Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty |  Game Reviews

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty | Game Reviews

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2023-03-16 15:00:55

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a soulslike action role-playing game based on the 14th century historical novel series Three Kingdoms by novelist Luo Guanzhong. According to historical records, this was a turbulent period in Chinese history and was adorned by Team Ninja with supernatural elements, from mythology to folklore. In fact, they contribute to an exhilarating experience with a bit of its own, if not the most accessible, of the soullike games on the market today. Only small problem: the difficulty sometimes spikes unexpectedly.

From the very beginning of the experience, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty made me excited with the extremely rich character customization. Especially allowing to tweak the hairstyle more than any other game I’ve ever played. The game’s graphics are quite nice with tones reminiscent of the Nioh series. From setting the scene to the transitions, it is always impressive with the diverse shapes and personalities of the characters. The martial generals of the Three Kingdoms period, some people rode a majestic white horse like Zhao Yun (Zhao Yun), others were rude like Zhang Fei (Zhang Fei).

Even so, they are all loyal AI characters, always following you throughout the experience when summoned. The number of characters is many and all are familiar names with supernatural stories similar to the Warriors Orochi series. In particular, if you used to have a personal feud with the unrivaled Lu Bu (Lu Bu) in the Dynasty Warriors game series, you can now take revenge in the Battle of Hu Lao Quan and another higher level battle in the Wo Long experience: Fallen Dynasty that the writer cannot reveal.

The game is set in the last days of the Han Dynasty, bringing players into the role of an unknown warrior like the hidden title “Crouching Dragon”. You are caught up in the Yellow Turban Rebellion and are helped by a blind guest. Hidden behind the war is a conspiracy to find the elixir of immortality. While the opening narrative is compelling, the development team failed to build a compelling storyline to complement the exhilarating experience. It’s a cross between the linear screen design like Nioh and the ‘deflect’ mechanism in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

The gameplay of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is quite fast, while the narrative is fragmented and difficult to follow. This aspect has always seemed to be the forte of developer Team Ninja. Their games are all demerited for their lack of depth and care in storytelling. The character introduction is so quick that the writer doesn’t care who they are. Although I have never read the historical novel Tam Quoc Dien Nghia, but thanks to playing the game, I also know many Vietnamese names.

However, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty made me jump when I encountered the first boss Truong Luong (Zhang Liang) extremely challenging. It’s not wrong to even call this the first boss the hardest of the soulslike games I’ve played, even though Truong Luong is just a boss designed as a battle to guide players through the game’s deflection mechanism. This boss fights up to two rounds in a row with two “buffalo health” HP bars, while the player only has a very short “digging health” HP bar and three Dragon’s Curse Pots to heal when needed.

The problem is, because of the linear design, if you can’t win against Truong Luong, your experience stops here. The interesting thing is that after mastering the deflect mechanism combined with the reasonable strategy of “eating a lot”, the boss battles that follow after Truong Luong are quite gentle and do not inhibit me with four consecutive Chinese characters. continued to appear on the screen like when confronting Zhang Liang again. Not to mention the later matches, players also receive a lot of support from AI teammates or up to two more people playing co-op.

Review game Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Of course, the difficulty of the game experience is also increased in proportion to the number of co-op players compared to when playing with AI. On the other hand, you can also summon random players through the Tiger Seal item, enlisting their help when confronting nasty bosses that you can’t defeat on your own. Basically, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s combat system revolves around deflecting the enemy’s attack and Morale system, providing a very seamless experience.

Even when the enemy launches “un-supportable” attacks, the player only needs to press the button to perform the deflection at the right moment, it is enough to make the enemy lose momentum, free for you to counterattack. Breaking their stance allows the player to “tease” the enemy, and the fight repeats until either the player or the enemy logs out. How to describe the experience. The biggest challenge you face is mainly related to the ability to identify what is an attack and which is an enemy’s decoy to press the deflect button at the right time.

Pressing the deflect button too late is dead, but too soon the result is not better. Important is still the right moment and the game is quite generous with the moment the player interacts with deflect. Although Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty allows block and dodge similar to the classic Ninja Gaiden game series, the writer never uses the blocking skill because it is not as effective and provides the satisfaction of successfully performing dodges. avoid through deflection. It is a feeling that is difficult to describe unless you actually fight in the game experience.

Notably, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty does not build a physical mechanism like the tradition of the soulslike game series. Instead, the game uses the Spirit bar with many interesting adjustments. Specifically, this bar increases or decreases depending on the player’s actions. For example, if you hit an enemy or deflect their attack, the corresponding blue jump Spirit bar increases the control character’s defense. In contrast, actions such as dodging, deflecting, being hit as well as using Wizadry Spell lower the Spirit bar.

