Dynasty Warriors: Gundam
Sometimes with the announcement of a game you get the feeling there might be something good coming. That’s how I thought when I heard about Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, a cross-over of two extremely popular series. It also seemed the perfect opportunity for Koei to drag Dynasty Warriors out of the mud after an endless series of sequels, spin-offs and add-ons. Unfortunately I now realise that a gut feeling can sometimes be completely wrong…
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam in fact only has something to do with Gundam when it comes to story and form. That storyline being so completely incoherent and filled with holes that I didn’t understand anything about it. Although that may have to something to do with my lack of knowledge on the Gundam universe though.
There are two different modes, being the “official” and “original” one. In the latter you play missions based on the existing Gundam storylines while in the official mode it’s all about fictious fights. In total there are sixteen characters (most need unlocking) that all have a mini campaign of about four missions. Nothing wrong with the playing time which is estimated at around 20 hours, and for those die-hards that aren’t fed up with the game by then there’s the incredibly dumb “versus” mode for two players.
The gameplay on the other hand is a complete rip-off of Dynasty and Samurai Warriors. This means that you get to slash wave after wave of brainless Mechs by constantly bashing the square button, varied with an occasional triangle push for a special attack. That way you won’t have any problem getting through the game.
You also have a useless long range rifle and a shield for defense but you’ll rarely use those possibilities. A level usually consists out of a zone that needs clearing from bad guys and then you go to the next one to repeat the previous action. In between you do meet a (sub)boss or have to quickly save someone but a lot of variation, let alone strategical insight, is something that you won’t get or need. You can also install better parts for your Mech or activate new skills, but the impact of those is extremely limited.
The English voice-acting (I didn’t try the Japanese one, please forgive me) must be just about the mellowest of the year and the music will no doubt make your braincells die after prolonged exposure. DM:G also looks like crap. Your own Mech is just barely good enough to look at, but your opponents are all cloned at the same factory (anti-globalists have another argument in their fight against mass production with this game). The special effects aren’t so special and the the levels are big, empty, boring and uninspired. Only the space levels can get some clemensy. The framerate does keep up the pace and never falls down, which is positive in a game like this.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam has become a major failure. The gameplay is hollow, linear and ultra repetitive. The graphics are monotone and all but bright, and the script can easily compete for a Razzie Award. Even brainwashed Koei-fanboys better look for their stuff elsewhere (like the decent Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War for instance). People looking for added value (read: everyone else) might be better off taking off the dust from Conan or God of War 2.