Dynasty Warriors 6 was a bit of a let down, it looked pretty but I disliked some of the redesigns and the renbu system.
DW7 however is a great return to form for the franchise, the stand out thing for me has to be the story modes, with one each for Shu, Wei, Wu and Jin. Each stage begins with plot and assigning you with an important character for the coming battle. Before battles you explore the camp and talk to generals and can buy new weapons from the dealer. Then immediately upon talking to the marked officer and you are thrown into battle as the gates swing open.
How the action flows from cut scenes into actual game-play is a very nice touch at the start of the stage and at points when scenes are triggered during battle.
The stories follow the kingdoms from the Yellow Turban Rebellion to the end of their story. Jin starts later on in the timeline, forming from the later plot of Wei. They are very well done and offer different approaches to game play compared to previous instalments.
There is a gate blocking you from your goal inside the castle, so what do you do? Man the catapults of course. This one of the interactive objects within DW7 where you bombard the castle gates with rocks in order to break it down. The game also features driveable Flame Tanks (Juggernauts) as well as Ballista emplacments.
The other mode available is Conquest Mode, where you are given a map of Ancient China split into hexes. You chose a Hex and complete the mission/task which then unlocks the hexes adjacent to it. The aim is to uncover all the hexes, whilst collecting rare weapons and forging bonds with the other Dynasty Warriors from all 4 kingdoms. New weapons can be smithed, you can use those with high bonds as allies during battles, answer quiz questions from a scholar in the unlockable cities/towns amongst other things.
The game boasts a great deal of unlockables such as weapons, companion animals, allies as well as extensive library items such as character models, voices and wallpapers.
Another point that has to be made is about the collection of DLC available. Past fans will be happy to know that for a small fee you can unlock the costumes from earlier DW titles as well as stages from DW2. Costumes and Weapons are available online adding more to the game and at very reasonable prices. The mode is also online compatible, meaning you and a friend can co-op the stages on the hexes, including the dlc.
I think that is everything, the game also features it's encyclopedia like past instalments listing historical dates and information on the Three Kingdoms Period. Who ever thought that running around slicing up peons could be such fun and educational XD.
Great game, I highly recommend it for old fans... it's also a great game for people new to the series to come into, it being the best one.