Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers Review – Are You There God?

It’s me… and I’m bored.

Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Format: PS3, PS4 (reviewed), PS Vita
Released: January 31, 2017
Copy provided by publisher

So I stopped playing Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers at some point. I don’t know when, because the gameplay was so homogenous it could have been literally anywhere.

Dynasty Warriors catches a lot of heat for being the same thing over and over, criticized for its repetitive hack n’ slash gameplay and endless sequels.

While some of the critique is absolutely fair – and Omega Force seems to want to answer it with an open world Dynasty Warriors 9 – I’ve always maintained that the huge character roster and cathartic beat ’em up flavor make for a game less boring than people give it credit for.

Godseekers, however, lends credence to every pundit who gave the series a good kicking. Ironically, it’s nothing like the real Dynasty Warriors games either, being a turn-based strategy title with light RPG elements.

More a spiritual sequel to the ancient Dynasty Tactics series, Godseekers is a grid-based tactical affair in which players move their units near enemy units and then attack them until everything’s dead. It’s a really easy game because the enemy A.I. is particularly stupid and the heroic characters you earn can pummel the everloving crap out of multiple units in a single turn.

While Dynasty Tactics was a cleverly designed game in which units could push each other around the map and position each other for devastating domino effects, Godseekers strips strategy gaming down to its most basic – and boring – essentials.

Each ally you obtain – based on the playable heroes of Dynasty Warriors 8 and naturally using the same character models – comes with a selection of moves that cover a certain number of squares on the grid, encouraging players to use the optimal warrior and take out as many units in one go as possible.

For example, if some enemies are placed together in a straight line, it’s a good idea to send in Zhao Yun, whose frontal charges can deal damage up to three squares ahead of him. Lei Bin – one of two originally designed characters – is a ranged fighter whose attacks tend to cover squares in a cross formation.

I mean, do I actually need to explain this? Imagine Disgaea without the depth of gameplay, the robust roleplaying features, the variety, or the fun. You’ve just imagined Godseekers.

Oh well, I suppose I better get on detailing it anyway, because lord knows I’ll get shit if I don’t discuss all these features that I don’t want to discuss.

What else can you do? Oh yeah, the more you damage enemies, the more you build up a “Synchro” gauge. When the gauge is full, you can trigger a Synchro Mode in which multiple allied units can be moved independent of their turns for additional assault, before they combine their strength in a single attack that devastates a large square of the map within range.

It’s basically cheating, because the moment you trigger it near the opposing enemy general, you’ve won. And you will do that, because any one battle will typically see the Synchro gauge filled multiple times and you’ll know when to save the last for the easy victory.

New allies can be recruited by following the Path of Destiny, which is a series of dialog exchanges unlocked through the course of play. As you meet certain conditions and encounter potentially recruitable fighters in battle, more dialog exchanges will be unlocked and viewable between stages. Some of them unlock special battles which, when won, result in a fresh character joining your army.

There are optional battles, you can level your heroes up to learn new moves, and a basic weapon crafting system is on offer that I found very hard to care about after spending so much time with the excellent Nioh and its blacksmith.

Look, you wanna know what I did? After spending several hours playing this cheap looking knock-off, all I could think about was digging up my old copy of Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition (that’s its real name) and playing some real Omega Force action. Not this misleadingly titled exercise in mediocrity.

So that’s what I did.

Well, I couldn’t find my original copy so I just downloaded it for full price which made me disgusted with myself.

At any rate, I picked up right where I left off over a year ago, with Chen Gong in the middle of a huge battle, and I had a fantastic time. I’d forgotten just how good Dynasty Warriors 8 was, with its weapon-switch system, its massive cast of playable fighters, and an entire adventure mode that could have been a game in its own right.

It reminded me what Tecmo Koei is capable of with this series when it puts actual effort into it. Full localization, individual movesets without a bunch of lazy clones, and so much decent content I know I’ll never get to do it all. When the publisher isn’t cutting an obscene amount of corners, it’s capable of truly great work.

