In March, All the Dynasty Warriors fans across the world will ride out in fashion to kick some medieval asses. We here at The Daily Zombies are here with the handy preview with some big blowout details along with a massive collection of character arts, and screenshots for the much anticipated title.

It's no secret that we here at The Daily Zombies are big fans of Koei (now Tecmo Koei)'s best-selling, long-running hack-and-slash action adventure series, Dynasty Warriors. Being fanatics of the Chinese Three Kingdom mythos, we have endeavored to conquered every installment of the series despite universal criticism over the series's purportedly repetitive and somewhat singular gameplay. In our undead opinion, the series have always struck a balance between over-the-top madcap action and sticking to the awesomeness of the otherwise solemn-natured of the source material. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly always rooms for improvements for the series, and what have we seen thus far in the latest installment fortunately incline to positivity.

First unveiled at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, the latest installment was officially revealed at the Koei Press Conference on October 26th, to feature improved graphics and gameplay, along with the support of stereoscopic 3D features and PlayStation Move support. With a scheduled date of March 2011, the title has been confirmed to be PlayStation 3 exclusive in Japan, while a simultaneous European Release has also been confirmed for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

We have previously brought you the announcement details of the latest sequel in the evergreen franchise. Now you can check out the character arts of the 40 characters (of an reportedly eventual 60 over) that have been confirmed and details of some of the new characters, courtesy of KOEI Warriors.

Wei 魏

曹操 (孟德) Cao Cao (Mengde) - Main Weapon: Blade
甄姫 Zhen Ji - Main Weapon: Flute
夏侯淵 (妙才) Xiahou Yuan (Miaocai) - Main Weapon: Bow
蔡文姫 Cai Wen Ji - Main Weapon: Harp *
夏侯惇 (元讓) Xiahou Dun (Yuanrang) - Main Weapon: Blade
曹仁 (子孝) Cao Ren (Zixiao) - Main Weapon: Chain Mace
賈詡 (文和)
Jia Xu (Wenhe)
Skillful advisor who first served Dong Zhuo. He later went to Zhang Xiu where he would trap Cao Cao in Wan Castle. He finally ended up becoming Wei advisor.
Main Weapon: Chained Sickle
Seiyuu: Hideo Ishikawa (aka. Toyotomi Hideyoshi & Mouri Motonari in Samurai Warriors and Zhou Tai)
張遼 (文遠) Zhang Liao (Wenyuan) - Main Weapon: Twin Halberds
典韋 Dian Wei - Main Weapon: Axe

Wu 吳

呂蒙 (子明) Lu Meng (Ziming) - Main Weapon: Pike
周泰 (幼平) Zhou Tai (Youping) - Main Weapon: Katana
陸遜 (伯言) Lu Xun (Boyan) - Main Weapon: Twin Swords
大喬 Da Qiao - Main Weapon: Folding Fan [Multi Raid 2 weapon will not return]
凌統 (公績) Ling Tong (Gongji) - Main Weapon: Nunchaku
周瑜 (公瑾) Zhou Yu (Gongjin) - Main Weapon: Bo Staff
孫策 (伯符) Sun Ce (Bofu) - Main Weapon: Tonfa
丁奉 (承淵)
Ding Feng (Chengyuan)
Renowned later era Wu general. Known to have several clashes with Zhuge Dan.
Main Weapon: Claw Knuckle
Seiyuu: Ryohei Nakao (aka. Guan Ping)
孫尚香 Sun Shang Xiang - Main Weapon: Chakram
太史慈 (子義) Taishi Ci (Ziyi) - Main Weapon: Twin Rods

孫權 (仲謀) Sun Quan (Zhongmou)

Shu 蜀

趙雲 (子龍) Zhao Yun (Zilong) - Main Weapon: Spear
Bao Sanniang
Fictional female warrior who would eventually get married to Guan Suo, fictional youngest son of Guan Yu, and would fight together with him in the battlefield.
Main Weapon: Bladed Yo-yo
Seiyuu: Ai Nonaka (aka. Fuko Ibuki in Clannad)
馬超 (孟起) Ma Chao (Mengqi) - Main Weapon: Spear
(張)星彩 (Zhang) Xing Cai - Main Weapon: Sword & Shield
姜維 (伯約) Jiang Wei (Boyue) - Main Weapon: Spear
Ma Dai
Ma Chao's cousin who joined him in serving Shu. Slayed Wei Yan when the latter was going to rebel.
Main Weapon: Magic Brush
Seiyuu: Osamu Ryutani (aka. Yuan Shao)
黃忠 (漢升) Huang Zhong (Hansheng) - Main Weapon: Bow
(黃)月英 (Huang) Yue Ying - Main Weapon: Bo Staff

