Title: Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate
Developer: Omega Force
Release Date: February 14, 2020
Reviewed On: PS4
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
The Warriors series was like comfort food for me over the years. That is until they tried to do new things with it that just didn’t work out. This all means that any hope for redemption is on the shoulders of the Orochi spin-off series, which brings together a large cast for the entire universe. With the release of Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate, anyone who has held out on jumping back into the series should see this as the perfect opportunity for classic Warriors gameplay with some magical new features.
Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate reintroduces the heroes of the Three Kingdoms, who must deal with a new threat that will bring them all together once again. The god Zeus is caught by his son Perseus attempting to interfere with the mortal realm. Perseus then takes it upon himself to steal powerful Ouroboros bracelets that are embedding with magical abilities. These bracelets are then scattered across four factions.
The wielders of these bracelets are granted magical abilities, which is unlike anything these warriors have ever seen before. Throughout the narrative, motives are cleared up, and the real enemy is uncovered. I enjoyed how the game tied in each of these characters across the chapters. It’s done in an intelligent way and pretty much gives you a brief introduction to them as you unlock them as playable characters.
With the release of Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate, players will find that the conclusion of the game has been altered somewhat to provide a “true ending.” I appreciated how the developers built up to this and felt that the added storylines and sub-events did a great job of building out these characters.
The story focuses on a few key characters who stand out more prominently than others, but those who put time into characters can unlock new events. Furthermore, Sacred Treasures can now be equipped to any character, so it’s possible to create the party of characters you prefer and not just base them around the characters with better magical abilities.
The gameplay is classic Warriors as its finest. Players are dropped on a map and travel from target to target taking down 100’s enemies along the way. To speed things up, players can summon a magical horse, but missions are kept pretty straight forward here. I could see this getting repetitive, but the massive roster and customization options within the game make it fun for hours.
To add variety, the game’s magical abilities give characters a new way to take down groups of enemies and extend their combos. Magical attacks hit hard and vary depending on which of the elements is equipped. During gameplay, this can be changed, but each has their benefits within a fight. To balance this, even more, players can bring with them three different warriors. Switching party members is seamless and can be used to extend combos even further by switch characters in and out.
The maps found in Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate are some of the best that I’ve seen in the series. They are large and have maze-like designs. Furthermore, the stages sometimes block you from going in specific ways. Normal difficulty doesn’t put up much a challenge, but more robust modes do push the player’s knowledge of navigating the maps and pulling off combos to the test.
After Chapter 5 in the game, new modes open up, and the extra content is accessible. Infinity Mode gives players the chance to take a party through a dungeon and earn experience that is tied to leveling up the skill level. This all ends with some fierce battles that will challenge returning players.
The issue with Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate is that it is only an update, and those who have completed the game will get far less out of the experience than those who are starting their adventure right away. I would say that Orochi burnout may occur after spending so many hours with the game already, that it might not seem worth it to jump back in because the writers wanted to add a few new characters and a new ending.
That said, I found the updated content refreshing, and I appreciated all of the extras added for those who play the most. The developers reward players for their time continuously during this game, and that shows as you unlock something after each mission. Still, this requires players to be invested, and sadly, Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate doesn’t do much to make new fans of the series as it does its best to hold onto the faithful fans that it still has.
Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate offers a ton of new features for returning fans to discover, but the price of entry feels a bit high. It seems like the game caters more to those who have held out on jumping back into the Warriors series, but if that’s the case, than you’ve found the best entry to date. Although the straightforwardness of the missions become tedious, the story holds it all together for hours of entertainment. Add in the extra customization, new modes, new characters, and new systems and it’s easy to see this as the definitive version of this title. I had a blast taking out thousands of enemies, and I couldn’t recommend more to those hungry for some solid Musou action.
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