Warriors Orochi 2 Review - 10/10/2008

Warriors Orochi 2 is the second game in a new franchise for the Warriors series; it combines characters from both the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series into one single world. But that’s about as interesting as it gets.


If you have played the original game then you will feel a massive feeling of déjà vu as Warriors Orochi 2 takes everything from the first game and plonks it on a new disc with a new set of box art and disc art too. Admittedly there is a small amount of change to the new game but it really isn’t anything to shout out about.

The story carries on from the original, where the demon lord Orochi created a rift in time to draw warriors from the Three Kingdoms era of China and the Warring States era of Japan to test the strength of the warriors of each period. This creates a new world in which seems only to be described as hell on Earth or to be more precise hell in China. The warriors from each era join together and defeat the demon Orochi. So this game’s storyline is pretty much the same as its predecessor; Orochi’s followers broke up following his death and formed their own armies, each with a common goal, to resurrect their lord.

It's more of the same from the series with a few new features.


The gameplay offered by Warriors Orochi is once again like any other title in the whole of the Warriors series, it’s just a commoner garden hack ‘n’ slash smashing through seemingly endless waves of soldiers. All the while working through each map taking control of bases and defeating enemy officers. Of course you have the return of the Musou technique, along with the standard light and heavy attacks.

The only difference to the age old formula is a new tag team system that allows for you to swap out your character with another two that you can select before starting the battle. It does add a little bit of tactical play to the game but it does feel just added on without too much though – an extra feature to put on the fact sheet. You still need to level up your characters and that can be fun at the beginning but before long it turns out to be painfully slow at points with very little change done to the stats. It's only after about 20 levels that the upgrades can start making some sort of a difference to your life on the battlefield.

If you like the usual Warriors gameplay then you'll feel right at home.


The roster of the game is actually one of the biggest that the series has ever had and that does work in the Orochi’s favour. There are now over 90 officers to play as; admittedly there aren’t different stories for each one which is a bit of a shame, but that’s mainly due to the style of the game in that the story follows the different armies not different characters per se.

The feel of the game isn’t helped at all by the fact that the tech of the series is now lagging behind despite being something that was amazing and cutting edge when the first Dynasty Warriors came out. Now the repetitive gameplay and wave type enemy feel incredibly dated.

It really is a shame that the split-screen play lags so much.


The graphics are also something that feels and looks like it needs an update; the graphics on the PS2 version look like they belong with the first wave of games that came out for the console not with what should be the glorious end to an amazing lifespan of it. But the 360 version doesn’t fare any better, it still looks ropey and at points you will have enemy soldiers running at you and suddenly they will just disappear for no reason. There is an even bigger problem of those who like their Warriors action with a friend, with split-screen there is a massive slowdown that just doesn’t seem to let up at all (UPDATE: a patch has now been released for this issue).

With so many problems in the design and feel of the game, there is very little to recommend about this game. If you really love the series then this instalment will be totally down your street but if you’re anyone else then I would suggest steering clear for fear of a case of deadly disappointment.

- Alec Hilton

   

Mindless hacking.

 
   

Masses of characters.

 
   
Looks terrible.
 
   

Aged gameplay shows.

 
   

Massive split-screen slowdown.

 

4

   
     

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