劉備 (玄德) Liu Bei (Xuande) ●
關羽 (雲長) Guan Yu (Yunchang) ● Main Weapon: Blue Dragon Halberd
張飛 (益德) Zhang Fei (Yide) ● Main Weapon: Viper Spear
諸葛亮 (孔明) Zhuge Liang (Kongming) ● <- Feather fan spotted

Jin 晉*

司馬師 (子元)
Sima Shi (Ziyuan)
First son of Sima Yi. Assumed authority in Wei after his father's death. Died early in 255 due to complications of a swollen eye.
Main Weapon: Rapier
Seiyuu: Ryotaro Okiayu (aka. Orochi in Warriors Orochi, Chosokabe Motochika in Samurai Warriors, and Treize Khushrenada in Gundam Wing)
司馬昭 (子上)
Sima Zhao (Zishang)
Second son of Sima Yi. Assumed authority after his brother Shi's death. Father of Sima Yan, the first emperor of Jin who would finally unify China.
Main Weapon: Dao Blade
Seiyuu: Daisuke Kishio (aka. Taigong Wang in Warriors Orochi)
Wang Yuanji
Wife of Sima Zhao and mother of Sima Yan. She is highlighted for predicting Zhong Hui's rebellion.
Main Weapon: Flying Daggers
Seiyuu: Kanae Ito (aka. Rin in Hokuto Musou)
諸葛誕 (公休)
Zhuge Dan (Gongxiu)
Wei officer who is also Zhuge Liang's cousin. He tried to rebel against Sima Zhao but failed.
Main Weapon: Feather Fan
Seiyuu: Takuya Kirimoto (aka. Agon Kongou in Eyeshield 21)
司馬懿 (仲達) Sima Yi (Zhongda) - Main Weapon: Feather Fan
鄧艾 (士載)
Deng Ai (Shizai)
Wei officer who is most famous for capturing Cheng Du during the final Wei-Shu battle.
Main Weapon: Drill Spear
Seiyuu: Masato Obara (Actor - not a seiyuu)
鍾會 (士季)
Zhong Hui (Shiji)
Wei officer. After Shu's fall, plotted with Jiang Wei to rebel against Sima Zhao but utterly failed.
Main Weapon: Floating Swords
Seiyuu: Ichitaro Ai
郭淮 (伯濟)
Guo Huai (Boji)
Prominent later-era Wei general who fought in many battles against Shu, especially during the Northern Campaign.
Main Weapon: Hand Cannon
Seiyuu: Satoru Kamata (Actor - not a seiyuu)

夏侯霸 (仲權)
Xiahou Ba (Zhongquan) *NEW*
Son of Xiahou Yuan. Would later defect to Shu, aiding Jiang Wei.
Main Weapon:
Seiyuu: Kenji Akabane (aka. Kouji Kabuto in Shin Mazinger Shougeki Z Hen)

Others 他

孟獲 Meng Huo - Main Weapon: Claw Knuckle
祝融 Zhu Rong - Main Weapon: Throwing Daggers
袁紹 (本初) Yuan Shao (Benchu) - Main Weapon: Rapier
張角 Zhang Jiao - Main Weapon: Monk Staff

*: New character

It certainly seemed that Koei have warmed up to the criticisms over the last Dynasty Warriors where every character went through some forms of face lift, resulting in some unpopular feedback from the fans with regard to some of the changes in the characters's weapons and/or appearances. Sun Ce is finally back with his kickass Tonfa! As for the new characters, the entire ensemble of the new faction, the Jin (晉) Kingdom, seems cool. Ding Feng (丁奉) from Wu, wields a nice metal claw known as the "Claw Knuckle", while his fellow Wu compatriot, Zhou Yu (周瑜) had a suitable facelift that I personally felt is the best in the series. The physical appearance of Jia Xu (賈詡) of Wei, though, belongs appropriately to the perceived villains faction, Wei.

