While the past week has been full of reveals and awesome gaming news in general, a particular standout was that of Team Ninja and Koei Temco‘s Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. Of course, while the trailer was all action, we did not exactly know how the game will play like. Will it be more action-heavy, or more measured and deliberate like a Souls game? Turns out, the answer is the latter, with Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is similar to a game like Nioh, a Souls-like title.
In an exclusive interview with IGN, Team Ninja producer Fumihiko Yasuda explained that “as a studio, we’ve always been known for games that challenge the player, but that can’t be done without responsive controls and high playability. In that regard, Wo Long is no different from our previous titles, but this time we’ve turned to Chinese martial arts as a new style of combat.”
Although the setting has changed from feudal Japan to that of the Three Kingdoms period in China, the same gameplay DNA will hold true, albeit with some new flourishes.
“While the Three Kingdoms period is iconic for Koei Tecmo, Team Ninja itself has never tackled it before. By merging Team Ninja’s action with Koei Tecmo’s most popular setting, you could say that Wo Long shares DNA from both sides. But Koei Tecmo has actually never made a dark fantasy version of the Three Kingdoms setting,” development producer Masaaki Yamagiwa said.
Fans can expect to see everything on a much larger scale compared to previous titles made by the studios, and with that comes increased challenges and demands. As such, the teams needed to come up with more ways to differentiate the game from those that came before it.
The use of Chinese martial arts figure heavily in that process, and it is hoped that this will “create an experience like no other.” Another important element of Wo Long‘s gameplay is that of a morale system, which can affect both player and enemy.
“We wanted to create a type of strategism with adversity as its theme. You gain something by defeating a strong enemy, but the same can be said for when an enemy kills the player. The balance between strength changes whenever someone dies,” Yamagiwa explained. If it is along the lines of something like the Nemesis system in Shadow of War, players best be on their guard.
However, do not expect an open world like Elden Ring, instead, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will be structured in different levels like the Nioh series. However, the freedom made possible with the ability to jump will allow the developers to spring more surprises on players. This is emphasised by PS5 gameplay shown by the team, where there is room for exploration. It also helps that the combat is more fluid and much speedier than one might expect from this genre.
It is still rooted in reality, and a greater degree of satisfaction is derived from mastering your character’s abilities, and becoming stronger is a reward that needs to be earned.
There will also be a multiplayer component to Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty as well, and there will be co-op gameplay so friends can fight together. Against the backdrop of the Yellow Turban Rebellion, the time of strife and confusion is upon us, but that also paves the way for a hero to rise. Here’s hoping we will get our chance to save the day real soon.