Dynasty Warriors 9 (PC) Review

By Brandon (Michael) Howard 21.02.2018

Review for Dynasty Warriors 9 on PC

Dynasty Warriors has its niche down pat. It's got its devoted fans, but aside from that, it's not exactly the darling of the industry in the same way some other big-name franchises are. Dynasty Warriors 9 probably isn't going to change anyone's mind about the series, but it's definitely making an effort for the first time since the early days of the series. Those changes might not be for the better, but if nothing else, the latest entry in the long-running series is finally looking to do something new.

Dynasty Warriors 9 is still the same hack-and-slash frenzy that the series is known for being, but it's got a new approach to how it handles the epic battles based on the stories from Records of the Three Kingdoms. Instead of loading into battles that capture individual moments and battles in history, each encounter is built into a more open-world, following the officer's daily lives and challenges in the overall conflict.

In concept, this is a really cool departure for the series. Dynasty Warriors has a rather predictable formula that hasn't really changed over the years, aside from the addition of new officers and maps. Adding the open-world puts the player in a position where they can feel like a part of history, and it's really a shame that the concept doesn't really work in practice.

Screenshot for Dynasty Warriors 9 on PC

While the battles open up from the map very organically, they don't really capture the same scale that the series is used to. There are still moments where the game retains that feel of one man against an entire army, but it's generally broken up into much smaller segments overall. The smaller skirmishes actually do a good job of portraying the ebb and flow nature of larger wars, but they are really just not as satisfying overall.

What is still satisfying, though, is the combat. It may be a button masher, but there's something intoxicating about pulling off a beautiful string of attacks. This is where Dynasty Warriors has always been strong, and this entry does not disappoint. The combat is mostly the same as what fans have come to expect, but there are some new nuances to fighting that series' vets and newcomers alike will probably appreciate. They are not a major shake-up, but they do add a bit of variety in fights, especially with enemy officers.

Screenshot for Dynasty Warriors 9 on PC

The open-world is actually one of the game's biggest shortcomings. The material gathering and multitudes of fetch quests harken back to very, very early open-world design, and it draws some unflattering comparisons to early MMOs, as well. The world has garrisons that can be captured, much like the forts in an average Dynasty Warriors map that can slowly turn the tide of war over a much larger scale than usual, but honestly, the world feels so empty. One of the joys of playing in an open-world is that sense of discovery, and that's completely absent here.

It's compounded by the fact that a lot of these newer systems, the crafting particularly, aren't really all that interesting. Most of the systems aren't really well developed, and feel like a wasted opportunity more than anything. They aren't interesting enough to actually make the player want to go out and explore, make them engage with the world. The best part of the game is still the combat, and even that doesn't always work.

Screenshot for Dynasty Warriors 9 on PC

Using a gamepad with Steam isn't always an easy task, despite the platform's best efforts to accommodate a wide variety of pads. Given that, it's still pretty flexible in what it can handle. Dynasty Warriors 9 is a little less equipped to deal with various input methods. Choosing to use a keyboard will often leave blank spaces in the areas where the game would normally prompt an input method, and it doesn't handle well with the default control setup.

The PC version really brings out the worst in what Dynasty Warriors 9 has to offer. When it works, it's still the fun, frantic hack-and-slash that fans love, but most of the time, it's a frustrating mess of convoluted systems that don't work together in harmony. The open-world might be a big selling feature, but it's so poorly implemented that it actually hinders the game more than it helps it.

Screenshot for Dynasty Warriors 9 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


The PC version of Dynasty Warriors 9 is frustrating, more for its wasted potential than anything else. The game is difficult to control on PC, and that significantly hinders a lot of the fun, fast-paced combat, which is all-too scarce at times. Additionally, while the open-world approach is a great direction for the series, it doesn't capture the epic battles that the series is known for in the same way. Maps are either too crowded, or frightfully empty. It's nice to see Omega Force taking the series in a new direction, but this entry hasn't quite found its footing.


Omega Force


Koei Tecmo





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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