There are quite a handful of genres in the world of video games. Some are more attention-grabbing than others, but every once in a while, a game comes along that makes everyone turn their eyes. Genres like soulslike have seen how many titles tried to resemble those adventures that gave the genre its name and how many of them fell by the wayside. Today we are facing one of those games that could well make the world turn its eyes, today we bring you the analysis of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.
Don’t be scared when you read the word Soulslike in this analysis, although it has similarities with these games, Wo Long has managed to reinvent itself and provide a different combat system. In this aspect, Team Ninja has managed to create an adventure of magic, war and fantasy set in China with a great level of detail that has managed to hook me from the first moment, because Wo Long has a lot to tell.
Analysis of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
To put ourselves in context, we are an ordinary soldier who, during the war, is forced into an adventure that will take us to live it during a fantasy version of the last Han dynasty of China, just before the appearance of the Three Kingdoms. , inspired by Chinese classics such as The Classic of the Mountains and the Seas or Shan Hai Jing. The army of the yellow turbans is ravaging the country, and we, together with the young man we have just met, must unravel the secrets hidden in this mess.
During the first bars of the game, we will discover a brilliant sphere that has the power to heal wounds and that thanks to the bond we have with it, we will be able to receive the protection of a sacred beast. During a battle with the leader of the yellow turbans, the young man ends up being poisoned by Yu Jing, turning into an evil Dragon that attacks our protagonist, killing him on the spot, or so it seems, since several days later we will wake up on the shores of a river and without the shining sphere.
With this premise, Wo Long faces what will be the main adventure of the game, which will take us through different battlefields with the heroes of the Three Kingdoms on our way to defeat the army of the yellow turban. The story is told to us in such a way that we will visit the different places where the war is taking its toll to put an end to the chaos that is ravaging the country. These battlefields are differentiated from each other by phases that separate each of the game’s episodes, although within the game’s own narrative, we are presented with a story that we can follow continuously.
We will learn more about everything that happens around us thanks to the comments that our companions will make to us throughout the battlefields, as well as with the cinematic scenes that accompany each important moment of the adventure in Wo Long. Throughout these cinematics we will delve into the history of the heroes that will accompany us, such as the story behind each of the sacred beasts that we can obtain, leaving a very striking story that manages to engage from the beginning.
A fight for survival
While we’ve started by labeling Wo Long from Soulslike, there are differences that make the Team Ninja title something different within the genre. It must be remembered that Team Ninja has sagas like Nioh to its credit, so they are not a new team in this type of game. Although the Nioh saga was characterized by the different guards that we could use, this time they have focused more on attack deflections, approaching titles like Sekiro, and where deflecting an attack leaves our adversary more vulnerable than ever.
The battle system proposed for Wo Long offers us a combat in which we will have at our disposal a good handful of ways to deal with the enemies. From direct attacks, with which we can carry out simple combos, to martial arts skills, we can attack and defend ourselves thanks to Qi or spirit, a meter that will indicate at all times what level of energy our character has available.
This Qi increases or decreases in relation to what we are doing, seeing how it increases when we attack and decreases when we defend ourselves. We must be aware of this meter at all times, since the amount of Qi available is what will determine the type of attack that we can carry out. In the same way, magic is based on Qi, reducing it with each use and leaving us “exhausted” if we reach the negative limit of the meter, around -1000 Qi points.
The other thing to take into account about Qi is that this meter will also help us to induce fatigue in our enemy, achieving, when the time comes, that he is stunned, being able to carry out a fatal blow, which will drastically reduce the vitality of our rival. . To stun our enemy, we must completely fill his bar with negative Qi, so we must fill it as much as we can, carry out the spirit attack, hit him and gradually fill this bar again.
It may seem somewhat complicated at first, but I assure you that you understand it after a few minutes of play. In the same way, in Wo Long, we have martial arts skills, special movements that also spend Qi, but that allow us to execute a specific blow, combo or attack, generating great damage or exhausting the opponent, which helps us to lower his vitality or finish filling the enemy fatigue bar.
On the other hand, we have the magical skill trees, which give us a range of available magic ranging from protection to attack, having magic to poison, burn or freeze enemies, but also to strengthen ourselves, increase our attack damage or recover life while hitting enemies. In addition, these magics respond to the power of the five phases to create a system of weaknesses and strengths, through which we can cancel magic using others, seeing how, for example, the lightning disappears in front of a poison zone.
To conclude, we still have to talk about the sacred beasts and player morale. The last of the combat mechanics that remains to be reviewed, the sacred beasts, gives us the possibility of summoning beasts to help us in battle, each with its own abilities and characteristics. Summoning these beasts in Wo Long is as simple as pressing the corresponding button or buttons, and we will see how the beast jumps onto the battlefield to offer us its support. The beasts are available as long as we have their meter full, which is filled by hitting enemies, being able to call them as many times as we have them available.
As for the player’s morale, we are facing one of the most important meters in Wo Long, since it indicates our “zone level” (not that of the character), which is the level that defines what types of spells we can to cast, since to learn spells two things are required of us: A minimum level of the element to which the spell belongs and a level of morality necessary to be able to perform magic in combat. The morale level can be increased in several ways, either by killing enemies, or simply by finding the battle flags that serve as save and recovery points.
A soldier who improves with the passage of adventure
In Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty we will be able to increase the level of our character and that of our weapons and armor. In this way, we will be able to increase the level of our character based on 5 key elements of nature: Wood, metal, fire, water and earth.
Each of these elements is associated with a type of parameter, seeing how we increase spiritual defense, physical defense or defenses to different types of elements depending on the element that we increase in level. This opens the doors to new spells, so leveling up must be done with a head and thinking about the element to which we want to be more related.
Likewise, the weapon and armor upgrade system is somewhat more complicated, with a lot of possibilities to add passive abilities to our equipment, such as increases in poison damage, increasing the accumulation of burns on enemies or making our weapon have ice damage, but also defensive abilities such as increased elemental defense, an increase in spirit received with each attack or a higher item drop rate thanks to increased luck.
There are many things that we can modify in our weapons and armor, so thanks to this improvement system, we will be able to create a very large amount of different equipment, each one with its advantages and weaknesses, to face all kinds of enemies without matter what type it is. Of course, always taking morale into account, since a spell on a battlefield with morale 12 allows us to cast spells that a field with morale 3 will not allow us.
War in company is less lethal
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a game that can be enjoyed alone, but it also gives us the chance to play it with a partner, either by an AI-controlled partner or by a friend who is willing to join you on the adventure. With groups of up to 3 players, Wo Long gives us the possibility to “hire” extra companions to help us on the adventure through a menu located on the war flags. By spending some tiger stamps, the currency for this mechanic, we will be able to hire the heroes that we meet throughout the adventure.
In the same way, we will be able to hire random players through the online room, as well as we will be able to join friends thanks to the cooperative game that covers practically the entire story. We will have to advance a bit in the adventure until the cooperative game is available, but once it is available, we will be able to advance in the story along with our companions, separating only to visit the village.