When a gaming franchise launched in 1997 still continues today, you would figure that the controls have morphed over the years and gotten slight more intricate. That is certainly what you'd expect from Dynasty Warriors 7 but that's not the case. It is still a button jamming game. What fans of the franchise will experience however is how the game has morphed from a pure fighting game into a hack and slash jamboree.
While visually appealing, the game relies on legacy gameplay and story lines for it to go mainstream and appears to be more popular in Japan that it is in the US.
In terms of main modes, there are two — story and conquest. Story mode is split into four sections which allows players to play through four sagas. Each story is very lengthy, which means there's a ton of video sequences and other content to plow through. Don't fret however, there are walkthroughs that help guide you and galleries full of unlockable art and videos to check out. Additionally, there is an encyclopedia for in-game knowledge. In terms of new features, players can use dual-wielding weapons and a new fourth kingdom called Jin.
Story mode has campaigns — one each for Wei, Wu, Shu, and the new kingdom of Jin. Additionally, story mode puts the player in the shoes of a variety of generals, where each stage of the game mode is specifically tailored to their particular exploits. I'll admit, it takes some getting used to, but the change in characters makes for a more compelling story, detailing the history of the entire kingdom and the warriors that helped shape said kingdom.
If you're interested in ancient China, this is your game. Creators Omega Force have crafted a story about the country with characters dying at their appointed times and epic battles that unfold according to legend. The stories in itself are what makes this button smashing game intriguing.
In conquest mode, players will have the same gameplay as story mode, but rather than progressing through a story, players move across a map, conducting battles in order to dominate the entire area. This mode unquestionably takes up a lot of time; it's pretty epic to say the least. However, players can jump online in conquest mode to help with their conquest-ing, but I found it to be a bit muddled and honestly, quite buggy.
Despite the content being pretty robust in terms of quantity, at the end of the day it's still a button thrashing game. In terms of specific details about gameplay, Dynasty Warriors 7 uses a "charge" combat system, where strong attacks are inserted into strings of regular attacks to make new moves, i.e. button combos to make cooler and more damaging moves.