Game Review: Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate

Release date: 2018 (original), 2020 (Ultimate edition)
Version played: PlayStation 4 in 2020

A direct sequel to the previous entry, Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate is the fifth crossover of the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series of games by Omega Force/Koei Tecmo. Having had their memories wiped at the end of the previous game, Zeus, the god of Olympus, decides to change things up in the human world, but his plans are foiled when Perseus steals eight magic bracelets which will grant any human holder the power of the gods. Putting a team of three together from a cast of over 170 characters, players must fight through literally thousands of enemies across dozens of stages to make new allies, defeat their enemies and save the world.

+ the huge number of characters all use unique weapons and have access to one of a relatively large pool of magic attacks. Mixing and matching a team of three heroes to switch between on the fly, and four support officers can grant various effects such as increased speed or damage, or beginning the game with buffs of various types. It’s not necessary, but it breaks up the gameplay as much or as little as you want
+ gameplay wise, this is exactly what you’d expect. It occurred to me as Zhang Liao, one of the Five Tiger Generals of the Three Kingdoms, twisted his dual battle axes in the air like a meat grinder than these games are the opposite of the Souls-like series; where they require a dozen precise button inputs to take out one enemy, here you can remove a hundred enemies with a simple five button combo. It’s as satisfying as ever, and the addition of new magic attacks add some flash
+ outside of the campaign, there is a huge number of side activities, such as character bonding cutscenes, training non-equipped soldiers and the now expected weapon crafting/modifications. A few online modes are not my thing, personally, but others might enjoy the competitive nature of it, but I’m happy sticking with the ‘Infinity Mode’
+ the story is nothing special, acting mostly a reason to go from stage to stage, but I’ll admit there was a twist I didn’t see coming. The inclusion of Zeus, Ares and Athena (and perhaps another in the Ultimate version, wink wink) was a fun change of pace from the regular Chinese mythologies and Achilles/Joan of Arc/Ryu Hyabusa from the previous game

– the sheer number of characters, and the fact that so many of them are unlocked so late in the story, means that once you find a character with a weapon/moveset/magic you like, there is no reason to switch to someone else. I’m not ashamed to say I had levelled Wei Yan, my personal favourite, to his absolute maximum before getting anyone else past their first promotion

> I mentioned in my review of Dynasty Warriors 9 that I really wanted a Dragon Ball musou game, and that is still true, especially as the magic attacks from some characters are literally just Kamehameha waves or Final Flash attacks. There are three Gundam titles, four One Piece spin offs, an Attack on Titans game and a Berserk game, so please just add Dragon Ball to the genre

Should you play this game: Truth be told, something about this just never clicked the way that Warriors Orochi 3 did (and I shocked and surprised at myself that I never posted the review of that game). I played the previous entry on Xbox One, and that seemed to look better, play smoother and have significant less pop-in of enemy soldiers than this game did. Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate is better than the abysmal Dynasty Warriors 9, but of all the entries so far, Warriors Orochi 3 stands the tallest.

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