Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Review

A Mesmerizing Action Game with a Souls-like Twist

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty presents players with a third-person action experience that immerses them in the tumultuous era of the Three Kingdoms in China. You assume the role of a humble foot soldier, gradually rising to prominence by interacting with renowned historical figures. While the storyline may be perceived as nonsensical, it adds an enjoyable layer of entertainment to the overall experience. The narrative unfolds as you progress through various missions and chapters, unveiling a world filled with political intrigue, war, and mysticism.

The combat in Wo Long revolves around a fusion of aggressive attacks and well-timed parries, creating a visceral and satisfying gameplay experience. Drawing inspiration from Team Ninja’s acclaimed titles such as Nioh and Ninja Gaiden, the combat system places great emphasis on skillful timing and strategic maneuvering. Instead of relying on a conventional stamina bar, Wo Long introduces a spirit meter, which governs your offensive and defensive capabilities. Successfully executing parries not only negates damage but also grants spirit, allowing for devastating counterattacks.

Mastering the art of parrying becomes essential in Wo Long. Whether it is deflecting regular attacks or countering powerful red strikes that cannot be blocked, parrying opens up opportunities for critical hits and deals significant spirit damage to enemies, including imposing bosses. While initially forgiving, the game progressively demands precise timing, offering a high skill ceiling that keeps the challenge exhilarating and rewarding. Each encounter becomes a dance of anticipation and reaction, requiring players to learn enemy patterns and unleash well-timed parries to gain the upper hand.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty offers more than just intense combat. The game incorporates light stealth mechanics, various looting opportunities, and a robust crafting system to enhance your arsenal. As you explore the immersive world of Wo Long, you’ll encounter moments where employing stealth becomes advantageous. Sneaking past enemies or silently eliminating them from the shadows adds a layer of strategic depth to the gameplay. Furthermore, the game rewards exploration with hidden treasures, secret passages, and side routes that lead to powerful loot and valuable resources.

The loot system in Wo Long is extensive, allowing players to acquire weapons, armor, and accessories. Experimentation is encouraged as you discover new gear with different attributes and modifiers. The crafting system enables you to forge and upgrade weapons, enhancing their effectiveness in battle. While the loot system may initially feel overwhelming, the game’s smart design choices, inspired by the acclaimed Nioh series, make it easier than ever to assemble a perfect loadout tailored to your playstyle.

Despite its strengths, Wo Long does have some drawbacks. The game introduces several systems that may overwhelm those new to Team Ninja’s style of gameplay. However, for fans of the studio’s previous titles, these mechanics offer a fresh and rewarding experience. Additionally, difficulty fluctuations can be inconsistent, with certain missions feeling disproportionately challenging compared to others. It’s important to adapt to the varying demands of each encounter, adjusting your strategy and loadout accordingly.

Technical performance issues plague the game on previous-generation consoles and PC. Frame rate drops, graphical glitches, and occasional freezes hinder the overall experience. As a result, it is advisable to exercise caution when playing Wo Long on older systems or PC. However, if you own a PlayStation 5 or a current-generation console, you can expect a smoother and more enjoyable gameplay experience.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a great game for those that enjoy the Souls-like experience.  It offers an enthralling action game with a Souls-like twist. Its combat mechanics, heavily influenced by Team Ninja’s previous titles, create a high-energy and skill-based gameplay experience. Mastering the art of parrying and strategically managing your spirit meter adds depth and satisfaction to every encounter.

While the storyline may not be the game’s strongest aspect, its historical setting and infusion of mystical elements make for an entertaining backdrop. The light stealth mechanics, extensive loot system, and crafting options further enhance the gameplay, providing players with a sense of progression and customization.

However, it’s important to note the game’s difficulty fluctuations and technical performance issues on older systems and PC. These factors may hinder the overall experience and require patience and adaptation.

If you own a PlayStation 5 or a current-generation console, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is undoubtedly worth checking out. Its captivating combat, engaging mechanics, and immersive world make for a thrilling and rewarding adventure. However, if you’re playing on older systems or PC, it might be wise to wait for patches and updates to address the technical issues.  It isn’t a game to get gaming FOMO about, that’s for sure!