The Warriors series of hack-and-slashers is one of the monoliths of gaming; no matter the time, no matter the place, chances are you can find some iteration of Warriors if you want to mash an attack button and slaughter an army. It’s even started to encompass other franchises and settings, as we saw with titles like Samurai Warriors 4, Hyrule Warriors and Arslan: Warriors of Legend.
The classic Three Kingdoms setting is still around in force, though, and with Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers we see it being taken in a new and interesting direction.
We follow Zhao Yun and his friend Lei Bin as they journey across China with the mysterious girl Lixia. She’s seeking mystical artifacts so that she can stop a terrible fate from befalling the world, and it falls to our heroes to accompany her and make sure said artifacts are safely gathered. There are allies to recruit, side stories to check out in the Path of Destiny and, naturally, lots and lots of enemies to wipe out. Despite the shift in genre, it definitely feels like Dynasty Warriors.
That said, though, Dynasty Warriors isn’t a new face on the strategy game scene. The Empires releases of previous titles have had strategy-RPG elements out the wazoo, for instance. Godseekers is the first of these games to go whole hog on this particular style of gameplay. You’re still slaughtering hordes of enemies, but here each individual horde might be represented as a single “unit.” Properly arranging your own units is key, since, as in the main series games, you’re usually drastically outnumbered and must rely on powerful army-crushing super attacks to prevail.
The game doesn’t ever really stretch the brain all that much. There’s gear to craft and skills to earn and equip, but a lot of this feels like icing on the cake; if you can remember your units’ ideal attack distances and avoid moving right into the kill zone of a bunch of enemies, you’ll probably be fine. Ironically, this suits the Dynasty Warriors pedigree even more, since while it’s hard to deny that these games are a good time, it’s rare that strategic depth ever really comes into play. It feels like there’s more to chew on regarding the complex character-relationship system than in the battles themselves!
As far as presentation goes, Godseekers is fairly average, which is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the Dynasty Warriors titles. This isn’t a hideous game by any means, but it’s also not going to be the one you pull out to show off your fancy PS4 Pro or whatever. Dialogue and writing is on par with the rest of the series as well, meaning that there’s nothing especially embarrassing going on and if you’re into these characters you’ll have a good time watching them interact.
As one of the simpler strategy games out there, Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers stands apart from big SRPG names like Fire Emblem or Disgaea. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s easy to pick up and play, even for beginners, and you won’t find yourself wasting hours on failed missions. Godseekers isn’t a must-have by any means, but if you’re hurting for something new on the SRPG front or you’re into the Three Kingdoms setting, you could certainly do worse.