Wednesday, 24 October 2018 04:00


Written by

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

The latest installment of the Orochi hack and slash games, Warriors Orochi 4, developed and published by Koei Tecmo Games, is the right kind of nostalgic, featuring 170 characters from Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors in an all-new plot scenario. This time around, Greek god Zeus is up to no good and wants to reshape the world to his liking — so it’s up to the dozens upon dozens of heroes and warriors pulled into the story from various points in history to put an end to it… and this time, with magic.

Pure Carnage

One of the main points of appeal of this series is the sheer number of enemies that players get to mow down as they play. At any given time, there are dozens if not hundreds of foot soldiers on-screen that need to be taken out. Large-scale attacks as well as sweeping strikes and AoE attacks let the player decimate them in scores, which feels extremely rewarding.

In between the constantly spawning soldiers are generals and leaders, who are more challenging to take out, usually take longer to do so, and require a slightly more tactical play to beat, especially on higher difficulty settings. Defeating these generals is what advances the plot; the foot soldiers are mostly used for building up experience and executing insane hit- and kill-streaks.

Magic is real

A new mechanic that’s unique to this installment of the series is the addition of Magic. Each hero has one of several different sacred treasures that allow them to execute magic attacks. Two of them depend on the type artefact, while one is unique to the character themselves. This huge variety of attacks and abilities means that selecting a team of three heroes is more than just a formality — choosing abilities that compliment each other and work for you as a player is an important aspect of gameplay.

Taking care of the team

The sheer variety of ways that the teams and characters can be customised seem very overwhelming at first, especially to newer players. In addition to simply swapping characters out for others based on their skills, it’s also possible to upgrade skills, equip better weapons, upgrade or fuse those weapons, and even change the costumes of several of the characters that are unlocked throughout. It's a lot to take in at first.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of explanation and introduction to most of these upgrade features which can pose a challenge initially. It's also a stark contrast to the detailed explanations and tutorials that are given for combat features which will have you mowing down enemies in no time. Thankfully, the learning curve to upgrading a really effective team isn’t too steep though, despite this.

Appearances can be deceiving

At first glance, Warriors Orochi 4 is poor in an important aspect: the graphics. Everything looks a little dated and not much different from previous generations. Despite that, the individual heroes, opponents, and elaborate maps are crafted well, with great attention to detail. After a few minutes of gameplay it becomes obvious why the creators sacrificed a few visual aspects. Given that often, hundreds of enemies are swarming the screen at once, more demanding graphics would negatively impact performance.

Taking this into consideration, Warriors Orochi 4 is actually well-optimized and runs very smoothly, even on weaker machines. This makes this installment appealing to a wider audience without compromising on the aesthetics and feel of the gameplay too much, which is important for an established series like this one.

Friends, Enemies and Greek Gods

One thing that needs to be said is that the sheer amount of heroes, fighters, and playable characters makes it nearly (if not entirely) impossible to keep track of them all. With as many as ten characters unlocked after every mission, and often over a dozen at a time participating in discussions, the story in Warriors Orochi 4 is hard to keep up with, despite its simple recipe of: defeat bad guys, recruit them to your side, and get closer to stopping Zeus from his evil ploy to destroy and recreate the world.

In addition to the story, there are also countless interactions between characters that can be viewed from the same menu where you set up and manage your fighting team. These are often conversations between people from different games or historic periods that are designed to teach you a little more about who said characters are (although that’s a futile ambition).

While the countless characters add replay value, they make the story itself almost obsolete. Despite this, the creators clearly put a lot of effort into designing and writing the dialogue and scenarios. Given enough time, dedication and interest, there is a wealth of backstory included.


The Verdict: Great

Warriors Orochi 4 is a very good hack and slash title with strong mechanics, fun combat, and a lot of replay value because of the huge amount of customization. There are some flaws, such as the insufficient tutorials and the fact that the story is nearly impossible to follow because of the sheer amount of different participating characters. However, since most of your play time is spent fighting, that’s not as much of an issue. The graphics aren’t spectacular, but the title is well-made with fan-favourite characters littered throughout. Plus, given its unique appeal of mowing down dozens of enemies in one swoop, it should appeal to any fan of the genre.

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Mel Hawthorne

Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!


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