Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers Review
The Warriors series is one that has rightfully earned its place as a recognizable name in gaming: branching from the Dynasty Warriors which focused on historical figures of China in fantastical representations of actual battles, then shifting into Samurai Warriors, Gundam Warriors, and even jumping into the Nintendo world with Hyrule Warriors. Koei Tecmo even ventured into a number of similar spin off series, but each title has always had the same essence of what makes Warriors a recognizable, enjoyable, and deeply replayable experience: unique combat and memorable figures. Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers tries something new, a new approach to its ever growing tree of Warriors titles, and while I was cautious at first I was quickly put at ease with the intelligent design Koei Tecmo put in.
For fans of the Warriors/Orochi series, the opening cinematic to the game should bring a lot of nostalgia seeing series favorites like Guan Yu, Zhao Yun, and several others in familiar 1 v hundreds combat. The video of course comes to a close with the arrival of series OP benevolent warlord Lu Bu, but seeing him appear in the center of a tornado somehow gets you even more pumped for the game. Godseekers is a tactics game, not something new to Koei Tecmo (they developed Dynasty Tactics and its sequel in early 2000) but it has just the right blend of Dynasty Warriors to make it feel more like a hybrid title then strictly tactics.
“For being a long running series and appearing late to the current gens life span, graphically it doesn’t seem remarkable.”
As the game begins we are introduced to Zhao Yun and his childhood friend Lei Bin, who have set out on patrol to locate the Yellow Turban’s who have been spotted in the area. Entering a cavern, it becomes clear that Zhao Yun and Lei Bin are good friends as they talk and banter. It comes off a little stiff but nothing new for the friendships we have seen in the series. Lei Bin is a new addition to the series and he works well, but his more modern appearance and weaponry seems just a little out of place with the other characters in armor and using various polearms and blades. Lei Bin discovers and ultimately frees Lixia, a mysterious woman sealed in an ancient shrine with incredible power. It isn’t a particularly new concept but its compelling enough to make you want to see where this is going.
What I noticed as soon as I jumped into the first cut scene is the graphics. For being a long running series and appearing late to the current gens life span, graphically it doesn’t seem remarkable. It was enjoyable, and of course still engaging, but for the first time in my life as a gamer I found myself feeling like this new title seemed like a port from the last gen console. I realize a PS3 version was launched exclusively in Japan but I would have expected the NA PS4 version to be cleaned up.
The controls can come across a bit overwhelming at first. Tactics games – and similarly Koei Tecmo’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms series – tend to flood the screen with a lot of options and commands which can seem daunting at a glance. Luckily, Godseekers guides you through the first few battles and explains things in simple terms. All units fall into one of five categories, each with unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as having either Melee or Ranged attacks. This means properly positioned units can devastate an army quickly once you get the hang of it. Certain classes also have a specific attack radius, adding a simple Chess-like system to combat.
Heroes are given a set amount of command points, with specific attacks requiring X amount of points. Provided the hero has enough points, attacks can be chained together for extra damage, with three points being replenished per turn. When unleashing an attack, players are greeted with the familiar sight of a single warrior decimating the enemy army and sending bodies flying just like you would expect from Dynasty Warriors. It might be short but it’s satisfying to see your plan put into action and watch the enemy crumble.
If you’ve played the Warriors series before you know what to expect when it comes to the games audio: the characters will speak in Chinese with English subtitles and armies will cry in oddly unified agony as you cut them down.The soundtrack doesn’t add much to the experience of the game, but the point of the Warrior series has always been the story built around the characters and getting to know what they have to say rather than putting in a heart-pounding audio track.
Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers is an enjoyable break from the classic Dynasty Warriors series, evolving into a well managed tactics games with familiar faces and continues to instill that sense of power as your hero mows down hordes of enemies with a few strikes. While the gameplay is a fresh departure, it does little to add anything to the series as a whole. Fans of the Warriors series and tactics games will definitely find something to enjoy, but if you pick this up expecting just another entry in the Dynasty Warriors series you will sadly be disappointed. With user friendly controls and decent graphical detail, the games downfall comes from a formulaic plot and a minimal soundtrack that largely goes unnoticed.
***A PS4 code was provided by the publisher***
- Easy controls
- Classic “Warriors” feel
- Engaging tactics mechanics
- Dull soundtrack
- Predictable story
- Average graphics