There I was just the other day thinking “what we really need at this extremely busy Christmas release schedule is another dynasty game”. Well slice me sideways; guess what arrived in the post? Yep, a mere few months since the last one we are again entertained with yet another trip back in time with a reworking of the pretty decent Dynasty Warriors 7. We find ourselves again back in era of the Three Kingdoms, though this time with a whole plethora of characters new and old already unlocked to battle and make a mark in Chinas history books. This “extension” of the original game offers some new modes, characters and lots of cross play with the previous DW7 title.
The main area of play on this disc is the Legend Mode which is spread over a long run of missions, with some splitting and allowing you to participate on each side of the battle, there is a lot to play through. The main action hasn’t changed much, you still run headfirst into swarms of enemy troops, swinging your blades as you make your way to the mission checkpoints in this long running dash and slash classic. Each character has two weapons to flip between, with each having a very easy to pull off combo system using light and heavy attacks and a constantly charging Musuo power for special attacks. As you defeat enemies some will drop powerups like armour and health boosts and as you progress, with certain levels allowing you to take over castles by defeating their Captains, giving you even more power ups that are a necessity on the harder difficulty settings.
Alongside the huge roster of old and new characters there is also serious amount of weaponry on offer in DW7XL. Your character has their initial set up but you can always visit the traders at your own castle and purchase from an ever growing list of weapons, scrolls and items. Not all weapons suit your character but you can choose from a huge list including double blades, bow and arrows, pikes, hammers, clubs, staffs axes; so even if you have chosen a lithe female character and fancy smashing skulls with a huge club you can always change characters and have a run around as someone else for a change, the game is very flexible in this way.
In-between battles you can also upgrade your weapons with Seals that drop during battle. These can be fused to your weapon and grant extra abilities like attack and speed boosts and can severely alter the way you approach the levels, with some of the power attached being so awesome to wield you are literally a one man army. With all these weapon shops and upgrades there are even more on offer in the way of secret weapons that are associated with each level, with a requirement needing to be accomplished to unlock, ranging from completing level on the chaos setting (good luck with that) to defeating a certain enemy on the battlefield.
As you play through the game your character earns cash to spend at your ever growing castle markets plus you can also use Skill Points which allow you to unlock new items in your skill tree, with longer combos and more Musuo attacks to unlock. As mentioned earlier, DW7XL allows you to change your warriors at a whim, allowing you to boost any character you wish and find the perfect match for your battlefield bloodlust.
DW7XL also offers a handful of Challenges for you to attempt and also post your scores online. Rampage gives you 10 minutes to survive and slay as many enemies as possible, with a huge assortment of troops and officers attacking you, clocking in well over 2000 kills by the end of this massacre. Bridge Melee is similar but this time you have to knock off enemies from the bridge without falling yourself. Speed run is a time attack level you have to get to a specified destination as fast as possible and finally Arena, where you must survive as long as you can against an endless supply of officers.
Most of the modes are playable as single player and multiplayer both local and online, with a simple join, recruit or invite system for each level, though this can be a bit too simple as you are relying on someone else waiting to join the same specific level at the same time.
The last mode to mention is Remix: which requires you to own a copy of Dynasty Warriors 7. Loading this will allow you to transfer old DW7 characters over and use their levelled up skill points, gold and guardian animals and also play with the new characters on the originals main story and the conquest modes.
DW7XL looks as good as ever, throwing hundreds of enemies at you and never missing a beat with beautifully designed warriors slashing their way with plenty of special effects and clashing swords and intricate details on the major characters to keep fans well happy and for the first time; plus if you are fortunate enough to own one, the game is fully 3D compatible.
Just like in other Dynasty Warrior game the fan service is really obvious and again we have a full encyclopaedia and gallery to sate everyone’s needs.
Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends finds itself in an interesting position, is it DLC, is it a new game or an add-on? I know there are a lot of Dynasty Warrior fans out there that have completed the already huge DW7’s many modes so this will be a welcome return to Chinas greatest battles and whilst such a reasonable retail price dictates smaller package, there is loads on offer here plus the whole new Remix mode for owners of both games to enjoy.
Rating: ExcellentReview Policy
You can order Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends from ShopTo here.