That said, 75 pieces of DLC? Really? For your “Complete” Edition? That’s taking the effing piss.

I’ll end my review of Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers by saying Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition was a crown in the jewel for the series and I highly recommend anybody interested in Tecmo Koei’s sprawling franchise consider it for a starting point.


  • I really want to get into the series with 8 on PC, but I heard about the issues and that ridiculous amount of DLCs makes me less motivated -_-
    Shame about this one, though, in your video it felt like it’ll be way to mediocre

    • Mewshuji

      The DLC is really all cosmetic, if I recall correctly. Not defending it not being in a so-called “complete” edition, as it should be, but rather that you miss nothing by skipping on said DLC.

    • Spurious K

      The DLC is nearly all costumes, I kinda forgot it even existed as a thing to potentially buy. It took years for Jim’s banging on about Dynasty Warriors to finally get through my head. Well that and for the games to come out on PC. And get some patches. And go on sale. But it got there eventually!

      I’m a heretic who likes the Samurai Warriors 4-II game over Dynasty Warriors 8 so I’ll also recommend that. Might even be an easier place to start due to how it’s story mission/upgrades structure works in a slightly more simplified or at least clearer manner.

    • Adam Li

      I’d actually recommend Samurai Warriors 4 over Dynasty Warriors 8 if you’re new to the series, as Dynasty Warriors characters don’t typically have attacks that carry them across a lot of space. In Samurai Warriors, characters get Hyper Attacks instead of Strong Attacks which are swift attacks that carry them pretty far, sometimes making horses obsolete.

      • Muramasa

        Dynasty Warrior’s ha’s English VO though, so it”s far less confusing and easier to get into…

  • Simon

    Mediocre Morsov, Mediocre!

  • Oskulock

    Hyped for Berserk Warriors, for what i’ve seen it looks pretty fucking fast even for a Dynasty Warriors game.

    • Except no one gets cut in half in a single hit. I know, I know, that defeats the purpose of a warriors game. But, honestly? Couldn’t they have at least tried that?

  • SilentPony

    You should play the Gundam dynasty warriors games. It’s Dynasty warriors but with giant robots, therefore better.

  • mrhair

    I want to play Dynasty Warriors 8. I got it for my Vita (via the PSN), but had to delete it because the dumb thing was taking up, like, half of my memory card. God, those cards were overpriced.

    Maybe I should just get a physical copy used. Cheaper than buying another card, anyway.

    • Andrew Barloq

      Do it, DW8 on PS Vita was a hell of a lot of fun. I put a lot of time into that game back when it came out. 🙂

  • Benj

    Are all the decent Dynasty Warriors games only on Playstation devices.

    I’d like to give one a go but I don’t have a console.

    • diamond

      They are also on PC

    • Sean R

      Dynasty Warriors 8 Extreme Legends Complete Edition is available on PC. It’s the only DW game they’ve ported to PC. It’s also 60% off until Monday on Steam. Since it goes on sale almost never, now would be the time to grab it if you’re interested.

      • Nitrium

        That’s not true. You can get DW 4, 5 and 6 on PC (as well as 8).

        • Kev’ Bryant

          4 was a highlight of the series, too!

      • Jochem Sev

        True, but the ports are quite awful. Often having controller issues.

  • Adam Robert Sherman

    A Lego Batman movie being considered something other than steaming garbage, Donald Trump as President, and now… a Dynasty Warriors game that Jim Fucking Sterling, Son doesn’t like?!?

    That’s it, we’re officially living in Bizzaro World.

    • diamond

      He’s disliked some Warriors spin-offs before.

  • Andrew Ballard

    Just checked, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is actually on sale on Steam right now for $20. Just to irritate Jim more, I guess, he could have gotten it for much less than full price.

  • goodbyejojo

    seems like Tecmo Koei wanted to do a fire emblem game, but failed to make it engaging

    • Treeconator18

      Ironically enough, Tecmo Koei is actually making a Fire Emblem game now, as Fire Emblem Warriors is coming out this fall for Switch and New 3DS. We haven’t seen a lot, only Chrom, but honestly with how amazing Hyrule Warriors was, I’m pretty excited for it.

