Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate - Xbox One

Release Date:

29 August 2014

Also on:

Xbox One PS Vita PS3 PS4

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
7.4

Summary:

Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate adds four new chapters to the Story mode, offering insight into the events before the original Warriors Orochi, and presenting a new threat in the form of Tamamo no Mae. Players can also take on the new Gauntlet mode, which finds five characters attempt to survive a variety of challenges within a multi-level dungeon. Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors meet again, to face a common foe in developer Omega Force's distinct style of hack-and-slash combat. Ultimate features characters from established Tecmo games, along with the full cast of playable warriors from Koei's previous editions of the title.

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Posted:
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Dave_Finnigan

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'Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate' on the Xbox One is a hack and slash developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo Games.

Tecmo Koei has made their name in the field of hack and slash titles by being consistent producers of action packed video games. Dating back over a decade ago the guys at Tecmo struck gold with their storied 'Dynasty Warriors' franchise. That series has gone on to release several spin off titles, featuring popular anime, as well as some offshoots of the brand. 'Warriors Orochi' is one of the less heralded slashing titles by the developers at Omega Force. The game combines many of the elements that we've grown to love out of the other 'Warriors' games while also giving its own fresh spin. Coming up on the PlayStation 4 is 'Warriors Orochi' 3: Ultimate'. We got a chance to spend a few quality hours with the title and we were overjoyed with what we saw.

A simpler game...

Fans of the Musou/Orochi series likely have already gotten their hands on 'Orochi 3' back when it released on the PlayStation 3. What we are reviewing today is an upgraded, 'ultimate' edition that seeks to improve upon that experience thanks to a few extra years of development and the power of the PlayStation 4 hardware. Let's take a look at the story of the title before delving into what changed and what got better.

Rather than being set during the much covered Sengoku period, we start our story a few years after. The heroes that fought through that giant war of the Three Kingdoms era are seeking to reclaim and rebuild their lives after the death of Orochi. Peace, as we all unfortunately know, is a short lived concept. So it should come as no surprise that these noble warriors were not allowed to fade peacefully into old age.

Instead, a gigantic eight headed beast known as the Hydra appears and begins massacring all of the surviving warriors. Kiyomori Taira, too, is back from the dead and he conspires with Da Ji to brainwash as many of the surviving heroes as possible. Three of these warriors survive this sudden onslaught: Ma Chao, Hanbei Takenaka, and Sima Zhao. Before these three heroes were to meet their death a time traveling Moon Princes, named Kaguya, appears. She charges the three heroes with a mission seemingly ripped straight from an anime: Go back in time and save your comrades from their certain death.

If we weren't already so used to the over the top drama that was intrinsic to the genre we would find the storyline borderline revolting. After all, much of the core storyline from the older titles has some basis in reality. Yet here we are, being launched back in time by an offshoot of Sailor Moon. After a brief moment of reconciliation with this fact, we decided to dive straight in and just enjoy the ride.

What follows that action packed introduction is a series of missions, both strategic and straight out hack 'n slash, that send you to the end of the realm and back. You will fight countless hordes of enemies in iconic Koei style before coming face to face with the Hydra that began all of this madness. For a genre of games that is known for its epic combat, things are stepped up even more and we really dig it. Old characters make surprising returns and some new characters offer depth to the story that we wouldn't have known possible.

Getting past the storyline we can dig into the meat and potatoes of the gameplay. All Musou titles live and die by how the sword handles in the hands of its owner. Coming into 'Orochi 3' we had doubts about how the game could push forward without becoming a tired mockery of itself. A few cool twists kept things resonating with us as we gleefully chopped through hordes of similar looking enemies.

Perhaps the greatest addition to the 'Orochi' franchise is the ability to have multiple heroes on the field at the same time. In the non ultimate edition, released for the PS3, you were able to select two characters to switch between during combat. This was a neat feature that added a layer of strategy. In 'Ultimate' we are allowed to have all three heroes out at the same time. This means that the AI will take control of two of the characters while you play with the third. If you ever feel like switching between them you can still easily do that with the click of a button. The biggest downside to having AI controlled heroes is that they are still able to get damaged and lose HP.

Building off of the three person teams, we grew to love the 'Triple Rush' combos. By combining the right teammates together we were able to initiate insanely epic three person attacks on our opponents. These were particularly useful when we needed to clear out a field of enemies in a hurry. We're sure that this says something about us, but we really loved to see our opponents go flying across the level. To finish off the gameplay section we also really enjoyed the ability to whistle summon our horse by flicking the D-pad. The horse, much like in 'Dynasty Warriors 8', gives you a quick means of travel throughout the often quite large and confusing maps.

The story mode to the game offers players three different endings to play to. They range in style and it is worth playing through to unlock them all. Outside of the multiple endings we also got a brand new epilogue and prologue added to the 'Ultimate' edition that was not present in the first release. We get to see more of the titular Orochi as well through these snippets of story.

By this point most people know what they are getting when they pick up 'Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate'. There is nothing revolutionary about this game and it struggles to differentiate itself in a big way from its predecessors. With that being said, it is still one of the most outright fun titles on the marketplace.

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Release Date:

29/08/2014

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