Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s public demo gave players a chance to experience a more general idea of what this fast-paced action game has to offer, but Koei Tecmo recently gave us a chance to dig deep. over and play through the first two chapters of Wo Long in its entirety. I’m starting to understand that developer Team Ninja is aiming for more players with Wo Long instead of their Nioh titles, one of the most demanding titles. While Wo Long still has that software-inspired Challenge branding, it also has a unique system that allows you to change the difficulty of your enemies in real time, making it much more accessible.
At the core of everything in Wo Long is its unique spirit system, which increases as you defeat enemies and decreases as you take damage. Take enough damage, and you can fully relegate. You restore your sanity by defeating the enemy that took you down, it feels like collecting souls after death in Dark Souls, and I love how it’s done here.
In Chapter Two, a small boss with a spirit rank of 20 killed me while my sanity was at 17. The higher the morale of the enemy, the harder it is to defeat, but especially, defeat the enemy in Right around can often lower enemy level. Also, even though I started this part with a rank 13 spirit, by defeating each enemy on the way to the mini-boss, I’m back to rank 17. What’s interesting here is the push and pull. between the urge to rush to this small boss. boss is on a lower rank to get the spirit and experience I’ve lost, and also a desire to slow down, build my morale by defeating enemies along the way, and challenge the skilled boss. higher god. However, in doing this, I run the risk of dying from one of the dozens of enemies along the way. I like to decide how important my experience and morale are, and I especially enjoy the fact that I can increase my combat strength by increasing my sanity.
This system is like a built-in difficulty scaling system. If I wanted more of a challenge, I could go up against a boss with a higher morale rank. If I have trouble defeating it, I can farm smaller enemies and raise my morale to be like the boss’.
The mental system is by far the highlight of Wo Long. It adds a unique new element to the challenging action genre that the Dark Souls series has popularized. As From Software continues to perfect this formula, I love to see the developers put their own stamp on it and that’s what Team Ninja is doing again with Wo Long.
But that’s not the only aspect of Wo Long that impressed me; its combat is smooth, fast paced and tense at best, even when facing standard mob enemies (which can take you down easily if you miss just one deflect, block or dodge). This is the first game that gives me the thrill of parry and evasion since From Software’s Sekiro, and I don’t think I can praise Wo Long any higher than that.
Action takes precedence, but what’s surprising about Wo Long is its characters and story. Gone are the vague “it’s there if you look for it” narrative aspects that are common in this genre. Instead, Wo Long presents her story with exaggerated cutscenes, characters with clear personalities, and storytelling that seems to come more to me than I thought it would. Perhaps this is a result of playing through the game’s prologue, but I hope Wo Long continues to deliver on its story as it did in these first two installments. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait any longer to find out.