Dynasty Warriors 6 - PS2 - Preview
No hack-n-slash series is as famous (or infamous) as Dynasty Warriors. This weapon-based, button-mash-until-your-thumb-stops-moving adventure began with great success. The gameplay style differed from other well-known hack-n-slash titles, such as the Gauntlet series, and was considerably different from beat-‘em-ups like Bad Dudes and Streets of Rage.
Over the past few years, Dynasty Warriors has fallen victim to ROILS: Resting On Its Laurels Syndrome. Once thriving with addictive pummel-to-no-end combat, the series began to rehash itself with sequels that didn’t play any different from the current releases.
Dynasty Warriors 6, the newest chapter in this long-running franchise, won’t change that. It doesn’t showcase any radical differences. But if you’ve loved every game in the series and can’t wait for each sequel, KOEI might have just the thing to satisfy your cravings.
Let’s Get Playable
One of the selling points for Dynasty Warriors 6 will no doubt be its vast lineup of characters. All 41 of the characters present in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will be included in this PS2 port.
In the beginning, only 15 of them will be available, including Yue Ying and Sima Yi, two of the series’ more unique characters. Each warrior comes with a different weapon (expect some overlap), and if you’ve been following the series carefully, you may notice that a few of the characters have had their traditional weapons swapped for something new.
Regardless of their recurrence in the series, some of the weapons manage to exert a bit of coolness that’ll inspire players to take a second look. As Sun Shang Xiang you’ll wield a multi-target-striking crossbow that fires three arrows simultaneously. The arrows fan out, with only one of them shooting straight down the middle. That’s the arrow that will take out most of the enemies you come face-to-face with. Meanwhile, the other two will rain undying pain on nearby enemies who just happened to be standing within your bow’s range.
Lucky for them, the health meter is a permanent part of Dynasty Warriors. Thus, you won’t be able to kill off most enemies in one or two blows. Many will take several hits, while the average foe should be killed in about three or four assaults. This differs among characters, as the oversized sword-wielding Ma Chao may be able to pull off a close kill much faster, while Cao Pi (whose weapon resembles a spear) could take a little longer but have greater reach among his adversaries.
Calling upon the wisdom of RPGs, Dynasty Warriors 6 features a Renbu rank system that allows players to improve the strength and performance of their warriors. With every enemy who is struck and defeated (and laughably humiliated), your rank will start to grow. The game uses a 10-bar system, and more than 10 enemies must be defeated in order to fill every bar. Once full, you’ll grow to the second rank, the only new status available in the early stages of the game. After that your warrior can achieve the third rank, followed by the final (infinite) rank that expands your ability to use elemental attacks.
Renbu won’t change the way you play or look at the Dynasty Warriors series, as the gameplay is a mirror image of Dynasty Warriors 5. But if that game was to your liking, this sequel should be as well.
Pushing its way into retailers on November 18 (kind of like you will a week later on Black Friday), Dynasty Warriors 6’s release is just around the corner. Stay with GameZone for our full review of the PS2 version in the coming weeks.