Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is a Dynasty Warriors game from Koei Tecmo, based on the anime series The Heroic Legend of Arslan. The anime itself is based off of a series of Japanese fantasy novels from the 80s, which have been adapted numerous times over the years; thanks to the most recent iteration being done by the manga author of the series Full Metal Alchemist, this is the most popularity the series has enjoyed in years. As a huge fan of the series for almost 20 years now, there was no way I was missing a chance to play this game.
The story of the game follows the adventures of Arslan, a young prince on the run after the invasion of his country, as he tries to recruit allies to help him reclaim his throne. Also dealing with rather heavy issues like slavery and religion, it is at its heart a coming of age story. The game follows almost exactly the story arc of the first season of the anime, so I wouldn't recommend playing it until you watch the show first, unless you don't mind being spoiled.
The game plays pretty much the same as every other Dynasty Warriors game ever created, with light and strong attack buttons, the ability to change between weapon types on the fly, a special move (which changes depending on what weapon you are currently using), an ULTRA special move unique to each character, and the ability to call and dismiss a horse (for quick progression through battle areas, or to crush the heads of your enemies). Action is broken up into various battles, with hundreds of respawning enemies for you to destroy, or you can follow the objectives to kill specific enemy generals or destroy enemy supplies to enact real progress. Each battle usually finishes with a boss fight, with the story being progressed by anime cutscenes in-between to give your fingers a break from the button mashing... which there is a lot of, but that should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Dynasty Warriors. Despite the repetitiveness, destroying so many enemies makes you feel all-powerful, and it's pretty fun. This particular game also does a good job making all the characters play differently from each other, even if they use the same weapons. This is mostly accomplished from each character's unique special moves, some of which actually made me laugh, and all of which perfectly fit the character using them.
In the story mode of the game, you spend at least a little time with each character (some getting more use depending on their importance and when in the story timeline they get introduced), and you can choose to replay any mission in the story with whatever character you want once you have completed it. You can also choose any character to use during online and freeplay modes, with the latter being a never-ending destruction spree that made my thumbs start begging for mercy before I got too far into it, so I mostly stuck with the story.
While I enjoyed Arslan: The Warriors of Legend immensely, I believe that was mostly due to how well they translated the story and characters of the anime into a Dynasty Warriors style game. Unless you are the world's biggest Dynasty Warriors fan and live to destroy thousands of on-screen enemies in a giant button-mash, watch the show before you play the game. If you already have seen the show, then you should definitely pick this up, because it's a blast.
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend releases on February 9th for PS4 and Xbox One.