Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition Review – the best of an old franchise

Consistency is hard to keep in the gaming industry, but W-Omega has done the impossible: make the same essential game over and over more than Call of Duty and still retain a major level of success. The one thing that makes my previous statement positive is that unlike Call of Duty, both critics and fans alike are still on board with the consistency that Dynasty Warriors delivers so very well. Officially titled Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition, the game features the same great gameplay as Dynasty Warriors 8 did as well as a little extra, but does that extra content validate repurchasing Dynasty Warriors 8?

This Dynasty Warriors game that’s quite a mouthful to say out loud includes all the downloadable content from the PlayStation 3 version, some graphical enhancements, and an extra game mode. With all that in mind, gamers who already own the PS3 version of the game might be less inclined to cough up money for a PS4 upgrade—unless they’re hungry for games to play on their PS4s. This is especially apparent since the extra content is either already available for download on previous versions or will be available once the Xtreme Legends Complete Edition hits store shelves. At the same time though, those who waited for a complete edition of the game or those who haven’t played a Dynasty Warriors game in a while will be handsomely rewarded with a hefty amount of new content and gameplay elements, especially since this edition isn’t a full-priced game; Xtreme Legends also includes a full encyclopedia of the content from Romance of the Three Kingdoms on which the Dynasty Warriors franchise is based, so newcomers can run through China’s history during that timeframe.

Graphically, Dynasty Warriors 8 doesn’t flatter the PS4’s horsepower in the least. In motion, character models and attacks looks fluid and clean, but after seeing what the PS4 is capable of doing, a game that merely touches up previous-generation graphics is not very moving. Granted, all edges and motions are crisp and clean, but some textures and most faces aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as could be expected. The embedded franchise style holds true throughout, though, so devoted fans will not be disappointed.

The real show stopper in this one is what made the original Dynasty Warriors 8 feel special: the Musou abilities. All characters can use any weapon in the game, so characters aren’t limited by equipment that the player may not like; and each weapon has its own Musou attack scheme. What I deem the Combo Generators, these Musou abilities chain crazy, automated attack combinations that are as easy to do as they are enjoyable to watch. Quite often, enemies are strung up in an airborne group that does nothing but accept the damage being done to them; this is the perfect addition to a game like this, as it accentuates what the franchise has stood for since the days of the PlayStation 2.

The new game mode is called the Challenge Mode, and the premise is to play under constricted guidelines determined by the game while trying to reach high scores. This mode adds itself to the Story, Free, and Ambition Modes that already existed in the original game, and though the gameplay isn’t varied outside of the normal routine of Dynasty Warriors games, the traditional template now has even more gameplay options than before.

With all the added content that’s included in this complete edition, dedicated fans and newcomers would be crazy not to jump into Xtreme Legends. Those on a budget, however, or those looking for more change in the Dynasty Warriors franchise will be disappointed. Ultimately, not a lot has changed in terms of gameplay and presentation outside of the graphics, but that’s not exactly a negative statement; rather, it’s one dependent on the reader. The soundtrack is still great, combat is still fluid, and the franchise is still consistent. If a reliable, content-filled Dynasty Warriors title fits the bill, then Xtreme Legends is worth the cash.



The Final Word

Not much has changed, but the consistency of the Dynasty Warriors franchise holds true in spades with Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition. Extra content and a lower new-game cost accentuates a gratifying experience that’s filled with content that Dynasty Warriors fans have grown to love.