Dynasty Warriors 2 Preview

Koei's historical fighting game is making a return on the PlayStation 2. And now it's more like a walk-and-punch than ever!


Three years after the release of the first Dynasty Warriors on the PlayStation, developer Omega Force decided to bring the sequel to the PlayStation 2. Simply titled Dynasty Warriors 2, the game parts ways with the original Dynasty Warrior's fighting-game formula and has evolved into a mix of action and strategy simulation.

The game takes place in second-century China, where the three kingdoms of Wei, Wu, and Shu are engaged in a bloody, chaotic war. You'll get to decide what kingdom you'd like to control then select one of that kingdom's main generals. The list of generals includes characters such as Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhang Yun, and Zhou Yu. At the outset of the game there are only eight selectable characters, but as you progress you'll unlock more characters. Your role, as general of your kingdom, is to lead your troops into battle and claim victory.

There are eight stages that historically reenact the famous battles of the Three Kingdoms. In each stage you'll fight up to 2000 soldiers on one battlefield - all of which run at a silky smooth 60 frames per second in real time. Unlike the original in which you fought one-on-one with your opponents, Dynasty Warriors 2's battle system is similar to that of a walk-and-punch -there are several enemies on the screen at once, and you'll simply move about, choosing your targets as you please. Each character will have a charged attack, which will be more devastating than your normal attacks, as well as Muscou attack which is downright incredible. The battlefield in each stage covers a vast area similar to those of strategy sims. You must remain aware of battle conditions, know where the enemy lines are thinnest, know how your own lines are faring, etc.

Characters can increase their skills by winning battles and finding items on the battlefield. As you continue to increase its skills you will progress through your kingdom's ranks, thereby gaining more power and influence. If your character is more charismatic, you will most likely come in contact with other people. But the more famous you become, the more the enemy will be watching you and sending its best warriors against you - while the weak ones will be more likely to avoid you.

Dynasty Warriors 2 for the Sony PlayStation 2 is scheduled for a summer release in Japan. Koei of America plans to release the title in North America sometime this year as well.

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