More gameplay details can be found at KOEI Warriors. Do head over for more info, as we summarize some of the more intrigung facts right here.

Story Updates

- The storyline surpasses 234's Wuzhang -one of the oft-complained points-, and now properly ends in 280: Jin's unification of China and end of the ROTK period
- The 晋 Jin Kingdom faction is newly added
- Story Mode is apparently kingdom-based, and will focus on the 4 kingdoms of Wei, Wu, Shu and Jin
- The Other force does not have a story mode, but players will be able to use the Other characters in Chronicle Mode
- You will be playing as different characters as you choose other stages, thus seeing the overall kingdom stories from different character perspectives. The character for that stage will be fixed
- For some important large battles, it will be split into two parts, so you can have two character perspectives (ex: Shu's Chang Ban, 1st Part: Zhao Yun, 2nd Part: Zhang Fei)
- The story events will be seamlessly incorporated into gameplay, similar to God of War 3
- To further reflect the seamlessness above, the usual pre-battle briefing menu is no longer here. Instead, the player stands inside a friendly fortress where they can buy new weapons and interact with other characters for storyline insight before beginning the battle
- There will be many interactions between characters that will make the storyline even deeper
- Each kingdom will have around 15 to 25 stages until their endings
- Story Mode might be one-player only

Chronicle Mode

- This seems to be an individual, free-roam-China and create-your-own-destiny story mode
- In-between battles, you can visit cities to buy and upgrade weapons
- You can also interact with other unique characters, and depending on how you interact, you can unlock more playable characters from this mode
- When you join a faction you will be able to play in their specific stages
- There are also stages that are based on ROTK
- Chronicle Mode will have both Online and Offline (splitscreen) Co-op

Gameplay Changes
Secondary Weapons, Variable Attack, Weapon Expertise, and EX Attack

- The moveset system is back to the good old Charge-based system (DW5 and before)
- Characters now equip two weapons at once. Both of them can be changed
- There will be about 360 different varieties of weapons
- Some weapons will have gender limitations (eg. high probability that Qiao's folding fans will be exclusive to females)
- Some weapons will have aerial combo
- The Variable Attack system (aka. Real Time Weapon Change), players can switch between two weapons anytime. The weapons can even be switched during a combo with a weapon without cutting the combo itself. To switch weapons, press R1
- Some characters will have special expertise in certain weapon types. When such weapons are equipped, they will be able to unleash EX attacks
(Speculation: For new characters, probably it's the 'main weapons' listed above, while for returning characters it's their 'default old weapons')

Support Animals

- There will be support animals which will aid you in battles
- There are two types of support animals:
- Animals that follow the player and fight together
- Animals that can be ridden
- Currently confirmed examples are elephant and panda

Musou attack upgrades

- Musou bar is now stackable to 2 bars, allowing you to launch a Musou attack twice consecutively
- Each character will have 2 different kinds of Musou attacks
- All characters' first Musou attacks are normally executed with O button on ground
- For the secondary Musou attack, some characters will have either of the following:
Alternate Ground Musou, by pressing R1+O on ground; or Jump/Aerial Musou, by pressing O while mid-air
- When using Musou attack, the character will be using their default weapon regardless of what weapons are equipped

Other Known Information

- The game supports stereoscopic 3D mode, but it is optional and can be turned off
- Both consoles (PS3 & 360) will support the stereoscopic 3D
- There is no Edit Mode (aka. CAW)
- There is no Opening Edit feature
- Wu story is focused on early era rather than late era
- There will be no "guest" original characters from any non-DW game, so no Ayane or Ryu Hayabusa, or Sun Wukong, Xiang Yu or Da Ji, etc.(To add to this point, that includes Fu Xi and Nu Wa since they are now considered as guest characters from WO)
- Rumor: will have support for the Playstation Move (Sony's motion controller). This is also optional, but not yet known how it will be implemented
- Some characters will have different facial features depending on the storyline progress, like two-eyed Xiahou Dun or non-masked Sima Shi
- Character portraits in battle messages have emotion changes just like other recent Warriors games (except SW3)
- Morale bar is gone, but the morale system itself still exists and will be reflected from officer messages and such
- DLC (Downloadable Content) is confirmed to be added. Details will be revealed at a later time
- There are no current plans for a PSP release

And here's the official trailer to the sequel, followed by a massive gallery of screenshots.



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