Here, before and after each mission, there is a hub city where you can find side quests, buy weapons, adjust stats, earn new skills, and explore the game's motif. In all fairness, this kind of set up is tried and true in other games, a lot of titles have done exactly what Strikeforce is doing, but with here it feels different somehow. The role-playing elements in the game give the hub world a feeling similar to other RPGs like .Hack or Phantasy Star Online. It's a small shakeup in the dynamic of the franchise, but it's enough to infuse some added life into the title.
On the battlefield this entry also breaks from tradition. For starters, rather than having an army at their back, players have a three man squad. The computer controls these characters and they prove themselves to be much more useful than the AI partners from other Dynasty Warrior titles. These guys'll actually cover your back. Additionally, you have the ability to issue commands which certainly helps as well.
Want to know what's better than the computer having one's back though? Three other players.
That's right! For years fans of Dynasty Warriors have been dying for the game to feature online connectivity, and now it finally does! Strikeforce allows for four-player co-op or versus. The co-op plays out exactly like you'd think it would and unless you already have a team set up, your experience will vary greatly. Some people don't talk, others don't play well, but occasionally you'll find a group that actually works as they should and that's when the game shines. The versus mode is similar in structure and features two teams tackling each other. Both modes feature decent amounts of customization so there's plenty of room for experimentation.
Said customization is just one of the many other things about Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce that will endear itself to newcomers and veterans alike. From the online mode to the single-player campaign there's much more variety in this title than in previous incarnations. From character stats to Chi abilities (think Dragon Ball-like superpowers), weapon styles, and playable personas, there's a never-ending supply of things to mess around with. That's a big part of the charm this game casts, but in all honesty it's the entire package as a whole that makes it stand out within the franchise.