      • Chris

        I want the reverse as well. A Dynasty Warriors Emblem game. Grid based battled with all our favourite heroes/villains from dynasty warriors! or maybe make it more like advance wars so each unit has the respective character along with their troop of 10 or so soldiers (1 soldier for each HP kind of deal). That would be awesome!

    • Xyra

      Yeah, the description struck me as a combination of Fire Emblem meets Final Fantasy Tactics meets Yggdra Union, but without nuanced strategy or story to carry it along. Even the art is bland and uninspired. Which is kind of sad, because Nobunaga’s Ambition (also a Tecmo Koei product) was paired with Pokémon in Pokémon Conquest and that game had at least a little depth to it and had really nice looking sprites on the DS.

  • Dynasty Warriors is pretty horrible till 7 or so…. when they bothered to overhaul the mechanics. Else they and FOTNS are all slog fests…

  • Doortothe

    I’m looking for a new game for me to spend triple-digit hours on and I love Hyrule Warriors. Which Dynasty Warriors do you recommend for me?

    • guy smiley

      Did you maybe not read the last paragraph of this review?

      • Doortothe

        Oh thanks for pointing that out. Would appreciate it if you used a more polite tone though :p

    • Nathan Stapleton

      I liked Samurai Warriors 4-II a bit more but that could be because I like the Warring States period in Japan more than the Three Kingdoms in China. It’s also slightly faster-paced.

    • Kev’ Bryant

      I’m a fan of the “Empires” spin off games. It’s basically the same thing but with a full strategy turn in between each level. Being able to marry Cao Cao and buy a pet elephant while taxing the sh!t out of peasants is hilarious. I’d say DW8 Empires!

    • Mark

      I’d look at the spin offs as well. If you are a One Piece, Dragon Quest, Arslan or Berserk (coming soon), they would be worth a shot too.

  • Chürz

    The Warriors series is a series of technically incompetent games. Their engines suck, there are slowdowns everywhere, both on consoles and on the PC for those games that’ve been released there and gameplay is but a mindless chore. But yet, sometimes, a player is just looking for a repetitive task to perform, in a very zen-like way, that allows them to disconnect from everything, so I guess these games have a place in gaming after all. I just wish they were technically more proficient, in terms of engine, texturing and animation, because the character’s design is interesting.

    • Nathan Aldana

      Oh they are. they so are/ But goddamn if Guindam Musou, One Piece Musou, DQ Musou and Zelda Musou arent some of the funnest shit on the planet despite it.

      • Mark

        Yep, dropped so much hours into One Piece Warriors 2 and 3. Didn’t really manage to get invested in the others I tried (DQ and Samurai Warriors 4) so I do think having a previous investment in the characters is important. Hell, I even preferred the Arslan game because I enjoyed the anime.

  • Nathan Stapleton

    I do enjoy the Warriors series but I think the page with “complete” is missing from their dictionary. “Complete Editions” aren’t supposed to have ANY DLC, let alone seventy-godamn-five things-worth of it. That’s the whole reason people wait for Complete/Game of the Year/Platinum/Ultimate/Whatever-the-Fuck editions!

    • CaptainDju

      I’d like to buy a game’s Whatever-the-Fuck edition. Any game really.

    • Christopher Hammond

      They’re all gonna be WFEs for me now. Nice one.

  • Dragonzeanse

    “That said, 75 pieces of DLC? Really? For your “Complete” Edition? That’s taking the effing piss.”

    So glad someone else called this out. Misleading advertising like crazy.

  • Guy Fontpierre

    First of all, shouldn’t it be “Jewel in the crown” rather than “crown in the jewel?” It doesn’t make sense the way you have it and I’m sure now you’ll leave it that way for spite, but somebody had to say it! Somebody had to say it!

    Secondly, I understand the whole “scores don’t matter” perspective, but this reads as lower than a 5 out of 10. When you literally stop playing a game partway through out of sheer boredom I feel like that game has failed in its main job as a game, which is to entertain or engage. This review also doesn’t read like what you define as a 5 on your scale.

