|Dynasty Warriors 9|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows|
|Genre(s)||Hack and slash|
Dynasty Warriors 9[a] is a hack and slash video game developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo. It was released in February 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. It received mixed reviews from critics.
Dynasty Warriors 9 is a hack and slash game played from a third-person perspective with stealth elements. The game revamps the gameplay of the series with the introduction of the open world environment. A traversable map of China is implemented which the player can freely roam on foot, horseback or boat, the game focuses on livable environments such as cities and towns as well as places where large battles take place. The characters' move-set combinations is also revised.
The player can invade and infiltrate enemy fortifications with the utilization of a grappling hook. A day-night cycle and dynamic weather system is also featured in the game. Time and weather now change in real time, and enemy vision is affected at night-time or when it is raining. The map will advance in time when main story missions are completed, but are described as having a "high degree of difficulty" which can be lowered by completing associated side missions.
The player can customize and decorate hideouts with furniture bought from merchants. Certain items have different effects; for example, placing a gong in the house and interacting with it will allow the player to change the background music. Teahouses found in the game can advance time and provide food that can be used to temporarily raise the stats of playable characters, such as raising their attack strength or increasing the height of their jump. The game also includes fishing, collecting resources to upgrade weapons and characters, camping, and other recreational events as well.
The gameplay mechanics of Dynasty Warriors 9 is radically overhauled from its predecessors. Flow Attacks take the place of Normal Attacks from previous games, and in place of Charge Attacks are Trigger Attacks, which are performed by pressing the right trigger button and any face button. Trigger attacks allows the player to stun an opponent, knock down an opponent, or send them airborne; each player also has a unique fourth reactive attack, known as a Special Attack, that has a longer cooldown before they may be used. Trigger Attacks may be followed up by a Flow Attack combo, which can, in turn, combo into another Trigger Attack. Additionally, the player have access to a Reactive Attack, used whenever the player presses the right button when prompted to do so; this attack allows the player to charge into enemies, counter enemy attacks, or finish off weakened enemies. Musou Attacks return from previous games, and their mechanics are identical to Dynasty Warriors series games prior to Dynasty Warriors 6. The player also have access to an airborne Musou Attack, which depletes only a small portion of the Musou gauge. New to Dynasty Warriors 9 is the Stamina Gauge, a gauge that gradually replenishes until full. The stamina gauge is depleted upon double jumping, wall jumping, or in other selectable circumstances.
Characters will automatically draw their weapons when close to an enemy, or put away their weapons when they are no longer near them; however, the player may manually draw or withdraw their weapon by pressing on the left analog stick. Some actions, such as initiating conversations in towns and villages, may only be done when their weapons are not drawn. When a character does not have their weapon drawn, the player may also crouch and sneak behind groups of enemies.
All characters also have access to a bow, which they may access by pressing down on the directional pad. The player may acquire different types of ammunition over the course of the game, which may be selected by pressing left and right on the directional pad and fired by pressing the flow attack button. These come into play when sneaking into enemies, hunting wildlife, or initiating specialized attacks.
Horses return from previous games; the player may buy horses and ride them to level up their attributes. While on a horse, the player may have the horse automatically take them to the next recommended destination by pressing the left trigger button, or make their horse sprint by pressing the right shoulder button. Like characters, horses have their own stamina gauge, which depletes when sprinting but replenishes when they are not.
All 83 characters from Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires returned. New characters also were introduced, one of whom made his first appearance in the spin-off Warriors All-Stars. Other than playable characters, there are four non-playable characters (NPCs) who have unique designs but wield generic weapons common to other NPCs.
Story Mode in Dynasty Warriors 9 retells the story of Romance of the Three Kingdoms in a series of 13 chapters, from the Yellow Turban Rebellion to the fall of Shu in the final chapter. Each playable character has a story set within a subset of these chapters, corresponding roughly to the time in history where they were historically relevant; no character has a story that spans the full 13 chapters, and some characters will have longer stories than others. Each character has their own individual ending, roughly corresponding to their historical death or the point in which they were no longer historically relevant.
At the start of the game, the player may only select the patriarchs of the three kingdoms: Liu Bei, Cao Cao, and Sun Jian; additional characters are unlocked for the most part by completing the first chapter a character is playable in with a different character. The progression of each character in their own story is kept separately, allowing the player to switch between different characters at any time. All characters share a common pool of acquired weapons, items, and map knowledge, but must be leveled separately.
Free Mode in Dynasty Warriors 9, unlocked once the story of any character is complete, allows the player to play as any character in any chapter that has been previously completed by any character, without regard to historical context. The player may only have either a Story Mode save or a Free Mode save for a particular character; if a character has a Free Mode save, they must replay their Story Mode from the beginning if a new Story Mode game is started with that character.
In an interview with Famitsu in May 2016, Omega Force brand manager Kenichi Ogasawara commented that "the evolution from Dynasty Warriors 7 to 8 was insufficient", and hoped that the announcement of their next game in the series would "have a great impact".
The game was revealed later in the year in December during a "Greatest Games Lineup in History" broadcast, with Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia (SCEJA) president Atsushi Morita introducing the title; Koei Tecmo's western branches followed and announced the game alongside Japan. For the first time in the series, Dynasty Warriors 9 will feature an open world environment, allowing players to enter and exit towns and freely explore the map of mainland China with considerable differences in elevation. A Famitsu interview with Koei Tecmo's Masaki Furusawa and Akihiro Suzuki revealed that all 83 characters that appeared in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires will appear in the game. Zhou Cang has been announced as one of the new playable characters, having appeared prior in Musou Stars. The combat system, which in previous games relied on players linking together combos by pressing two alternate buttons designated to light and heavy attacks, is being overhauled.
In September 2017, Koei Tecmo declared that the game is scheduled to be released in early 2018. Later announcements confirmed that the game will be released in Japan on February 8, 2018, and in the West on February 13, 2018.
Dynasty Warriors 9 sold 117,495 copies on PlayStation 4 within its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number 2 on the all format sales chart.
- known in Japan as Shin Sangokumusou 8 (真・三國無双8 Shin Sangokumusō 8)
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