“Where is the test for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?” you may ask yourself now. Well, this falls somewhere between my newfound love-hate relationship with Team Ninja, Souls games, and some Chinese Han Dynasty general. But since I want to rate the game properly and the dynamic between story, graphics and combat has not yet taken on a concrete shape for me, there is only one excursion into my combat experience after the first, be******* boss . Thanks for nothing Yasuda.
Yes, the stupid one Zhang Liang has it all. On the whole, however, he remains a fair opponent and a very good teacher for your upcoming adventure. If you’re not sure if Wo Long is for you, I highly recommend playing the demo first. There you will already get to know the first area from the best side.
Once you understand that fast attacks and the grind won’t help you on the first boss and that you should perfect your block timing instead, then look forward to Liang’s second form. It has been bothering many (i.e. me) for so long that I realized with frustration that I only need to subtract half of Liang’s second form for my dragon symbol to light up. So the story goes on (FINALLY!). A little annoying, because I’ve almost completely wiped his life before, but maybe the giant ape will work out Zhuyan better? Spoilers: it won’t.
But first, let’s take a little excursion into the world: Wo Long finally wants to tell the story of the Chinese three kingdoms, which existed in 184 BC. BC and decorated with a few wild bosses, tell you from start to finish. We, as a nameless militiaman, fight for the survival of the Han dynasty in order to free them from demons and enemy zombie soldiers. The world not only feels like a refreshing environment in the genre, but, as I already expected in the preview, continues to be dynamic and alive.
If you are initially (for a long time) in a dreary sandy area, where only earth tones, burning surfaces and wooden houses smile at you, you can certainly look forward to other areas that contain more greenery or water, for example. Looking at the map motivates me to keep going because there are many areas that I can’t even imagine. Even if flickering textures occasionally creep in (unfortunately typical for Koei Tecmo), I find the design of the world and the opponents – whether big or small – very successful.
The maps have always unfolded nicely so far, I have the feeling that the areas get a little bigger after each boss. But maybe I’m just getting better and more confident, which is why I dare to explore uninhibitedly. What I haven’t got used to yet is the different spells, because I’d like to stay with the wind, but the game gives me points in every element after every level-up to learn spells. So far I’m sticking with the metal armor and my wind powers, which can heal me in an emergency. I don’t need the rest.
Caution is also required when increasing your level or learning new spells. Once you lose your skills, there is no turning back. Unless you really want to start a new character. Otherwise, I’m pleased that I don’t have to think too much about the distribution of points at Wo Long. Sure, the defense or magic points can make boss fights easier. Depending on the spell, the playstyle will also change significantly, but so far I haven’t felt like I’m micromanaging too much. That’s what I would least like to do.
Much more important is understanding the area and learning the patterns of the bosses. I know many have had this experience for a long time, but it’s really an incredible feeling to grow with each boss and at some point to kill them very quickly because it clicked. You will also be rewarded with great film sequences. With every new boss I look forward to the epic enemy design. In addition to the huge bosses, there are still many intermediate monsters that look crazier with each area.
So, once you’ve fought your way past the general and learned a good deal, a couple of nasty animal bosses await you. Of course you have to learn new patterns here and maybe also rethink one or the other strategy, because they won’t let you block and attack as easily as Liang. If you were hoping after the first fight to be able to use your dragon power, I have to disappoint you. You will be forced to learn the basics first. From the third area you can breathe out, things get a lot easier here.
But what I particularly like and which I hope will work to the end is the structure of each level. Morale points will quickly give you a sense of how much there is to explore and when it’s boss time. The environment sometimes looks like a maze and even with god abilities I’m often afraid of what awaits me behind a dark corner. But when I see a high number flashing that is significantly higher than mine, I know I need to stay away. It gives me a sense of security that I’ve always missed in Dark Souls games. On the other hand, if I have a run, my morale points increase and if I then take a look at my full potions, it says: “It’s time for the boss!” So far I’m a big fan of the structure and morale system.
By the way, if you see the ratings on Steam, it’s not because of the inept players who are all pissed off because they don’t have a skill: the PC version seems to have some technical issues with the camera work, which doesn’t help Wo Long. Hopefully this will be patched soon. I can reassure PlayStation 5 owners. Everything is going very, very well here.
I’m really excited to see how the game develops with multiplayer starting today. It remains to be seen whether a new dynamic emerges that calms my nerves or whether I decide to go it alone in the end so that I can learn as much as possible about the patterns of my opponents. But I’m really looking forward to this experience!