Review – Dynasty Warriors 9

I have already mentioned how much I’ve enjoyed games like Fire Emblem Warriors and Hyrule Warriors. I have also mentioned that my knowledge about the actual Dynasty Warriors series was pretty much nonexistent. I was not looking forward to playing Dynasty Warriors 9 after reading its overwhelming amount of negative reviews, but the combination of finding a cheap copy plus Hyrule Warriors being re-released for the Switch made want to bite the bullet, despite expecting very little from it. I had no idea the game would turn out to be even worse than anticipated.

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It’s like the game is aware of how ugly it looks

The main difference between Dynasty Warriors 9 and all its predecessors/clones is the fact that, this time around, the game is set in an open world environment, because it’s 2018 and pretty much every single high budget game needs to have an open world full of sidequests and useless macguffins to collect. Lots of sacrifices had to be made in order to fit the Dynasty Warriors formula into this new system: it pretty much changed the dumb fun system of mindlessly murdering literally thousands of enemies inside a small arena to occasionally killing like two dozen foes whenever you find a small army on the map.

Let’s just say that severely affects the game’s pacing. Older Warriors games have always been fast-paced, easy to pick up and play. This new game features a barrage of unnecessary additions that add nothing to the overall experience, turning the game into a tremendous chore. The combat has also been streamlined, being less fast-paced and over-the-top. You might think that the gameplay changes are the worst thing about this new Dynasty Warriors game, but trust me, it gets much worse.

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Los Heroes de la Dinastía

The big issue here lies in the visuals. This game is ugly. Really ugly. While I don’t think I have ever seen a truly good-looking Warriors game before, I’m equally shocked with how terrible Dynasty Warriors 9 looks on the Xbox One. The best way I can describe both its graphics and its framerate is by comparing it to the visuals and performance of PUBG on a regular Xbox One. That’s right, Dynasty Warriors 9 features the visuals from an early Xbox 360 game (and that’s me being really generous) and the disgusting framerate from a third-party Nintendo 64 game with the high-resolution settings on. You can already imagine how much this terrible performance influences negatively on the gameplay, since the whole fast-paced schtick the Warriors series has always been known for is completely gone. Not only do you have to endure a severely boring open world to explore, but you also have to do so at 15 frames per second, if lucky.

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You look fine

If I had to point out something nice about the game, I’d say the soundtrack isn’t bad. The hard rock tunes played during fights are catchy, and pretty much follow the same premise from other Omega Force-developed games. It’s the typical “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Too bad they didn’t live by this saying when developing the entire game…

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Who needs epic battles against 500 enemies at once when you can fight like 10 of them instead?

I know I wasn’t supposed to expect much from Dynasty Warriors 9 after reading a ton of other reviews, but I’m still shocked by how abysmal this game is. It’s much worse than I could have ever imagined. The graphics are terrible, the framerate makes Nintendo 64 games perform better in comparison, the gameplay is dull, and the overall decision to make this game an open world title makes absolutely no sense. Gone are the ridiculously over-the-top brawls against literal thousands of enemies at a time. Don’t waste your time with Dynasty Warriors 9. If you have access to a Switch, just grab Hyrule Warriors or Fire Emblem Warriors instead.

Graphics: 3.0

Dynasty Warriors 9 looks like an early Xbox 360 game and has the framerate of a Nintendo 64 game.

Gameplay: 4.0

Dynasty Warriors games are all about fast-paced action. That can’t be achieved when the framerate is locked at such small numbers.

Sound: 7.0

While the voice acting isn’t anything special, I have to admit that the soundtrack is fairly good, even though the hard rock tunes don’t fit at all with the Ancient Chinese setting.

Fun Factor: 3.0

Not only is the open world structure completely unnecessary, but the overall performance of the game makes it near impossible for anyone to have fun with it. Dynasty Warriors 9 is a step back in every single aspect.

Final Verdict: 3.5

Reviewed on Xbox One.
Also available now on: PS4, PC

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