Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty increases the bar for battle so significantly that it merits abandoning the term “soulslike” entirely in favor of something new. It offers a thrilling arcade alternative to FromSoftware’s more reflective gameplay, as well as deeply intricate fighting.
Elden Ring is a video game that tries to immerse you in the mystery of its crumbling planet while having you tiptoe past sleeping giants to figure out how it all went wrong. This strategy was, and still is, a breath of fresh air in RPG design. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the best-known stories in all of world literature, is loosely retold by Wo Long, the black side of that moon, with the addition of demonic possession for flavor. Prepare to defeat the Yellow Turban Rebellion, engage in battle with Dong Zhuo in the midst of a burning Luoyang, much like you did in Dynasty Warriors, and engage in some truly epic confrontations with the famous Lu Bu.
Although it has a story, other than adding a little drama to each important mission, it essentially serves as nothing more than a means of presenting you with thrilling battle scenes. The main character, who can’t talk, is rudely shoved into overdramatized parts of Chinese history from the Three Kingdoms period.
In WoL, each setting (referred to as a battlefield) initially seems simple, but you soon discover that it is full of challenging confrontations, traps, shortcuts, rich loot, NPCs to interact with, and mysteries to be discovered. The Battle Flag system has been implemented, which is kind of brilliant but also a little overwhelming, making exploration not only rewarding but important.
There are about 40 battlefields total, both large and small, and as you explore them, you’ll come across nooks that serve as bonfires or checkpoints in games with a similar theme. When you raise a flag in one, it restores your supply of Dragon’s Cure Pots, which are reusable Estus stand-in potions, but it doesn’t respawn any of the foes you’ve already fought. Also, this will boost your fortitude level, which works in conjunction with morale to increase your overall power, but more importantly, just on that particular battlefield.
Your power level, or morale, is actually what makes you stronger. You can raise it by eliminating enemies, using specific tools, and raising Battle Flags (which are hidden throughout the game). Every adversary has a different morale level, and by eliminating particular enemies, you can lower it over the entire area. As you pass away, your fortitude will decline, but it will never fall below where it is right now.
Even though the fighting system is complicated, everything works together to make it top-notch from front to back.The experience picks up speed and develops into a completely different beast the instant you realize how to skillfully evade blows, parry a critical blow, and strike back even harder.
Wo Long is going to blow your mind if you’re a gameplay-first type of gamer because it rewards brilliance and perfection. You begin by playing it like any other Soulslike, keeping your guard up and sneaking up on stronger opponents, and you end by playing it like the Wuxia legend immortalized in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Even the most routine encounters might end up looking like a scene from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, as you easily flip around and engage hundreds of enemies.
Developer Team Ninja has substituted a more weapon-focused stance system for the one from the previous games Nioh and Nioh 2. There are more than a dozen different types, and fans of the time period will like the wide selection of polearms. Each has a unique set of moves and related special abilities—almost absurdly so. For instance, despite the fact that all of these weapons are long sticks with pointy ends, using a spear differs significantly from using a slashing spear, which differs from using a halberd and a glaive.
Although the randomization of gear isn’t one of our favorite aspects of the game (it’s somehow even more granular than anything else), it works for the system in which it is present. There is a clear rush that comes with getting the perfect drop after a particularly hard situation.
With each characteristic linked to one of the traditional Chinese virtues and elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—Wo Long’s progression system allows for a wide range of design options. Also, each is linked to the magic that is available to you.
We concentrated a lot on wood, which raises your health as a starting point (the key to beating most Souls-like games), as well as the damage an appropriately aligned weapon can deal. It also unlocks the magic tree that goes along with it, which focuses on buffing, dealing lightning damage, and even allowing for some restricted healing of both you and any surrounding allies.
Magic is connected to your spirit, which also serves as your stamina, in another original departure from the tried-and-true formula. Because you might not have enough spirit to dodge as well, you must instead consider whether you can afford to cast anything. This is different from watching an MP pool or having a set number of spells cast. Also, spells have a morale requirement, so you can’t use your strongest skills right away on a specific battlefield until you raise them.
Legendary characters like Liu Bei, Cao Cao, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei (to mention a few) will cross your path as you advance through the game, and two of them can join you on the battlefield at once. The AI is surprisingly capable, and as you and your partner beat opponents together, your bond grows. Eventually, you’ll be rewarded with copies of your partner’s iconic weapons and armor, some of the greatest in the game.
