You are approaching your destination and the music starts getting louder. Your horse is charging forward and the enemies start to appear. Then you notice the base captains who are between you and the tyrant Dong Zhou. His army start advancing towards you but then your allies arrive and the battle begins.

The map is really big and always changing who has control. There are realtime battle as well as mission battles which make the map feel unique and something is always happening. The map style feels a lot like Bladestorm when you can see key conflicts on the map and see where characters are going.

The way the main chapter mission is set out reminds me a lot of the Crackdown series. You can do the final boss at any point but they tend to be quite a high level. You can do other missions that lower the level of the main boss. I like this because it made the side missions feel like they actually had an impact other than just an xp grind.

Between the settlements and missions there are large areas of plains and forests that are home to many wild beasts and bandits. These are made quite important as you get materials from them that are required for crafting new weapons and accessories for your characters. I like this because when you come across enemies out in the open they don’t feel redundant and a waste of time.

I really like the stealth that comes with hunting but even if you kill one wolf in a pack the others do not react. I feel like it is a bit unrealistic especially seen as though if you get too close they are very aggressive so it seems weird that they wont react if one is shot with an arrow.

There are lots of characters that you can unlock and play through their storylines in each chapter. One thing I like about the diversity of the characters is that every character can have any weapon equipped but each character has a favourite weapon that allows you to do unique attacks. I really like this because even though the characters are able to wield any weapon they still have certain fighting styles that work better for their lore.

You can also change what actions are set to which buttons. I really like this because I kept pressing the wrong button for certain stuff. After I was able to change the buttons around my fighting became a lot more fluid and I was dominating the battlefield.

You start off with a basic horse but you are soon able to buy a range of new horses that level up. I think this just adds to the games overall thought behind every action and that everything is important in this game.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing the game. I played a few others in the series before this one and this one by far is one of the better ones I have played. I loved that your actions changed the overall difficulty of the chapter boss. I really liked the array of characters available and the reoccurring names from the previous games as well as the new faces.

Exploring the map while hunting down animals and the main battles are equally exciting. I really enjoyed being able to forge my own weapons and I really liked the hideout feature in this game where you can have a home to decorate as you wish. There is so much to Dynasty Warriors 9 that you can do that everything is fun to do and doesn’t seem like a chore.

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