With its ability to make players feel superhuman, “Warriors Orochi 4” delivers the adrenaline-pumping action that keeps fans of the “Dynasty Warriors” franchise coming back. However, even though this combat is also fun for newcomers, the game does little to make those unfamiliar with the franchise invested in its universe.
Like most other entries, “Warriors Orochi 4” pits players against an army of fragile grunts and their more powerful commanders. To clear a stage, players usually must defeat a certain number of these commanders. Mowing down the grunts optimizes this task by contributing to both the characters’ Unity Magic meter, which unlocks a devastating attack when filled, and experience points.
As satisfying as this obliterating combat is, “Warriors Orochi 4” lacks the tactical gameplay that accompanies the action in other entries. Unlike the recent “Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition,” there’s little opportunity cost for fighting in one area of the battlefield as opposed to another. As a result, there’s an unfortunate shortage of tension in the game.
Although it doesn’t make up for the loss of strategy, the added depth to the action is an appreciated inclusion. Enemies known as Chaos Origins are scattered throughout the battlefield, not only attacking the players and their army but also strengthening the surrounding foes. If a rival commander is near a Chaos Origin, players are obligated to take down the Chaos Origin first.
Because efficiently defeating Chaos Origins requires either rage attacks, which become available from enemy loot, or charged magic attacks, they are not as straightforward as other adversaries. Their presence, then, provides a pleasant degree of difficulty.
Another commendable aspect of “Warriors Orochi 4” is its high replay value, as each stage contains side objectives that award players currency to upgrade their characters and base camp when completed.
Though the game features enough elements to content franchise veterans, its half-hearted storytelling and localization make it a disappointing first impression for newcomers.
“Warriors Orochi 4” boasts an impressive 170 playable characters, and considering most of them have appeared previously in the “Dynasty Warriors” franchise, fans don’t need a new context to appreciate them. In its choice to present most of the story as talking pictures rather than cinematics, though, the game fails to make these characters seem interesting to novices.
Such a storytelling method would be more acceptable if the game included additional language options for voices. For those unlearned in the language, the characters’ Japanese doesn’t do enough to convey their tone. Plus, their pictorial representations always remain the same, thereby concealing their personality further.
Characters speak important dialogue between battles and also during them. Players who don’t know Japanese must rely on the translated text on-screen to understand these conversations, but due to the fast-paced nature of the game, reading this text feels inconvenient. Because this issue may cause many to ignore the battle dialogue, the likelihood of newcomers’ disinterest in the characters only increases.
“Warriors Orochi 4” may not be the franchise’s best foot forward, but it still contains the addictingly destructive gameplay that makes it a no-brainer for fans. Though novices are better off starting with another entry, even they can still find enjoyment in the game’s amusing mayhem.