Dynasty Warriors 6 First Look

It's one against thousands, as the long-running epic combat series is making its way to the PlayStation 3. We've got the first look.

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Japanese fans got their first glimpse of the next Dynasty Warriors game at last month's PlayStation Premiere 2007 in Tokyo. Game publisher Koei also showed off the game and announced the first details to the American audience at yesterday's press event in San Francisco. The game, tentatively titled Dynasty Warriors 6 (Shin Sengoku Musou 5 in Japan), will look familiar to long-standing fans of the DW series, but developer Omega Force is planning on some new gameplay wrinkles to help bring the franchise into the next generation.

Dynasty Warriors 6 will continue the epic sense of scale the series has come to be known for.
Dynasty Warriors 6 will continue the epic sense of scale the series has come to be known for.

Series producer Akihiro Suzuki was on hand at the Koei event to introduce Dynasty Warriors and mentioned three areas of focus that comprise a big chunk of the improvements to gameplay. The first, and probably most significant, is the addition of a new combo system dubbed "renbu." Though details of how the system will work were scarce, Suzuki did say the system will allow the player to chain together practically unlimited attacks (which is helpful, considering the sheer number of enemies you'll be facing in the game). In addition, Suzuki said the animations of the characters when using this renbu combo system will be more refined and that the move animations will have a kung-fu influence to them.

In fact, it's those refined animations and improved character designs that Suzuki focused on for his second bullet point in his presentation. According to the producer, Dynasty Warriors 6 will feature all new character animations and weapons. Watching the trailer on hand, as well as the gameplay video shown later in the presentation, it was easy to see those animations at work: Characters engaged in increasingly complex attacks that weren't just devastatingly effective against the never-ending horde of enemies, but they looked cool too. Some of the coolest-looking attacks were those of one spear-wielding hero we watched absolutely tear through a crowd of baddies; swiping, flipping, and spinning in the air in a positively balletic display of offensive prowess.

Improving the sense of being on a real battlefield was the final point in Suzuki's presentation. The idea here is to seemingly add a bit more strategy to the battles as they unfold in the game. To do so, Suzuki mentioned mission objectives, such as destroying castle gates in certain areas of the map to change the flow of the battle or open up entirely new areas of the map as you go.

Beyond those concrete facts from the producers, much of Dynasty Warriors 6's secrets have yet to be uncovered. We do know that characters will be able to swim to cross rivers and streams in the game. In the gameplay trailer, we saw one warrior swimming through a castle moat as a battle raged in the distance. It's unclear how much this mechanic will play into the final game though, from the looks of it, it could bring a new sense of strategy to the battles, as you could potentially swim around obstacles to flank your enemies and catch them by surprise. Nonetheless, we'll be bringing you all the latest information on this and other details of the game as they become available in the coming months.

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