Dynasty Warriors 6

X360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 10

Digital FoundryX360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 10

Vegas 2, Army of Two, Lost, Blacksite, Conflict, Lost Planet, DW6.

Welcome to the latest in Eurogamer's on-going coverage of cross-format games development, our chance to go back and supplement existing reviews with additional console-specific coverage.

As is the norm, there's roundup commentary on the gameplay of each title, combined with technical analysis for both PS3 and Xbox 360 releases. Backing that up is the usual range of 720p and 1080p (where PS3 supports it) full precision, full-range 24-bit RGB dumps of every game, courtesy of the Digital Foundry HD capture unit. With Eurogamer you get the full, uncompressed picture of what the respective consoles are pumping out, with no recourse to murky, jerky streaming video.

Onto the games then. There's quite an intriguing line-up of the best and the very, very worst in cross-platform development in this round, with an unintended emphasis on co-op gameplay and Epic's Unreal Engine 3 technology.

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Dynasty Warriors 6

Dynasty Warriors 6

The best of Koei's battlefield brawlers yet.

Honestly, these Dynasty Warriors reviews almost write themselves: Dynasty Warriors is, once again, the game that launched a load of consoles. In the week that Dynasty Warriors 6 (or Shin Sangokumusou 5 as it's known over there) came out in Japan, sales of the PS3 eclipsed the Wii. That's the same sort of sales spike that was triggered by Gundam Musou when it came out, and Dynasty Warriors 2 when it was released back in the early days of the PlayStation 2. And yet - as I point out at the start of every one of these reviews - here in the west, gamers remain resolutely impervious to the unique charms of Koei's battlefield blend of strategy, action, terrible voice-acting, and mental haircuts. And so I ask the same question that I do at the start of every one of these reviews: is this the one that'll fare any differently?

I'm afraid I can't give you an answer to that, because I haven't got a crystal ball, and because (to judge from sales charts the world over) the gaming public has about as much sense as a demented squirrel. What I can say is that to the untrained eye, Dynasty Warriors 6 remains broadly similar to previous instalments: pick one of umpteen different warriors, and fight your way through battlefields full of swarming enemy soldiers, performing combat histrionics across the milieu of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms (and if you don't know what that is: where the heck have you been for the past 16-odd games?).

The most obvious difference is (duh) the visual improvement. Now that it's in high definition, a series of swooshing camera effects and spangly new animations bring the game more dramatically to life than ever before. Duels with enemy officers see surrounding troops blur into the background, Musou attacks are accompanied by a kaleidoscopic symphony of colour, and character animations are modelled on motion-captured martial artists, making them more convincing, more acrobatic, and generally just more insane. The most commonly levelled criticism of the series - bad guys emerging out of the mist - remains to some extent, except there's no mist. But that's because there's more bad guys (by three or four times, apparently) and in any case, they behave more intelligently than in previous games (though still not as intelligently as the cutting-edge AI you'd find in the latest one-on-one beat-'em-up - so, no doubt, critics who have missed the point will still moan about it).

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