    Finally, I just want to say that I hate Dynasty Warriors games but I enjoy reading your reviews of them because it’s nice to get the perspective of someone who actually does like them and to see why they were popular. I tried Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition and found it super duper boring, the same as the various PS2 titles in the series I tried back in the day. I wish I could unlock what it is you see in them and enjoy the games, but I can’t seem to find it.

    • BAH!

      I don’t know. A game that does nothing to either excite (>5) or frustrate (<5) also offers nothing to hold the player's interest. And while the tone is a bit more negative than "just bored", boredom is definitely a clear theme here. And I'd say boredom is a strong defining factor in the 5/10 score.

      Just my thoughts on the matter.

    • sillyskeleton

      I believe the typical phrase is simply ” the crown jewel”. Just a misquoted phrase, much like the annoyingly common “I could care less”.

  • Gaijin-

    “Literally”. Another word that has been assassinated by the Internet.

    • Benj

      The internet has literally assassinated that word.

      • CaptainDju

        Stop abusing it by using it in the proper way you semantic necrophiliac!

  • NoOne ButMyself

    Jim, you don’t need to talk about yourself in 3rd person…

    • JDIncinerator

      Would be better if he did.

  • I just bought Hyrule Warriors on the 3DS and I want to go and replay Dynasty Warriors 8. Thanks Jim, you reminded me of awesome stuff.

  • SpiceMustFlow

    Don’t you mean “a jewel in the crown”?

    • SpiceMustFlow

      That must be some jewel.

      Sorry for being “that” asshole.

    • Jallen

      Surely the phrase is “THE jewel in the crown”. A jewel in the crown just tells me the crown has a lot of jewels in it with no indication of the particular value or importance of the current jewel we’re discussing. And I’ve typed “jewel” so much it doesn’t look like it’s spelt right.

      Although I like the idea that the jewel has a little crown on it.

  • Turniplord

    This ‘review’ was shit. Sorry but all you did was moan at it because it wasn’t a musou game – no shit. This is a pretty good Turn based strategy game along the lines of Fire Emblem and FF Tactics. you clearly played it for a few hours then gave up.

    I got it day one, took about 40-50 hours to complete my first playthrough then about 30 hours for my second playthrough and i’m now on my 3rd – easily on about 150 hours now as there is so much to unlock and work through – yet all you could do was moan that it isn’t musou.

    I don’t personally watch anything you do, have you reviewed Halo wars? Did that also get a pathetic ‘review’ all because it isn’t a 3rd person game, its an RTS and all it did was make you want to go play halo again? If it did then maybe you shouldn’t try and do reviews as you clearly aren’t open minded enough to see when a game has taken a different direction.

    • Mostafa Shahin

      I can understand disagreeing with a review but you’re disliking the review for the wrong reasons. Jim NEVER said he disliked this game because it wasn’t a musou game,in fact,he already mentioned a better strategy dynasty warriors game in the review. He dis liked the game because it was a bad and easy strategy game and he reviewed as such,a strategy game.

      Like I said,it’s ok to disagree with a review,it’s certainly not ok to bash it for the wrong reasons.

      • speeches words

        I automatically ignore any complaint that puts the word “review” in scare quotes.

  • Milo Gotje

    Well, that’s rather disappointing. I was actually rather excited at the prospect of Koei publishing another strategy games. Since those are usually pretty good. I might still give it a shot, but probably only if they port it to pc.

    You know, i have to say. While i am rather fond of Dynasty Warriors 8, it was the first Musou game i really got into after all. After having played the rest of the series, i don’t have quite the reverence for it anymore. It’s fun to play, but it’s also so easy that, assuming you’re actually trying, it’s almost impossible to lose.

    I know that Dynasty Warriors games are, with the possible exception of DW3, never particularly difficult. But most of them are at least somewhat challenging. I find it especially noticeable compared to 6 and 7, both of which could actually be pretty tricky on higher difficulties.