Dynasty Warriors (三國無双, Sangoku Musou or 真・三國無双, Shin Sangoku Musou) is a series of Hack-n-slash action games started by Koei and created by Omega Force. It draws inspiration from the historical novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, entailing the epic struggle of power between three kingdoms in ancient China.
The series originally started as a 3D fighting game adaptation of the Romance of the Three Kingdom strategy series. When the developers wanted to port the fighting game to the PlayStation 2, they had second thoughts due to the fighting game boom at the time. To make themselves stand out, they envisioned a battlefield scenario and focused on the prospect of the player working with a team to fight against several opponents at once. After they decided to incorporate more elements from the Three Kingdoms era, it eventually became the hack-and-slash hit that it's known for today. To establish a distinct difference between the first release of the series, the word "true" (真, shin) was inserted for the second title. Hence, the Japanese title for Dynasty Warriors 3 is actually Shin Sangoku Musou 2 and so on.
Though listed under the action game genre, creators strove to make the series a "fusion of real time strategy and action". Eventually, the series's appeal was allowing the player to be a "one man army" versus the thousands of enemies in ancient China. Kou Shibusawa states that it was his personal desire to capture the excitement and thrill felt by the events in the novel. The series started its own type of genre. In the east, games similar to it are referred to as the Musoufranchise. The English equivalent for the same term is Warriors series. Keeping in touch with the core ideas of its fighting game counterpart, the Dynasty Warriors series is designed to always be inviting to beginners to either the series or the action genre. The new features that are added into the series strive to never be too complicated, hoping to add another entertaining aspect for every type of fan of the Warriors games.
A recent Dengeki PlayStation interview reveals that the development team look at other Three Kingdoms period media frequently in between designing each entry. They also don't have a formal team of historical researchers like the ones seen in Koei's historical simulation titles. However, developers do rely on other novels, books and movies they have personally read or seen. A particular individual in the Omega Force team also knows the time era "by the back of their hand". Whenever they ask the person questions, he/she can correctly identify a particular place, person, or battle on the spot.
According to comments from Koei-Tecmo's CFO, Kenjiro Asano, the current Warriors engine is "dated" when compared to the fine details found in most first person shooters in today's market. He hinted that developers are devising a new engine to keep up with the ultra-realistic capabilities of the PlayStation 4.
The mechanics set in this series help influence game play elements in Koei's other titles, some of which include theSamurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series, Kessen III, and Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War. Both theDynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series crossover in the Warriors Orochi series.