Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3

It's often assumed that all of Tecmo Koei's Musou titles are largely the same game. You're some powerful warrior, you run around chopping at large groups of cannon fodder, then beat up some tougher opponents with names over their head. When you've duffed up enough of them, you've won. You do this over and over until the game has nothing left to give, and that's that. This is, perhaps, the most reductively shallow and inaccurate appraisal in video games history. It's akin to saying racing games are just pressing two buttons and moving left and right to be faster than everyone else, or that shoot 'em-ups are nothing but holding down the fire button and avoiding bullets.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3

They all look the same, so they say. Blindness to nuance and personality in the face of the unfamiliar has always been the bigot's way, and how many gamers are guilty of the same when looking to Koei's Dynasty Warriors series? "There's no real challenge," they argue, setting the difficulty to easy and switching off after an hour. "You simply mash the buttons to trigger an apocalypse of fireworks," they explain, ignoring the capacity for skill beneath the pyrotechnics.

These are half-empty criticisms for anyone who has invested the time and effort that Koei and Omega Force ask. The developers may have failed to keep pace with global trends, leaving their once-commanding hack-and-slash series fading in the face of newer, bolder creative visions. But only a wilfully ignorant critic would claim nothing changes from release to release.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 arrives, then, as the most refined of the series' robot spin-offs in recent years. In fact, it's one of the most pacey and exciting Dynasty Warriors games of its generation, and it outshines recent entries to the mainline series in almost every way. Make no mistake: there are shortcomings here. But approached with the right mindset and expectations, this a game that offers considerable breadth and depth.

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Out This Week - 01/07/11

Resi Mercs! UFC! Dynasty Warriors!

The cast of Capcom's survival horror series reunites this week for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. Heard the name before? You've probably played the all-fighting spin-off as a mini-game in Resi 4 and 5. It's expanded here, with a larger cast and extra features.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 release date

Tactical action game Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 launches across Europe on 1st July, Tecmo Koei has announced.

The sci-fi PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game includes online multiplayer co-op with up to four players.

It features the series' trademark mecha, called Mobile Suits. There are over 50 playable and upgradeable characters, and over 70 playable and upgradeable Mobile Suits lifted from the Gundam universe, including Mobile Suits from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Mobile Suit Gundam UC.

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