Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games
Genre: Hack and Slash
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: Pegi 12
Release Date: 6th March 2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Cut Right Down The Middle
Sometimes a game comes along that completely splits your opinion in two. Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate is one of those games for me. It is the latest instalment in the Warriors Orochi crossover series; which fuses together the worlds and characters of Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors.
I have always had a “love or hate” relationship with these games, as such I can see both sides of the argument. I’ve enjoyed time with some titles from this genre over the years but I’ve never really fallen hard for one.
There’s a couple of things that really turn me off about this game. Firstly, it’s an almost perfect example of an adolescent power fantasy. I’m aware that many popular titles incorporate this theme and as a player, a part of us wants to live this fantasy (we’ve all taken to the streets of GTA with mayhem in mind), but Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate’s sole purpose is this yearning for power and destruction.
Secondly, I cannot stand this game’s over-sexualisation of characters. It is demeaning to all involved, quite frankly absurd, and highlights the gender bias still sadly common in the gaming industry and the world as a whole. Does the inclusion of inflated boob jiggling really still sell more copies of a game?
Let’s Cut To The Bone
Putting these issues aside, there is a lot to love about Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate. Long-term fans of the franchise will adore this game as it is nothing short of wall-to-wall fan service. To these fans, the gameplay and mechanics will be instantly familiar and comfortable, like a well-worn suit of armour.
Newcomers to the series may find the stacks of sub-menus, multiple upgrade/customisation options, and bewildering amounts of characters a little daunting when starting out. However, give it a few battles and you will soon be comfortable riding into combat against hordes of enemy warriors.
Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate’s storyline is a mind-bending journey through time and space. It features icons from Norse and Greek mythology, along with legendary ancient samurai, a host of fantasy characters and series favourites. Thinking about it, it’s maybe easier to list who isn’t in this game; with an incredible 177 unlockable characters, you definitely aren’t short for warriors.
This army of playable characters is split into three classes; power, speed, and technique. Each class has a different style of play, varied abilities, and specific advantages or disadvantages during battle. In addition, every warrior has a bespoke weapon that can be improved and fused with elemental powers. Furthermore, a rare and magical sacred treasure can also be wielded in combat. The amount of content in this game is honestly staggering.
Alakazam Right Into Their Faces
A big factor in this game’s combat is magic; each character has a light, a heavy, and unique magic attack. All party members can be called in to do an almighty screen-clearing group magic attack that lights up the screen like an atom bomb. Magic attacks are required to kill specific enemies throughout the game and are the best way to rapidly increase your combo meter. As your combo count rises your magic attacks increase in power; 300 hits give you a moderate bump, however, 1000 hits see you really starting to hand out the pain.
The game is split into chapters, while each chapter contains a number of battles that must be won in order to advance. However, before entering into battle you form a squad of three primary warriors and four supporting warriors. You take direct control of the primary warriors, able to swap between them at any time, whereas your supporting characters provide assistance on the battlefield and passive stat boosts to your primary warriors.
Different combinations of warriors form unique squads. Consequently, improving the bonds between warriors unlocks in-game perks and conversation events. You can even send warriors away to train together, and they return stronger and wiser with a deeper appreciation of each other. It’s amazing what a business trip can do for team morale.
Talking of teams; Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate offers split-screen local multiplayer and online multiplayer options. Then, alongside the story mode is a battle arena, a challenge mode, and an infinity mode. Adding a buddy to your ranks can certainly add an extra level of enjoyment to the repetitive nature of the game.
Another Slice Off The Block
All in all, Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate is not a bad game. It is packed full of content, looks great, runs well and caters for its target audience perfectly. My problem with this game is a clear lack of originality. This is largely owing to the fact that the game is almost entirely built from reused assets. However, some tweaks have been made, and while small additions have been included, ultimately, there’s nothing new or particularly interesting about this latest entry into the Warriors Orochi series.
Rapid Review Rating
You Can Purchase Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate from the PlayStation Store
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.