As a reviewer, for the most part, you are expected to finish a game before passing judgement. Sure, it’s not a hard and fast rule, or 100% necessary – existing more as a mantra to live by. All that considered, I did not want to finish Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper. It’s not that the game isn’t competent. It is. There are even moments of unabashed fun. It’s just that this poor little thing also happens to highlight the height of mediocrity.
When the Wii U launched, many had hoped it would usher in a new age of gaming. I mean, with a tablet-based controller and ‘more power than the Xbox and PlayStation,’ how could it not? Hopefully, Warriors – itself a port of the 360 and PS3 iteration – is not an indication of things to come; especially when it all comes out looking worse than its older counterparts.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some naïve gamer that expects every title to be visually stunning, nor should it have to be. But when a game on a ‘Next Generation’ system is comparable to something on the PlayStation 2, you have a serious issue on your hands. This fairly piss-poor attempt is amplified all the more by some of the worst pop-in I have experienced in recent memory. This isn’t a few guys appearing in the distance – this is entire BATTALIONS. One moment you will running careless and free, galloping through a bland environmental landscape, the next you will be facing an entire army ready to slice you, dice you and serve you with fries.
It’s just one of many technical hitches within Warriors, but it’s definitely one of the worst. For a game that places such an emphasis on large scale battles with swarms of opponents to fight, it never really manages to solidify that vibe as much as it should. Instead, fights feel smaller and more contained as opposed to presenting an overwhelming battlefield, filled with urgency and an undeniable threat that you must quash.
Warriors certainly tries though, mainly through its rather outlandish story. There is a giant. Multi-headed Hydra, you see; a world-ending monster hell-bent on destroying every army in its path. Your army is included in the death tally within the game’s opening mission, but the war’s not over just yet. Not when you have the wonderful power of time-travel granted to you and two other commanders by a mystical Geisha-inspired force. Yes it’s all very camp, but it works well with the over-the-top style of game design that Warriors celebrates. That said, static cutscenes will always grate with me, especially on a console powerful of so much more than that.
What the story does set up, is the opportunity for a bucket load of battles to work though. Each stage consists of one basic task: run through a fairly expansive landscape and hack the absolute crap out of pretty much anybody you see. It’s not deepest objective in game design, but if you’ve ever played a Dynasty Warriors game before, you know what you’re getting into. Most objectives deal with saving a previously destroyed army, or recruiting soldiers that have potential to swing the ever changing tide in your favour. It’s not always clear what or where your primary objective is, but if you follow the conveniently placed red dot you’ll be on the right track. For the most part, each fight is an enjoyable enough romp, even if it does devolve into pure repetitiveness fairly early on.
You’ll never be sure of foes to stab though and in some cases, there’s ‘too much’ content. Take the characters for instance. With the completion of each main or side mission, you add new controllable fighters to your quest for victory. What that inevitably leads to is a roster of over 120 characters to test out. The issue is, with skills points and gear being attached to each character, changing characters can quickly become a bit of a pain, let alone trying to switch out your team for every level.
As a unified package, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper does nothing of particular note. The Wii U GamePad isn’t used for anything more than mirroring your screen and co-op/online modes are accounted for while still providing the same basic experience.
But as to your own personal enjoyment factor, it all depends on one critical element. Do you like Dynasty Warriors? For those of you answering yes (you know who you are) you’ll probably love the core experience that Warriors provides. For everyone else that answered no, I’m hoping you can work out the rest of that sentence.
- Reviewed On
- Wii U