Earlier this year Dynasty Warriors 7 was released. To some, it was viewed as the perfect response to the extremely disappointing turnout of Dynasty Warriors 6. In typical Omega Force fashion, an on-disc expansion has been released for DW7. More specifically, this is the Xtreme Legends expansion. Ever since 2002 when Dynasty Warriors 3 came out, Xtreme Legends versions of each Dynasty Warriors game (with the exception of 6) have followed. Now, we have Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends available for purchase exclusively on the Playstation 3, but has enough been added to justify paying for the latest entry in a series known well for its repetitive gameplay and reliance on recycled material? Let’s find out.
Legend Mode serves as the main attraction in this Xtreme Legends expansion and, best of all, it does away with the restrictive nature of DW7’s main campaigns. Your officer, who’s chosen from a lengthy list of 65 characters, starts off in a village; one that isn’t doing so well. Next, an Adjutant will be chosen from the roster for this ruined town. The town will serve as your hub point between battles so that you may better prepare for the next fight by selecting a new character, choosing a new weapon or talking with one of the helpful NPCs to further boost your stats. As you amass victories in various battles, the state of the village begins to emulate a more prosperous place, which it reflects both visually and through the addition of options. New NPCs begin to fill the area as the once hard-on-the-eyes town becomes more visually pleasing. A strategists will offer war manuals to increase your officer’s stats and, later on, a merchant will travel to other provinces to procure treasures on your command. To make the feel of the town more lively, its inhabitants will respond to the atmosphere currently in place. This atmosphere even impacts the combat itself. For example, if the atmosphere is “Orderly,” then the attack stat will be given a boost. In order to continue succeeding in battle, there are weapons that can be obtained through the Chaos or new Nightmare difficulty. This adds plenty of replay value for completionists. Legend Mode does a good job of giving long-time fans of the franchise the ability to personalize their experience and really dive into the strategic side of combat.
Dynasty Warriors 7 already boasts a huge roster, but Xtreme Legends decided it was in need of a few more. Three new characters from the Wei Dynasty have been added to the list, thus expanding your character choice a little more. First, there’s the one on the cover of the box, Wang Yi. Her weapons of choice are a pair of trishula, which are comprised of three blades each. Most of the time, when it comes to choosing a character, you either get speed or power. Surprisingly, she packs both. Next, we have Guo Jia, the wielder of an orb and scepter. For those who love pulling off EX attacks and Musou moves, he’s your man as his moves are devastating. Finally, there’s Pang De and, unfortunately, I haven’t saved the best for last. Pang De doesn’t feel like a new character since he uses Zhang Liao’s twin axes. At least players will have fun with the other two.
Reviving a mode from the series’ past, Remix is back. If you still have your copy of Dynasty Warriors 7, then you’ll love this mode. What this mode does is combine both titles together. By importing data from Dynasty Warriors 7 and swapping discs, old modes will be opened with new features. Story mode will now have a multiplayer component, which is an option DW7 didn’t have. Furthermore, Remixing the two games creates a Free Mode (although it’s not called that) by allowing you to select any character when picking a chapter. Lastly, Conquest Mode sees the addition of three characters that you may interact with. However, despite all the changes Remix brings, those without the DW7 disc may find that this entire package is lacking without the ability to access this content.
Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends has been given a few gameplay updates from its predecessor. Certain weapons have been balanced while other movesets have been made better in terms of how they play. The one update I believe most returning fans will enjoy is the nerfed projectile damage. No longer will arrows deal unusually high amounts of damage. The days of falling victim to those ranged fighters are long gone. Even the graphics look a little cleaner and more vibrant.
Challenge Mode is made up of four challenges: Rampage, Arena, Bridge Melee and Speed Run. Rampage is all about killing everything you possibly can before the time runs out. Arena is almost the same except now you’ll be facing off against officers instead of a bunch of peons. Bridge Melee has you knocking other enemies off without letting yourself fall off. In Speed Run, you must run through a series of gates while dispatching enemies in the quickest possible way. To some, these may sound like fun diversions, but I assure you they won’t hold your attention for long. The mode just doesn’t have all that much compelling content.
There are many areas in this Xtreme Legends game that show the use of old content. First off, there’s the secret weapons. They will not be sporting new skins like previous games. Now, they just include different stats, but still look identical to their normal counterpart. Also, the maps found in Legend Mode are either slight variations of DW7 maps or older maps from past games (called Classic Stages). That may be welcome nostalgia for certain player, but I think most will find it lazy on the devs part.
$39.99 is the pricetag this game holds. While that is twenty dollars under the full retail price for games nowadays, this package is nothing more than DLC sold separately on a disc. Tecmo Koei could have easily released this as DLC for DW7 in different add-on packs. Spending forty bucks on this glorified DLC pack is hard to justify during the holiday season when there are so many great releases that are deserving of our time and money.
Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends may add new characters, weapons and modes, but it can’t escape feeling like overpriced DLC. Hardcore fans and those who still own DW7 (for Remix mode) are the ones that will get the most out of this package. And everyone can enjoy the retooled mechanics in the game. However, the remaining modes, recycled maps and hefty price are sure to be a deterrent for others. That’s assuming the repetitive nature of the game itself isn’t already a turn off after about an hour of gameplay. Tecmo Koei should have distributed this content digitally or at least debuted the game at a lower price to match the amount of content you’re receiving.
Editor’s Note: Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends Review,