into battle on any stage featured in story mode, has also been tweaked this time around. It now features battle objectives that gives you the chance to unlock items and earn experience points to help develop your characters. Much like in ambition mode, players can also assign up to 3 bodyguards into battle making use of their skills. After beating each stage, the game now evaluates your performance based on how long it takes you to complete it, the number of enemies you’ve defeated etc, and scores a grade between A and E. These new changes are a welcomed addition, that both encourages players to achieve a higher score and delivers a more rewarding experience.
Lu Lingqi tearing it up on the battlefield!
To add even more replay value to this game, the popular ‘Challenge mode’ makes its return to the Dynasty Warriors series, having been left out of DW8. It features five special trials, each with their own objectives and online leaderboard rankings so you can compare your scores with friends and other players around the world. While completing in these trials players will come across Weapon Element Gems, picking them up will give their character an assist; from an increase in attack strength with the ‘Gale’ gem, to causing explosions with the ‘Conflagration’ gem and taking out large groups of enemies.
- Rampage - Players must defeat as many enemies as they can before the timer runs out.
- Bridge Melee - Knocking as many enemies over the edge is the name of the game in this trial.
- Speed Run - Run to the goal at the end of the stage as quickly as possible, while doing your best to avoid countless obstacles including plenty of enemies that want you dead.
- Arena - Simply fight against every playable warrior until you run out of health.
- Inferno - You must defeat every single enemy in the stage before time is up.
While ‘Bridge Melee’ and ‘Speed Run’ are the least fun to play and should probably be avoided unless you want to strive for the trophies, the remaining three modes are entertaining enough.’ Arena’ is the most fun, thanks to the increasing level of challenge that comes with the lack of pickups; opponents don’t drop anything to aid you in battle except the occasional gem. So no healing, no increased stats, just all skill and maybe a little bit of luck. You can also team up with a second player in ‘Tag Team Match’ and tackle the high scores together. It is definitely a mode worth getting into.
The visuals have seen a nice little upgrade as well; improved textures, better lighting, even flashier special attacks, slightly more realistic looking face models and more detailed armor and environments. The graphics don’t scream next-gen, when compared to titles such as inFamous: Second Son or Ryse: Son of Rome but it still looks pretty good and is a step in the right direction for the series.
PS3 on the left, PS4 on the right.
The series continues to feature a pretty good soundtrack, though it won’t be to everyone’s taste. If you don’t like metal, then this game will probably make you hate it more as it constantly assaults you with it. If you do like it however then cutting your way through countless enemies will be that more exciting.
As usual the voice acting continues to be bad, with a few exceptions. While it may be a part of the series charm for many, it still lessens any impact the game attempts with its story telling, as it is difficult to take it seriously. The sound design is still pretty much the same and the dialogue during battles gets very repetitive and quickly dulls the coolness of hearing them talk through the Dualshock 4′s speakers. It is best to just turn the speakers off by the way, as you will have to deal with the controller speakers echoing the dialogue coming through your Tv speakers. Sadly the only way to avoid it is to shut it off entirely.
Final Verdict: The last Dynasty Warriors already offered a ton a replay value and Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is no different. With new what if storylines, an all new story starring the badazz Lu Bu, welcome improvements to existing modes and the revival of challenge mode, this game shows why this series continues to have such staying power. Yes it is far perfect, yes it gets repetitive but it is still undeniably fun. Any hardcore DW fan with a PS4 or plan on purchasing one should pick it up. If you own a PS4 and have never played a Dynasty Warriors title, now would be a good time to give it a shot.
Overall Score: 8.2 / 10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Available on: PS4 | Vita
Played on: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.Follow RealGamerNewz: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | RSS