TGS 08 hands-on: Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

When we first heard of Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce (back then it was known by its Asian version name Multi Raid) we didn't think it would be coming over to Western shores. So, it was a nice surprise to see a little press release letting us know that the PSP exclusive will in fact be making a North American and European debut in 2009. Armed with that knowledge, we decided it might be worthwhile checking out the game on the show floor.

We picked up the playable demo. There were three characters available for play: Xiahou Dun, Zhao Yun and Sun Shang Xiang; they were all dressed up in their Dynasty Warriors 6 outfits. We chose to play as Zhao Yun and then picked out a map. The load time was fairly tolerable not taking more than a few seconds. Once the stage loaded up, we noticed that the graphics were not that much different from previous DW games on PSP; the character models look actually slightly blockier though.

The basic gameplay is virtually unchanged from previous DW titles as you go from locale to locale clashing with hordes of enemies; however, there are several new additions added on top of this. There's an all-new item system; you can carry multiple items at one time and carry an inventory. You can cycle through your items with the up and down buttons on the d-pad.

The god-like transformations are done by filling up your Musou gauge and then tapping the triangle and circle buttons together. While in this mode, the character is powered up being able to hit harder, move faster, and jump higher. Unlike previous special attacks, the Musou gauge depletes very slowly, letting gamers stay in their character's upgraded form longer.

The only thing we wished we had gotten the chance to play but didn't was the 4-player co-op. In this mode you and three other friends form a "strikeforce" and can perform special team up attacks on over-sized monsters (see our gallery for pics). This was really the big thing for this game as it creates a drastic change from the usual DW stuff we see all the time. Unfortunately, we couldn't tell the other people at Koei kiosks to stop what they're doing and try a game together. Oh well, maybe next time.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.