Dynasty Warriors 4
It's one of those timeless truths: Nothing's certain except death, taxes, and the timely succession of Dynasty Warriors updates. Despite massive success in Japan, DW's obese warlords and obscure settings don't resonate with as many gamers on U.S. shores--which is a shame, because beneath the series' far-flung feudal trappings lies a solid beat-em-up that's grown more complex with each successive iteration. Think of DW as the rightful successor to classic hack-n-snackers in the vein of Final Fight--except, surprisingly, there's a lot more happening here. In a series of Braveheart-sized battles, you'll marshal friendly forces and monitor their morale, raise a retinue of bodyguards that help even the odds when enemies attack, escalate intense rivalries with other would-be rulers (and eventually add them to your own growing roster), collect and tweak new killing tools, and, oh yes, gobble dim sum. So, how does this pan out when you're actually playing? Well, even if you're just mashing buttons, it really feels like you're acting as a general in someone else's colossal real-time strategy campaign. Of course, if you're a die-hard DW fan (Meng Huo's man-diaper costume optional), you already know this, and you'll heartily enjoy the latest update. But if you're new to the ancient-Chinese brawling scene, now's a perfect time to jump into the fray.
Download Dynasty Warriors 4
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
If fighting seemingly insurmountable swarms of enemies in mad melee battles is your bag, then the latest Dynasty Warriors should be just the thing to warm your controller during these cold spring nights (OK, we're in California--we don't really understand the whole "season" thing). For the most part, DW4 keeps on keepin' on: You lead your troops into action-packed combat against hordes of enemies, all from different warring factions in China's historic Three Kingdoms era.
The series covers a 100-year cycle, so you'd naturally expect something more than a mere sword to keep your guys going on the long road to victory. Here, DW4 antes up. For the first time, you'll be outfitted for large-scale sieges, with fire-shooting "Tiger" tanks, bridge-building equipment, catapults, and more. New fighters, weapon upgrades, one-on-one duels, and character customization also liven up the game's 50 stages.