Fallen Dynasty’ Review — Strategic and Fast-Paced Soulsborne

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On the outskirts of a village engulfed in flames of demonic flames and red-hot arrows, I defiantly triumphed in battle against the commander of an invading army in a once peaceful meadow. During our battle, my brutal opponent kept me on the back foot, draining my healing resources after failing to parry and recklessly taking powerful blows. I could have done betterI thought.

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But I was thankful to get through the first boss battle during my review Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty without help.

My bittersweet sense of accomplishment quickly faded as my opponent stood up again, swallowing the grain with malevolent energy and transforming into a nightmarish beast, waiting in line for the second half of an already exciting fight.

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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a Soulsborne game that will truly test players’ limits, from their mastery of parrying critical hits to the tactical use of wizard spells to turn the tide of battle. The game’s extraordinary breakneck combat coupled with Chinese themes shaping its gameplay mechanics breathes new life into the ever-popular formula.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Our rating

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an outstanding Soulsborne that expands on the foundation Nioh with inspirations from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Bloodborne holding tight to his adrenaline struggle.

Developer: Team Ninja

Publisher: Koei Tecmo

Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC

Release date: March 3, 2023

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Created by Team Ninja, the video game studio behind Nioh and Ninja Gaiden, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an upcoming action RPG starting on March 3rd. Based on the work of Chinese author Luo Guanzhong, Wo Long‘s narrative brings his A romance of three kingdoms to life in video game format, dropping players into war-torn countries as a nameless militia soldier.

As I waded through years of chaos fueled by unscrupulous personalities and demonic entities, I came across several characters based on historical individuals, such as the warlord Cao Cao of the Eastern Han Dynasty and Liu Bei, who founded the Shu Han state.

They became my staunch allies against the enemy defending my path as summonable AI – often saving my skin during battles with insanely fast tigers and nimble zombified soldiers.

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These companions can solve some of the grueling challenges Wo Long — much like Spirit Ashes in Elden Ring — but it never ruined my enjoyment of combat because the game proactively put me in the hot seat to make split-second decisions and kept me on my toes.

Seen through the story, Wo Long he has a good understanding of the events he wants to record. The game doesn’t linger too long in cutscenes, getting players back into the action more quickly.

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And while the combat is the shining star of this title, Ninja’s adaptation of turbulent China closely influences the creativity behind the gameplay mechanics.

For example, Spirit Gauge in Wo Long represents an individual’s willpower during battle, acting as a resource of strength and stamina that increases when aggressively struck and decreases when attacked. Controlling that bar while deflecting regular and unblockable critical hits from opponents turned every battle into a fiery tango.

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I had to be fierce and my reactions lightning fast, but the pace of the fight also required a balance of speed to avoid draining my Spirit. Finding a rhythm against enemies with powerful delayed attacks and flurries of punches was incredibly difficult, but satisfying once I figured out their moves.

The nuance of this system expanded when I unlocked sorcerer spells that allowed me to conjure balls of glowing flame or boost my defenses with earth elements at the cost of the Spirit Gauge.

I loved being able to navigate between using lethal martial arts and situational spells – making the battles engrossing and open enough to experiment with different play styles.

While Wo Long focuses primarily on its intense combat system, I was pleasantly surprised by its tactical mechanics that made the formulaic missions and zones refreshing and engaging for many hours of gameplay.

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By raising morale through combat, a leveling system that determined the difficulty of opponents and opened access to new sorcerer spells, I could plot my approach across the map and challenge higher-ranked enemies for rare gear.

Capturing locations with battle flags — whether controlled by enemy leaders or open for capture — also boosted my morale and even refilled my healing items.

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Making the effort to retrieve battle flags and somewhat hidden flag flags behind enemy lines and off the beaten track became a huge priority, putting me in the role of a war tactician making deliberate judgments on the move.

Given how the enemies are laid out on the map, jumping between the dilapidated rooftops of the besieged estates and sneaking through the canals to get to these points felt rewarding and revealed areas hidden from view.

During my trip with Wo Long, the whole experience felt like a familiar romp through a Soulsborne game, but with drastic new additions to the formula that creates a chasm between it and those within the genre. Team Ninja managed to stand out from the FromSoftware games with Nioh and he has rediscovered another, bringing together former features that culminate beautifully Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.


Fallen Dynasty’ Review — Strategic and Fast-Paced Soulsborne

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