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Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition Game Poster Image
Content-rich, overly repetitive feudal fighting action.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Main plot is a romanticized retelling of the history of ancient China. This is mainly just a framing for players to hack and slash their way through swarms of soldiers as they fight to rule the land.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Massive cast of characters cover nearly every shade of moral spectrum. Some are meant to be honorable heroes, others,  tyrannical villains. But outside of a few lines of dialogue and cutscenes, they all boil down to basic templates used to fight with.

Ease of Play

Controls are pretty simple to pick up and play, with a lot of button mashing involved. Difficulty comes from overwhelming forces players fight against while trying to maintain control of the map.

Violence

Violence is nonstop, with players using variety of melee weapons (particularly swords) and special abilities to cut a wide swath through swarms of generic soldiers. Despite constant flow of violence, there's little to no blood or gore. When defeated, bodies drop to the ground, disappear.

Sex

Many female characters are presented in generally sexualized manner, often in somewhat revealing outfits.

Consumerism

Dynasty Warriors franchise has been around for 20+ years, spawning multiple games in the main franchise, as well as countless spin-offs, many of which even include characters from other properties. There's often paid downloadable content (DLC) for the games, but this release is a "complete" edition that includes all previously released expansions and DLC.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Dialogue occasionally references alcohol use, with some characters portrayed as drunks, or at the very least, having a strong fondness for drinking wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition is a hack-and-slash action game downloadable for the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs. The game is a collection of the original Dynasty Warriors 8 game, the Xtreme Legends expansion, and all previously released downloadable content. Players fight through waves of soldiers in a constant stream of combat, though there's very little in the way of blood or gore presented on-screen. The game does feature some sexuality in the presentation of a number of the female characters, and some of the dialogue references drinking and getting drunk.

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What's it about?

DYNASTY WARRIORS 8: XTREME LEGENDS DEFINITIVE EDITION takes players back in time, to a period when China was embroiled in an epic civil war. Multiple factions went to battle against one another, fighting for total control of the nation. Players step into the role of various warriors during this time, charging into battle against sizable armies, armed only with their swords, their skills, and their courage, with the fate of China's future in the balance. This Definitive Edition includes the content from the original Dynasty Warriors 8, as well as the Xtreme Legends expansion, which added new game modes, stories, and characters into the mix. It also includes all previously released downloadable content for the game, making this package the true "definitive" entry for fans of the Dynasty Warriors 8 saga.

Is it any good?

For fans of the franchise or newcomers to the series, this is a solid collection with an insane amount of content, but the action can be very repetitive. Between the main game, the expansion content, and all the extra bells and whistles, there's plenty packed in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition to keep players finding something new for hours upon hours of gameplay. That's the good news. On the flip side of things, while there may be plenty of content, players might be hard pressed to stick with the game long enough to get through most of it.

For starters, the hack-and-slash, one-versus-hundreds style of gameplay is a lot of fun at first, but it quickly gets repetitive. Also, the game demands that players not only keep track of their actions, but also rush to help out AI allies every time they're in trouble, which is unfortunately quite often. While it's true that different characters come to the table with their own unique abilities, the simple fact is that there's just not a whole lot of variety between them. The same can be said for the bulk of the gameplay too. Although there's unquestionably a lot to do, most of it feels the same. Plus, even with some slightly enhanced visuals, it's hard to ignore that the game is starting to show its age after six years. That's not to say there isn't fun to be had in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition. In fact, it's a great addition for die-hard fans and for those trying out the series for the first time. It's just best played in shorter bursts, before the repetition kicks in and you're left with a feeling of just going through the motions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition affected by how the gameplay is presented? Does it make a difference whether you're fighting endless waves of generic enemies or engaging in more intimate one-on-one fighting? Can the repetition of violence in certain games eventually desensitize players to that violence?

  • Can games based, even loosely, on actual history or mythology help motivate kids to learn more about the events on which they're based? What are some good ways to use these games to encourage further learning?

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