I suppose if you’re a fan, you were already anticipating this news. The 9th entry in Koei Tecmo’s Chinese dynasty based hack and slash-em-up, Dynasty Warriors 9, has today been slated for release. For the romantic’s among you, that’s February 13th, just in time for you to present to your chosen one on Valentine’s Day. It is worth noting that this is an NA release date – as soon as we get confirmation on the EU/ UK release, I’ll update here.
It’s open world this time by all accounts. I haven’t played an entry since 7 (so not that long ago!) and I thought it was open world already. Such is the nature of numbered sequels I suppose.
I have extremely fond memories, as far back as the Playstation 2, of levelling up my favourite character and facing off against the absolute machine that was Lu Bu. Read on for game details and pre-order incentives; including how to unlock Lu Bu himself!
“In DYNASTY WARRIORS 9, roaming off the beaten path opens up greater experiences outside of the main story line – allowing powerful enemies to appear and challenge players with their advanced abilities and skills. These formidable opponents come in the form of humans; such as bandits, or beasts; such as wolves, which will provide additional valuable items or materials as a reward upon defeat. It may be tempting to take on these foes to gain the plethora of takings, but the situation should be carefully assessed – as fleeing from battle may be the safer option.
One skill warriors can complete to prepare for tough encounters is cooking. By visiting a teahouse, or the player’s own hideaway, materials such as meat and vegetables can be used to prepare a meal that will grant temporary boosts to their characters. DYNASTY WARRIORS 9’s new boosts offer various effects including, but not limited to; increased experience, strength, defense, speed and jump abilities. Devouring a hearty meal ahead of an important battle is a surefire way to turn the tide of battle in the player’s favor. During a player’s stay at these locations, they not only have the option to cook and eat food to earn an advantage in battle, they can manipulate the time of day (morning, noon, dusk, night) by advancing it to speed up their health recovery.
Another way of ensuring an edge in battle is through crafting new weaponry. These new weapons are crafted through scrolls – useful items which detail the required materials for a player to collect. To unlock the abilities to craft weapons, the required scrolls for each weapon must be collected; with some weapon’s blueprints split across multiple scrolls. Players are rewarded scrolls upon completing missions or by defeating certain enemies, which will unlock a weapon which can only be crafted at a blacksmith. Gems and accessories can also be crafted, which provide substantial boosts to the player. Gems are also found throughout the world and are used in the weapon’s forging process to provide additional effects – including a variety of different elemental abilities.
When exploring DYNASTY WARRIORS 9’s vast world map, players are able to call on their noble steed to help them quickly traverse long distances. At the start, your horse will have relatively limited abilities, which can then be enhanced through riding experience via long distances or fighting on horseback. Starting abilities also differ according to the horse’s mane, thus two horses of the same species can grow in experience at completely different rates. New horses can also be unlocked and purchased at stables, all starting at different skill levels and ready for development.
KOEI TECMO America also announced further details to the bonus content available to fans who pre-order DYNASTY WARRIORS 9 through the Xbox Store starting on January 29th. Those purchasing the standard version of the game are given access to 3 Avatars – Lu Bu, Zhou Tai and Wang Yuanji, a bonus weapon – the “Black Dragon Fang”, and the previously announced seven costumes for fan-favorite characters. The seven costumes are inspired by traditional Chinese undergarment styles and include an imposing Beijing Opera-style costume for Zhao Yun and six individualized costumes for Guan Yinping, Diaochan, Sun Shangxiang, Lu Lingqi, Wang Yi, and Wang Yuanji. On the other hand, those who purchase the digital deluxe version are offered all of the previously mentioned items from the standard version plus the season pass, which will grant access to all future DLC for the title, and three original Dynasty Warriors weapons: The Amethyst Iron Blade, The Crimson Ring Blade and The Jade Splendid Swords.”
There was always something a little therapeutic about mindlessly smashing your way through hundreds of enemy troops in previous entries. I don’t expect that base satisfaction to have changed much. One to look out for perhaps?