More dangerous, the control character will be stunned for a short time if you let the Spirit bar fill the red frame. Similarly, enemies also have Spirit bars corresponding to different defensive abilities, requiring the player to focus on breaking the attack and “skewing” them instead of just putting damage into the health bar as usual. In other words, your goal in all battles is to use every ability to break the momentum and then “poison” them and not just once. However, it is easier said than done because the enemies in the game are all played against the council.

Review game Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Not only that, the camera angle in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty often does not cover the entire battle, causing the writer to be hit many times by unfair blows. That’s not to mention the enemy is also designed to stand in the corner and play “stab in the back of the soldier” every time you get into the traps deliberately set up by the development team. This is also one of the frustrating and inhibiting issues that writers often encounter in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin and especially the two Nioh game series of the same developer.

Although the AI ​​teammates have very poor fighting ability, even though they are all strong generals in history, I have no complaints because they all do a great job of distracting the enemy for the player to attack. This is very useful in boss battles, although it is not uncommon for the AI ​​to get stuck due to terrain errors in the game. Even, the writer also encountered many funny image errors that caused the character to fall into the “cosmic black hole” during the duration of the game.

The biggest difference between Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty and other soullike games is the Morale system and Battle Flag. More specifically, both the player and the enemy have a Morale Rank that represents strength in combat. Depending on how you fight the enemy how quickly this stat increases or decreases. The higher this stat of yours is, the stronger your attack will be and vice versa, but if you let the character die, this stat will return to zero and that’s when the war flag is crowned.

In each game screen, there are many flagpoles including small and large types. The small type simply increases the Fortitude Rank when you plant the flag, while the large type is full of important features such as trading, leveling up the character, unlocking the Wizardry Spell according to 5 attributes and many other supporting factors. As you might have guessed, the aforementioned spells have the potential to be incompatible with each other and so will the enemy later on, making the battle require more complicated tactics even though it’s not just a good use of the deflection mechanism that plays a role. important role in combat.

Worth mentioning, fortitude rank helps players keep their minimum morale rank high. That’s why you have to flag all the Battle Flags in the game screen to maintain the morale rank as high as possible in case the character dies. It’s a pretty perfect gameplay loop because if the morale is low, the player will definitely have a hard time fighting when the enemy is too much. This leads to a small mistake that also easily causes the main character to lose his life. The problem is, the flags are often associated with a lot of battles waiting for you to try.

Review game Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

From a variety of regular enemies waiting for an opportunity to beat the player council to miniboss accompanied by their minions. Not to mention many flagpoles are hidden very well and it is not easy to detect them if you do not take the time to observe the environment of the game screen from many different angles. This design forces players to explore every nook and cranny of the game screen, taking risks when encountering “bones” enemies to receive rewards that help reduce the difficulty of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty somewhat. In other words, the game encourages you to play a lot.

On the other hand, morale also affects the main character’s ability to use magic. However, you can only equip up to 4 spells compared to the large number of Wizardry Spells in the game. Although these spells add a layer of tactics in combat, in fact, the writer rarely uses them because the character can deflect even attribute magic from the enemy, plus the game design makes it difficult. the use of magic is quite limited and not as convenient as the deflect solution.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty performance is quite good when playing on new generation consoles. However, poor PC performance is inherently a matter of knowing and talking about games developed by Team Ninja. Unfortunately, the experience is also not good on Valve’s handheld console. Writers often encounter a situation where the frame rate drops very low below 20fps when encountering Truong Luong in the second half at the beginning of the experience. Although I stubbornly reduced the resolution to less than 720p even though the game didn’t allow it, I couldn’t interact with the menu and had to give up.

From a player perspective, the biggest minus point of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is that the game screen is not as stretchy as the Nioh series. Instead, the development team chose a design solution that divided the game experience into separate levels between main and side battles, giving the writer a feeling of confusion and lack of continuity. These small scale side battles reuse part of the old location in the main battle. Enemies in it are arranged in new locations with extremely linear paths instead of branching and connecting.

Review game Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

After all, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty offers an exciting fast-paced role-playing action experience with its own signature, from the setting to the gameplay systems that make it different and more accessible to the masses. The biggest minus point of the game is that the enemy design in the game screen lacks variety and equipment too much, making management sometimes take a lot of time unnecessarily. That aside, this is actually still an extremely welcome name for the game library, especially those who are coming to the soulslike series for the first time.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is available for PC (Windows), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty



Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

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