Dynasty Warriors 8 (真・三國無双7, Shin Sangoku Musō 7, known in Japan as Shin Sangoku Musou 7) is a hack and slash video game and the eighth official installment of the Dynasty Warriors series. It is developed by Omega Force and published by Tecmo Koei. The story is based on the 14th-century Chinese historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Having more than 82 characters featured in the game, the game largely based its system on Dynasty Warriors 7 and focused on adding more content for replayability while also making several tweaks to the combat system.
The game was unveiled on October 30, 2012 via Jump Magazine and released on February 28, 2013 for the PlayStation 3 in Japan. On April 3, 2013, it was confirmed by Tecmo Koei that there would be an overseas release for both North America and Europe in July 2013. It was released on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for both physical and digital release. The option of English and Japanese voice overs also return, where there is also an option to change the subtitles to English, French or German.
The game is followed by two expansions. The first, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, was released for PlayStation 3 in 2013 in Japan and in 2014 in North America and Europe. The second expansion, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, was released for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on in 2014 in Japan and in 2015 in North America and Europe. The PS Vita and PC versions were released in 2015 in Japan, North America and Europe. A Japan-exclusive Switch port of Empires was released in 2017. All three ports have a bundle set with Dynasty Warriors 8 which is called Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition overseas and Shin Sangoku Musou 7 with Moushouden in Asia.
The story mode retains the same faction-based storyline and returns with seamless cutscenes. In addition, each of the characters of the “Other” faction has one scenario dedicated to them, forming a loose “Other” faction story mode, in a first for the series. Stages now have more freedom of progression for the player, unlike the previous installment, which was strongly preset in means of stage routes. A selection of up to four characters will be offered for each stages in story mode, instead of controlling a pre-defined character; the mission objectives in each level differ based on the character chosen. The story has been entirely rewritten, with each of the four factions’ stories dividing into a historical path and a hypothetical path at a critical portion of their stories. Each mission may have a number of optional objectives which unlock additional side story missions or alter the course of history, such as the moment where the flood attack in Fan Castle fails and therefore saves Guan Yu’s life from being extinguished and therefore in relation also saves Zhang Fei from the betraying officers. In order to unlock the hypothetical path, players must complete all of the optional objectives in both the main and side stories prior to the critical point of the storyline. The game also allows a co-op play of the story mode and it can be played both offline and online. However, online co-op is only available on the PS3, and Xbox 360. The PC version does not have online multiplayer. In the previous installment to the franchise, Dynasty Warriors 7, the story mode was only single-player.
Xtreme Legends adds an additional storyline for Lu Bu’s forces, primarily focused on Lu Bu, Chen Gong, and Zhang Liao. In addition, a series of hypothetical missions are added to the four main kingdoms’ storylines, mostly recreating historical events with a slight hypothetical twist (for example, one Wei mission is premised on Cao Cao sparing Lu Bu after the Battle of Xiapi and utilizing him in the Battle of Guandu, while a Shu scenario has Liu Bei turning to Sun Ce rather than Cao Cao after the Battle of Xiaopei). Each of the three main kingdoms contains a two-part “mini-campaign” centered around the new character introduced to their respective factions (Yu Jin, Fa Zheng, and Zhu Ran), while the Jin faction, having no new characters, has a three-part mini-campaign featuring a fictional version of Zhong Hui’s Rebellion. Each campaign concludes with a whimsical side-story mission, not set to any particular timeline. Additional “Other” scenarios are also included for the Other faction.
The music for the hypothetical portion of each Story Mode is taken from earlier Dynasty Warriors installments, with four pieces specifically remixed for this game (one each from Dynasty Warriors 3, 5, 6, and 7, as well with original). Furthermore, the four kingdom leitmotifs introduced in Dynasty Warriors 7 return and are further expanded upon in the soundtrack of Dynasty Warriors 8; Xtreme Legends adds a kingdom leitmotif for Lü Bu’s faction based on his recurring theme.
Free mode returns for the first time since Dynasty Warriors 6 in terms of main game. Players will be given opportunity to play as an opposing faction in the stages a la Dynasty Warriors 3 and 4, instead of being forced to play in a faction as in Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends.