Koei brings us again a new addition to the Dynasty Warriors series. This installment still features the same storyline based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, with the various officers as playable characters. The character list and appearance is the same as in Dynasty Warriors 6, meaning some of the previous game's characters are not available.
The difference in this one is that the player is allowed to choose only one character for the chosen force (either Wei, Wu or Shu) who starts in a village that will act as the hub, or camp, from which the game battles are accessed. By completing story missions, some characters are added and can be played as without starting a new game, meaning all acquired weapons, items and materials will be kept.
The chosen character can be customized in various ways. Apart from the main weapon, one sub weapon, chosen from many weapon types, can be equipped. Both weapons can be switched anytime during battle, to accommodate the situation. A new addition is the Chi system which allows to set special abilities to the character, there are four slots to equip Chi (the two arms and legs). Weapons can also be customized by adding Orbs that give different abilities, such as elemental properties.
In the village, the player can exchange materials, buy weaponry, items for use in battle, Chi skills and Orbs. Some NPC's may appear in the village, some giving materials or items, or Officer cards, which can be set to help the Village's growth. Over time, better items can be acquired from the shops.
By talking to the quest board or the Guard at the village's gate, main Missions or Requests can be chosen. Each battle is a series of small maps where various enemy soldiers and weaponry are fought, eventually leading to the commander of the enemy army. The goal of each battle can vary, some are classic goals like "Defeat the Commander" and some, less battle oriented, like "Retrieve all treasure boxes". In addition, there also are bonus missions that require the player to defeat a particular unit, reaching a certain point before a certain time, etc. Each bonus mission gives extra experience points upon completion.
Other new additions to the battle system are the possibility to have aerial battles, and the main feature of the game: the Fury Mode, unleashed when the Fury gauge (replacing the traditional Musou gauge) is full. The furied character has better stats and move sets, and can unleash the infamous Musou attack to deal some extra damage.
To add to the surreal look of the game, some new bosses are actually massive beast-like weapons, and usually require the help of other players to defeat them. Multiplayer mode is available only via AdHoc connection, and can connect up to four players.