Samurai Warriors 4, Preview - Games Weekly

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Samurai Warriors 4, Preview

At one point we tried counting just how many games within the ‘Warriors’ realm the recently name-swapped Koei Tecmo had released. By the time we reached about 20 and began juggling in spin offs, re-releases and ports, our heads started to hurt and we figured it best if we just didn't think about it too much. Needless to say, the final answer is somewhere in the region of “shit loads”.

We’ve had eight Dynasty Warriors games, for starters, and now we’re looking ahead to a fourth Samurai Warriors title this coming October and Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate at the start of September. Then there are the Xtreme Legends and Gundam extensions (Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn having hit the PS3 in June) as well as the likes of Bladestorm, Fist of the North Star and One Piece titles. Heck, there’s even a Legend of Zelda-themed spin-off coming to the Wii U later this year in the shape of Hyrule Warriors. We’ve played it and it seems like pretty good fun.

However, it’s possible that this over saturation works against the franchise. When you see yet another game announced with the word “Warriors” in the title, and you already pretty much know what to expect from the game (some epic, combo based hack and slash massacres across ancient Eastern battlefields), it’s hard to get genuinely excited about it. Sure, we still enjoy hammering our way through them with a combination of slick prowess and belligerent button mashing, but it’s not like we’re going, “Wow, another Samurai Warriors game! Wonder what’s going to be new this year!”

If we were then the introduction of next gen consoles to both Samurai Warriors 4 and
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is probably a good place to start, with the added processing power opening up the possibility for even more seamless combat and yet more on screen enemies to tear up. There are more playable characters, too, with Samurai boasting a decent 55 plus though that’s dwarfed by Orochi’s 145.

Of course, the most pressing question could be do we really need another two Warriors games in our lives? And if we only wanted to opt for one, which would be the smart choice? Or will we all just pick up Destiny like everybody else and once again fail to give this ever-improving and seemingly eternal franchise the attention that it perhaps deserves? We probably know the answer…


As well as the routine visual upgrades, Samurai Warriors 4 will also see “a major overhaul” in terms of the characters’ appearance and their battle moves. There are new moves such as the Hyper Attacks (combining speed with power), an enhanced Rage Attack (courtesy of a filled spirit gauge meter) as well as fresh Mighty Strike finishing moves. Plus, you’ll be able to switch between two characters on the fly, which should help the developer deliver on its promise of deeper and more satisfying combat.

The Story Mode will once again focus on the varying factions, the officers that lead them and their relationships with their counterparts. The story will cover the regional stories of those involved, as well as detailing the unification process leading up to the end of the Warring States period. And if you like the idea of dressing those officers up in fancy outfits, then the new customisation options afforded by the Chronicle Mode should give you quite a wardrobe to play with. We’d just be happy with some slick swordplay and a little more creativity on the battlefield.


Ultimate could be living up to its name with up to 100 on screen enemies at one time, which should certainly be a test of that next gen processing power, and the promise of each foe acting within a progressive AI system could be interesting even if they do still line up in a rather orderly fashion to taste your blade. You can expect a bunch of new moves, such as Aerial Specials and a Triple Rush that enables you to switch between three characters or combine their powers into one attack (with a True Musou Blast employing up to six characters). Things could get messy.

And if you’re an Xbox One owner you might be pleased to know that Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is also coming to the system, along with the trio of PlayStation platforms. If you’re a 360 owner, well, you’ll just have to dust off your copy of Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 and make do. Interestingly those PlayStation owners will be getting cross-platform play between the PS3, PS4 and Vita on both this and Samurai Warriors 4, and be able to share saved games across each device as well.

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