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.

5/10
Mediocre

Matthew Schultz
Guest
Matthew Schultz

Never going to play this game.

Raging Raving
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Raging Raving

looked really cheap anyway tbh, but Full price?!

Milo Gotje
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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… Read more »

Turniplord
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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… Read more »

SpiceMustFlow
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SpiceMustFlow

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

GMBigKev
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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.

NoOne ButMyself
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NoOne ButMyself

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

Gaijin-
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Gaijin-

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

Guy Fontpierre
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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.… Read more »

Dragonzeanse
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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.

Nathan Stapleton
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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!

Chürz
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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.

Doortothe
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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?

Zippydsmlee
Guest

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

goodbyejojo
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goodbyejojo

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

Andrew Ballard
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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.

Adam Robert Sherman
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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.

Benj
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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.

mrhair
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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.

SilentPony
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SilentPony

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

Oskulock
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Oskulock

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

Simon
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Simon

Mediocre Morsov, Mediocre!

Kain Klarden
Guest

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