Too Much Of A Good Thing

HIGH Unleashing a Rage Attack as a deified character.

LOW Revisiting the same levels multiple times.

WTF Unleashing a Rage Attack as a deified character.

Warriors Orochi 4 was originally released in 2018 and GC staffer Eugene Sax had mostly positive things to say about it. Eighteen months later, it’s been given the Ultimate treatment with new DLC campaigns and fresh characters to take into battle. But as Eugene mentioned back in 2018, the amount of content here, now increased, is both a blessing and a curse.

Gameplay is still the same as it was with the initial release. Players are tasked with exploring a map and defeating hordes of enemies using melee and magical attacks. As a relatively new player to the series, I found it easy to jump into the simple, straightforward gameplay. Using over-the-top attacks against enormous opposing armies is a blast, even if it often feels like a button-masher.

As much as I enjoyed the gameplay, it does become quite repetitive, with stages and boss characters being recycled in many of the later chapters. The new Ultimate content can only be accessed once the main game has been completed, but I was ready for the newly released material well before the original game was over.

Once the Ultimate stages were accessible, it was more of the same – stages are reused and new missions aren’t that different from what the original stuff provided. The already-expansive campaign receives even more background and lore, but gameplay and stages remain the same. Players who found the original repetitive will probably feel the same way about this expansion, only moreso.

As stated earlier, Ultimate includes six additional characters — the highlights are Joan of Arc and Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden. However, with an already huge cast of 150 playable warriors (and new members starting at level 1) they don’t add much. Once I had established a rotating crew of seven go-to fighters, I wasn’t subbing in new recruits and the Ultimate additions were no exception.

Other aspects unlock once the main game in completed, including the ability to upgrade characters beyond level 100 and a new in-battle musou combo attack. I’m uncertain why these remain locked until reaching the Ultimate stages — I was plenty busy with improving my team and sending other warriors off to train, so I’m not sure having these options available earlier would have made much of a difference.

Once again, I return to Eugene’s original review – Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate now provides an even larger roster of characters and deeper story to delve into. For players who have yet to pick up the game, it’s hard to beat the value provided in this package. That said, it’s safe to say that this is for genre fans only — this game scratches a very specific itch, and not everyone will want to scratch it.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed and published by KOEI TECMO. It is currently available on PS4, XBO, Steam and Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via a contest and reviewed on the PS4. Approximately 20 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the main game was completed, but not all the additional content. Zero hours of play were spent in multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and contains Alcohol references, Sexual Themes, and Violence. The official ESRb description reads as follows: This is an action game in which players assume the role of Japanese and Chinese warriors fighting to get back home. Players engage in hack-and-slash combat using swords and magic spells against hordes of enemy soldiers on a battlefield. Battles are frenetic with slashing/impact sounds, cries of pain, and colorful light effects; enemies collapse and disappear quickly when killed. Some female characters wear outfits that expose large amounts of cleavage and/or buttocks; their breasts sometimes jiggle while fighting. The game contains several alcohol references in the dialogue (e.g., “Chatting with friends is the best accompaniment to alcohol”; “My father is on a drunken rampage”; and “Look at all that wine! I think this could get even me drunk.”).

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available in the options.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: Voice acting is in Japanese, but the story is delivered via text, with character names and headshots indicating which character is speaking. Text size cannot be changed. There’s a barrage of information provided on screen while battles occur, but the game is still fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: Yes, this game offers fully remappable controls.

Brian Theisen
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2 years ago

I think it’s insane how many of these Musuo games there are, how little variation there is among them, and how they very rarely or minimally drop in price despite the large number of iterations.

The main gameplay is fun enough, but I never buy new ones because it’s full price for largely the same experience they offered 20 years ago.