Warriors Orochi Xbox 360 Review
Dynasty Warriors has been around for quite some time, ten years in fact, and in that time it’s spawned quite a few games, not to mention the odd spin off, most notably Samurai Warriors. Now Koei, instead of diversifying things and bringing things back together, Warriors Orochi takes the world of Dynasty Warriors and brings it together with its spin off Samurai Warriors. The general premise for the game is that the serpent demon Orochi has used his magical powers to bend time and space and plucked warriors from feudal Japan and ancient China to play war games for his amusement.
Four for the price of one
The game doesn’t follow one single story though the battle against Orochi can be played as any one of four clans, Shu, Wei and Wu from the Dynasty Warriors games and Sengoku from Samurai Warriors. Each storyline will eventually lead to a confrontation with Orochi, but not before the four clans fight against other warriors who have pledged allegiance to the demon king. Each storyline is comprised of around fifteen levels, each with its own different layout and objectives; capture bases, kill warlords, rescue prisoners, that sort of thing. But although the missions sound quite varied there really isn’t a lot to differentiate them gameplay wise. No matter what the objective you’re doing the same thing over and over. It’s long been a criticism of the Dynasty Warriors games and its spin offs, all you do is go from point to point mindlessly button bashing your way through hordes of enemies, and things aren’t much different here. But there have been some gameplay tweaks from previous games as well as the multiple storylines, I’m not saying they make much difference but at least they’re doing something a bit different.
The Three Amigos
Another change for the franchise is that instead of playing as a solitary warrior on a mission, this time you play as a trio. But, to be honest, they really haven’t made enough of the idea. Instead of having all three on the battlefield at one time you just get control of one at a time. There was potential here to make it squad based with the computer controlling two out of three and you issuing them basic commands and the ability to switch between them. It would have been much better than what they actually did, just giving you one character at a time and switching between them. I found myself just sticking with the same character most of the time, building up their stats so much that switching to a less powerful character really wasn’t an option. One good thing about the character system is that if your character takes too much damage when you switch and that character isn’t in play their health regenerates. Another new feature they’ve added is ‘Weapon Fusion’, it doesn’t actually affect the gameplay as such but it is a way of increasing your weapons’ power by joining them together.. Weapons can only fused on a one to one basis, but there is no limit on the amount of times a weapon can be fused, so if your character has half a dozen weapons in his stockpile they can all be fused together to make one super powerful weapon. But when it comes down to it this ‘new’ feature is just a way to build your attack stats quicker and doesn’t really add anything to the games now stale formula.
You don’t have to play the game on your own though, as is usual with these games you get a split screen co-operative mode. This does make things a bit more fun, working together, even if things are still repetitive as hell, but the games transfer to the Xbox 360 has had no extra multiplayer options. An online co-op mode would have been nice, maybe even have made it three player co-op to accommodate the three characters you use in the single player, but alas no extra features despite the higher powered hardware. Unfortunately this is something that is consistent with the whole game, what we have here is a straight port of a last generation game, you’d have thought they could have made some improvements, but no. The graphics are adequate considering, character models aren’t bad, but the scenery is pretty crappy though, very mundane, and the draw distance is short in comparison to other 360 games. And some of the collision detection is just laughable, whilst riding a horse I came across some scenery that although looked small and breakable you were unable to even get within a couple of foot of.. It’s all not too bad though, the price tag is that of a last generation game, and that’s what you get, a perfectly acceptable game for a few years ago. Unfortunately time has moved on and this series hasn’t, maybe by the time they make the next in the series the PS2 will be out of circulation and they’ll give us a proper next generation game.
Seen one, seen them all
Hopefully another thing they’ll do something about with the next game is do something more with the gameplay. Like I said at the beginning the series has been around for ten years now, and although it has evolved from the first game, not a lot has been done to progress things lately. The games are just getting stale now, with the last four games being very similar, and the small things they’ve added in this instalment just don’t make enough of a difference. It’s fine if you really love this sort of game, so much that you can play them over and over with nothing but new maps, but it’s hardly evolution, is it? The old saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ but some, me included, would say the repetitive nature of these games was pretty broken from the start. But if you’re happy with that, then fine, you’ll probably like this too, it’s cheaper than most 360 games, but as they say, you get what you pay for.
Been there, done that, this franchise needs a good kick up the backside.
5.5 out of 10