Every brawler, for better or for worse gets compared to Super Smash Bros. From the outside Dynasty Feud can look like another Brawlhalla, but it takes a total of 1 game for anyone to realize that Dynasty Feud has some unique things going for it. Read on to find out what.
Dynasty Feud is a fast-paced, competitive multiplayer brawler developed and published by Kaia Studios. The game was released on 23 May 2017 for the PC, and on the PS4 on 27th December 2017.
Gameplay And Mechanics
Dynasty Feud boasts a sizeable roster of different champions – 40 in total – each with his or her own abilities. Dynasty Feud is unlike your usual platform brawler in which you select a single character at the start of each round. Instead, you pick an entire team, or “dynasty” as they’re better known, to send into the battlefield. Each “dynasty” groups different warriors according to a common theme: Knights, Vikings, Aztecs, Cowboys, Martial Artists, Pirates, Prehistoric Men and finally Science-Fiction Psychics. It would be easy for each dynasty to have one member of the team fulfill one purpose: someone is a tank, another is ranged, one specializes in close-up combat, and so on. Thankfully, Kaia Studios opts for a more personalized approach, with each dynasty having a unique focus to coincide with their team. For example, the Viking faction valued long-range weapons, such as spears and throwing knives whereas the Martial Artists love to get up, close and personal in order to knock the stuffing out of you while the Pirates look to attack you from across the stage.
Before each game starts, every player has to pick a dynasty. The only exception is in Local games where you can select the “All-Star” mode and build a team made up of any characters, regardless of the dynasty. Each dynasty consists of five family members and I know what you’re thinking: Four players, with five in each team, that’s too many pixels on your screen. Luckily, this is not the case. At any point in time in the game, only one character from each Dynasty is on the screen, jumping, dodging and attacking each other. As soon as a character from a dynasty(team) dies, the player gets a chance to pick his replacement in the battlefield. Run out of dynasty member and you are done. Add to that the fact that almost every character in the game dies in one hit (apart from 3 stars melee characters who have extra lives), and that gives you a very clean, simple and straightforward objective. Kill off the other dynasties.
What the one-hit one-kill mechanic also means that there is no brawling, instead there is a lot of running around, looking for the best opportunity to attack. Of course too much jumping around, will also result in the arena (map) breaking down over time, reducing the real estate to fight on bringing your opponents closer all the time. Every time you die, you can also annoy your opponent in ghost form, stunning them for a little before the respawn timer runs out and you can pick a spot for your next character to appear.
The more you play, the more you level up which unlocks more stages and more dynasties, but again the only way to do it is to either do it in couch co-op mode or online matches, so your options as a solo player are extremely limited. Dynasty Feud clocks in at 4 GB on the Hard disk. That’s not a lot, and it sure shows in the modes that the game offers. There is no single player campaign mode or even a ladder mode which can be played solo. The game does offer a Training mode, where you can try out the different abilities of the different characters, but with a static stage and stationary enemies, it does not replicate the real thing at all.
Indeed, the essence of Dynasty Feud is in its brawl mode, both online and offline (couch) both offering a battle royale of up to 4 players at a time. While the online mode offers both quick plays and ranked matches, it can be little difficult finding players online. And the mechanics that work so well offline act like roadblocks in the online world. Ranked and private matches disallow the option to pick stages, so it’s impossible to pick the less active ones for competitive play. This becomes a huge problem when the same few stages keep rotating as some levels have far more hazards than others. Plus due to an invulnerability period that lasts far too long upon reviving, players can then kill their opponent with incredible ease. So when it should have been [die, annoy and pick a safe place to spawn] essentially becomes [die, annoy, respawn right there and kill your opponent].
Graphics, Sound & Performance
Most arenas in the game remind me of boss stages from Guacameele, and I say that in a good way, well laid out, simple to navigate with intelligent use of colors. Dynasty Feud decides to go with pixelated 8-bit feel, which means the only time you will see the details on the character artwork is on the selection screen. It is surprising then when you realize that there is a definite lag in-game. Attacking and moving should be smooth and natural, but it seldom feels immediate here, thanks to input delay plaguing most of the combatants.
The sound is another place where I found Dynasty Feud limited. With mostly grunts and small action voices in the game, there is not a lot to talk home about. Considering its an indie though I think we can all let that one slide.
So, the couch co-op experience is where you get your most fun out of Dynasty Feud. Its a game you will never delete from your PS4, for the time when you have friends over. Overall though Dynasty Feud may be onto something, but the unique idea is crippled by it limits in almost every area.