Elden Ring can go get dressed?
Wo Long Fallen Dynasty promises to kickstart the Souls-like genre. Does he manage to win a year after Elden Ring? The answer in this test.
Remember, in 2022 came the highly acclaimed and award-winning Elden Ring. Then followed several Souls-like releases, including Steelrisingand now Wo Long Fallen Dynasty. Unveiled last year, it is an RPG from the KOEI TECMO studio that transports us into the shoes of a Chinese warrior during the Han dynasty. China is then in the grip of a supernatural evil, in addition to being a victim of corruption and human malevolence.
Our hero therefore finds himself having to face monsters while dealing with special powers on his side. An unusual setting for Team Ninja, to whom we also owe the excellent Nioh. The studio leaves its native Japan to invest in Chinese lands. Does this change of scenery and its ambitious promise convince us? The answer in this test of Wo Long Fallen Dynasty.
The Souls-like that we missed?
Wo Long Fallen Dynasty is a Souls-Like as we do… in fact, a lot. From the outset, we find ourselves transported to a hostile world, where each encounter and confrontation does us no favors. This is the very principle of this type of game, so we are not surprised on this point. Notice to easily demotivated players, this is not an adventure that will please you… unless you are particularly attracted by Chinese history or the stories of sword fighters.
Contrary to Elden Ring, we are faced with a classic level design, both open in certain areas, but also very guided. There is one final destination, multiple paths to take, never far from each other, but offering diverse gameplay possibilities.
On our way, we come across enemies galore, save points and ultimately very few objects or treasures that will help you in combat. Exploration is not a particularly salient theme in Wo Long Fallen Dynastythe fight and the mastery of the martial arts remains largely a priority… as one could imagine.
In war as in war
What exactly does it give in terms of confrontations? On our side, the sweat had to flow to be able to write this test of Wo Long Fallen Dynasty. In addition to its unique difficulty and its imposing bosses, the game offers us an ultra dynamic gameplay and very varied in terms of possible attacks. A good or bad depending on the situation. What is very pleasant is the fluidity of the characters’ movements. We take real pleasure in measuring ourselves against enemies because you always have to watch your guard, but also dodge at the right time and use your spells wisely.
However, this liveliness backfires in boss fights, where even very large enemies who are supposedly heavier than us turn out to be just as fast, if not faster. Not obvious when this one can kill you in just 3 or 4 unfortunate hits. On the contrary, the only liar that can be observed is when you come back to life, the kinematics only triggering if you are perfectly still.
Obviously, there are solutions to get out of these situations more easily. Preparation for combat is a good technique. But like all Dark Souls, going back to face the same enemies over and over again can get boring very quickly. The best technique therefore remains determination and learning by force.
We can’t stress enough that parrying is key. In addition to the guard that will help you mitigate the effect of classic blows, the parry “at the right time” is damn effective against heavy attacks, but you have to master this feature, which is easier said than done. TO DO. In all cases, the dodging approach is to be avoided given the specificities of Wo Long Fallen Dynasty.
This is one of the great novelties compared to its peers, and not the least. The morale gauge fills with each spell used or each dodge performed and once it is filled, the character cannot move or defend himself for a few seconds. So time to take a beating. The good news is that this balance must be respected by the opponents as well, so parrying their attacks allows you to fill their gauge and weaken them with a critical hit afterwards. If in theory it is an effective technique, the balance is complicated to find once in part, which adds difficulty to the title.
Your mission if you accept it: save China
Despite everything, and if this kind of gameplay appeals to you, Wo Long Fallen Dynasty has a little more than difficulty to offer. From the outset, we can note the endless list of visual customization options which reinforces the charm and attachment to the main character. The game also has a fairly present narration that does not require hours of exploration to understand the meaning.
On this point, Wo Long Fallen Dynasty is disappointing only because we want more. The game’s story would gain in impact with players if only it were more present and engaged real intellectual participation on their part. Instead, the studio lures us with a new universe, which is also inspired by the real history of China, and leaves us on the sidelines once the few cutscenes have passed.
Although they are quite basic, we enjoy watching them when they appear and following the adventures of our special soldier. The playable universe is itself quite pleasing to the eye, although the technique is not quite there. It still lacks some textures, diversity in the game environment and some graphical elements collide, in other minor visual bugs.
This does not interfere with the dynamic experience of Souls-like and we do not sulk the pleasure we find on it, when we are not completely blocked for several days on an insurmountable boss.