Of course, real players may take their place as these NPCs; sadly, we didn’t have much luck with that during pre-release. Still, it’s enough to say that Wo Long’s landscapes are made for interesting and important interactions.Cutting across Wo Long’s different battlefields would be a ton of fun with some dependable blades keeping an eye on you, assuming the system can manage it.
Boss fights are very difficult, and Wo Long starts with one that was especially hard and gave us trouble right away. The level of difficulty and complexity of many of the game’s basic parts stay high throughout, making it clear that it’s not for the weak-hearted. Again, WoL knows exactly who its target audience is, and they’re going to love every minute of it, whereas Elden Ring might be able to attract a more casual player with its sense of mystery and open-world architecture. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty may not just be your game of the year; it’s probably also your spirit animal if the idea of an easy difficulty in a soulslike game makes you experience an uncontrollable and irrational twinge of anxiety.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty takes a distinctive spin on the increasingly common Souls-like formula, carving out a niche for itself with its sophisticated and profoundly enjoyable fighting system. It is unforgiving, difficult, and, at times, almost impenetrable. It doesn’t hold back, and after a few hours, many people will probably go on. But if you’re prepared to reach the necessary degree of mastery, it could be just what you’re searching for.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a great action role-playing game that takes the idea of Souls and makes it even more extreme. It has one of the most mesmerizing fighting systems we’ve ever had the pleasure of mastering, and it’s fast, furious, and hits like a truck. Although it might deter more casual players, those seeking a challenge can now stop looking.
Deep, complex combat
Engaging scheme of progression
Vast regions brimming with surprises
A variety of captivating weaponry
Exciting boss fights
Despite being a classic, the story wasn’t that good.
Complexity may put some people off.
Does not explain itself very well.
If Not Already Clear, Elder Scrolls 6 Will Skip PlayStation
Despite Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls 6 was not confirmed as an Xbox exclusive a few months ago. This happened because Xbox executive Phil Spencer indicated that target platforms hadn’t been selected yet, but it always felt like he was talking about the game being years away rather than the RPG being on PlayStation.
If you’re still holding out, Microsoft plans to release The Elder Scrolls 6 just on Xbox and PC. Documents from the company’s FTC lawsuit were recently released. In the document, Bethesda’s announced titles (both as a publisher and developer) are listed, and The Elder Scrolls 6 is listed for Xbox, PC, and nothing else.
We expected this, but The Elder Scrolls 6 was announced before Microsoft acquired its developer. The Elder Scrolls is a beloved franchise that’s been on various platforms for generations, so this isn’t Starfield.
However, the game isn’t due until 2026 at the earliest, according to the paper, and who knows what the gaming landscape will be like then.
Xbox Nearly Flashed Warner Bros Cash, Sees Nintendo as Holy Grail
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer’s mid-2020 dystopian email suggests the business was interested in buying Warner Bros Interactive and Bethesda. Even more alarming, the CEO calls buying Nintendo a “career moment” and “good for both companies” — and there are even rumors that Microsoft was interested in Valve.
While Spencer warns that acquiring Nintendo would be “hostile action” but “playing the long game”, the unprecedented corporate convergence is shockingly casual. He added: “Nintendo is taking a long time to realize their future is off their hardware. A long time… He even ended the chat with a smiling emoji to make it look more evil.
Spencer claims that Warner Bros Interactive was “gettable” when Microsoft was rumored to acquire it. He adds that “we wouldn’t own any of the IP which hurts long-term flexibility”. Because most Warner Bros Interactive developers work on franchises like Batman, Harry Potter, and others, the studios are worth little without the brands.
The email is over three years old, but it reveals Microsoft’s blasé approach to acquisitions and its goals. While its eventual acquisition of Activision Blizzard may have changed its plans, this leaked exchange suggests that Microsoft will not stop until it has absorbed as much of the industry as possible, even targeting Nintendo.
Stig Asmussen Leaving Respawn for Galaxies Unknown
Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor director Stig Asmussen is leaving Respawn Entertainment for unknown reasons. Asmussen had planned a trilogy for Cal Kestis, but it appears another author will need to write it.
Bloomberg reports that an EA spokesperson said: “Stig Asmussen has left Respawn to pursue other adventures, and we wish him the best. Veteran Respawn leaders will lead Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.”
This move is surprising, but Asmussen leaves on a high note. Jedi: Survivor is a great game despite its performance issues, which is rare for a Star Wars game. We’ll see where Asmussen goes, but we’re excited.
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