Koei Tecmo and Omega Force will continue to release new Dynasty Warriors games, and that has become ever-so-evident with the fact that Dynasty Warriors 9 is on the way. However, they're doing something vastly different to change up the series' monotonous formula.
Polygon is reporting that the newest game in the series will move away from the sectioned-off maps it's used in past games and will instead focus on putting players in a completely open-world where they'll take on missions and assignments similar to the older games in the series.
According to the press release description, players will be able to venture all across ancient China, ranging from snow-covered mountaintops to the flat open plains, and all the forests, hillsides, farmlands and villages in between. This open-world environment will also feature a day and night time cycle, along with environmental conditions that will affect the battlefield and give players distinct advantages or disadvantages depending on what's happening.
Some of you might be thinking "Weren't the Dynasty Warriors maps always open-ended?" Well, they were more like sandbox maps. Players had specific objectives and side-missions that could be completed within the confines of the mission objectives, but they weren't open-world. Different maps had different designs, all of which were sandbox in nature so players could choose to go to where they wanted during a mission and complete it how they wanted.
According to Koei Tecmo, there will be 83 playable characters, which is a massive amount of different characters to control. They're even introducing a new playable character, a retainer for the Sun named Cheng Pu.
It's impressive that they have that many playable characters while also having higher fidelity visuals. It could be that a lot of the characters already had high LODs and they're just now getting an opportunity to use them for the newer game consoles? But, anyway, the visuals have undergone a major upgrade from the last outing.
The game will also still focus on the thousand-army Musou-style battle system, where players will be encouraged to KO as many enemy opponents as possible.
The screenshots don't show any means of transportation, but obviously they wouldn't throw players into a vast open world and then forfeit having horses or some other means of traversal be possible. Besides, the Dynasty Warriors games are known for having different kinds of horses for transportation.
I do wonder if they will make any additional changes to the meta game to accommodate the open-world? It would seem weird if they simply populated the giant play space with lots of guys to kill everywhere. Usually this kind of design is suited for RPGs where there are people to talk to and places to discover; two things that the Dynasty Warriors games have never been particularly known for featuring.