Dynasty Warriors 5

It's pretty much business as usual for the venerable hack-and-slash specialist

As the fourth Dynasty Warriors game to be released on Xbox - previous instalments being Dynasty Warriors 3, Dynasty Warriors 4 and the suspiciously similar spin-off, Samurai Warriors - it's pretty much business as usual for the venerable hack-and-slash specialist. Hundreds of oriental warriors on screen at once, a nonsensical plot that delves yet again into China's Three Kingdom period of history, and a game mechanic that pretty much involves tapping the attack button hour after hour after hour.

The same old same old, then. And in general, it's not that bad, assuming you can handle the repetition. The graphics have been refined, there are now nearly 50 different characters to select from, each with their own story and cut-scenes, the fighting engine has been improved so that the special 'Musou' attacks are easier to pull off, environments are even more expansive and a ton of new weapons and items have been piled in on top. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, but this is quite convincingly the most comprehensive Dynasty Warriors yet.


But, and we've been saying it for years now, that's not nearly enough to justify buying what is essentially the same game all over again. Not unless you're some kind of freaky Dynasty Warriors addict, that is, which some of you undoubtedly are. When a game such as Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes can take the huge-battle format, layer on heaps of tactics and strategy and turn it into a title that every self respecting Xbox fan should own, what's Koei's excuse for repackaging the same game we've played a dozen times before? Move along innovation fans, there's nothing to see here.

The verdict

It's bigger and suitably more robust, but it's still the same Dynasty Warriors game it ever was. Okay, but repetitive.