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Luo Guanzhong's Romance of the Three Kingdoms is the base upon which KOEI has developed many of its acclaimed titles, including the action-oriented Dynasty Warriors series. Dynasty Warriors 3 continues this tradition, dropping the player into the middle of an epic conflict between the Wei, Wu, and Shu kingdoms of ancient China. An initially selectable cast of ten characters gives way to over 40 characters in total, the majority of which will need to be unlocked by completing the various game modes.
Essentially similar to Dynasty Warriors 2, this latest incarnation adds new moves, characters, and modes to the mix. Visceral combat is in abundance, with plenty of enemy grunts and generals to defeat. Basic combinations can be performed, but the incredibly powerful Musou moves can kill entire groups of enemies with little fuss. Bodyguards now grow in both experience and number, depending on your proficiency in battle, and can be outfitted with different weapons as the need arises. Commands such as "attack" and "defend" can be issued to the bodyguards in the midst of battle. Horses and elephants can be mounted in combat and maneuvered around the battlefield; the former proves a speedy transport while the latter can be best likened to a tank, mowing down anything in its path.
Swarms of enemies take to the battlefield and, much like the previous title, players can encounter hundreds of soldiers at a time. Additional items and weapons can be found in combat and put to good use against the seemingly endless tide of warriors. The Challenge mode presents a variety of seemingly impossible situations to the player, in both endurance and timed disciplines. A second player can join in the main action, allowing for a cooperative romp through the game's many missions. More competitive players can square off against each other in the Versus mode. ~ Gavin Frankle, All Game Guide