Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Review
Wo Long combines historical fiction with Team Ninja's well-honed combat skills, with a hint of the supernatural and demonic. You are an unnamed warrior who becomes involved in massive events. Your nobody status is emphasized by the fact that the first boss could be the most difficult. Before you have any skills, special weapons or spells to use, you will encounter a boss that might actually be the hardest part of the game. If you are ready to explore the world of one of the best meele action we have seen in a while, let's get started with the review.
- Incredible meele combat action
- Well-tailored graphics
- Combat customization
- Unique take on souls-like genre
- Story is not fulfilling
- Loot system could be better
- Characters do not add to the story
- Technical issues, glitches and bugs in some devices
Everything You Need to Know About Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Wo Long's story may appeal to those who are familiar with the Three Kingdoms era in Chinese history. But I doubt it will be a highlight, as Team Ninja continues its struggle to create memorable stories with likable characters. This supernatural story focuses on the last days of the Han Dynasty. We take control of a named warrior who becomes involved in a power struggle among warring kingdoms for immortality. If you want more details on the story and characters of the game, check out our Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Story.
Team Ninja appears to have a fairly good grasp on the whole soulslike genre. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty may not reach the same heights as Nioh 2 did back in 2020, but it certainly scratches that same itch of lightning-fast combat, punishing-yet-rewarding difficulty, and deep build customization options that you can craft and tailor to your own playstyle. It's amazing for the same reasons the Nioh 2 games are. In fact, it achieves the same feat while completely changing the combat system to be closer towards Dark Souls.
Wo Long offers a wide range of weapon types. These include straight sabers, dual blades, polearms, and great wooden hammers. Although the basic moves are the same for every weapon type, each weapon is unique due to its Martial Arts.
The levels aren’t as extensive as those in the Nioh series. There are still distinct levels to the game, and you can unlock sub-battles throughout the campaign. These smaller stages take you back to previous locations, where you will clear a few rooms and face off against waves or enemies. Or you can fight a boss. These sub-battles usually take less time and are rewarded with loot, XP and other rewards. Wo Long's branching paths are more focused on level design than long detours and loops that return to themselves. Instead of leading to dead ends with higher-level enemies or more loot, they have a lot of value in terms of level design.
Wo Long loot is much more balanced than Nioh or even Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Because enemies aren't always dropping gear when they defeat them, loot drops feel spread out and earned. A star rating is attached to every item you get, regardless of whether it's an armor or weapon. It's basically a rough gauge of the quality of the item. These ratings do not affect base stats such as defense or damage. These ratings are more beneficial for loot that is rarer than other loot. They also have special effects that can modify certain stats passively.
Every opponent and you both have a Morale Ranking that indicates how strong they are in battle. While simply beating enemies will increase this rank, it increases faster if an enemy has a higher Morale Ranking than you. Wo Long's traditional progression system still works. You spend XP to improve stats like damage and health. The Morale rank is used to show how strong your character is against the enemies that you face in each level. The Morale Rank resets to zero at each stage. This means that you will often encounter lower-level enemies upon your first visit to a location. But this is not always the case. A path may lead to an immovable figure with a significantly higher Morale rank than you. It's possible to defeat these enemies but it's risky as one mistake can often be enough to kill you. It all depends on your willingness to take the risk and be rewarded with an increase in your Morale rank. While your Morale rank decreases when you die, it does not fall below your Fortitude ranking.
You will also be able to access more Wizardry Spells by increasing your Morale rank. These mystic methods can be activated by consuming Spirit. Each of these spells falls under one of five different elemental categories. You can conjure fireballs, pointed and icicles as well as exploding rock columns. These spells can be used to add depth and depth to combat, although you can only have four at a given time. A rock, paper, scissors mechanic is also in play. Wood overcomes earth, and earth overcomes water, and such...
It is a shame that Wo Long has been hampered by technical problems on PC. The frame rates were generally 60 fps, although there is no unlocked option. However, in some spots there were severe dips that could have brought the game to an abrupt halt. There were also visual bugs such as a weird glow that would overtake the screen until I restarted. There were also a few crashes. This is not something you want where every inch of progress can be lost. While tweaking the settings can improve performance, there isn't much you can do about glitches without a patch.
Wo Long Fallen Dynasty has a different combat system than Team Ninja's Nioh, yet it is able to excel in some areas and fail in others. Wo Long is one of the best in the field when it comes to clashing melee weapons. Its action is exciting and fast. There are many options to take down its ferocious foes. The combat is also deflect-heavy, which is one of its most satisfying aspects since Sekiro. All these strengths can get you to overlook a poor storytelling system and a disappointing lack in variety of enemies. But if you are big on details crafted well-explained storylines, characters development, looting or if slight technical issues drive you mad, maybe this one is not really for you.