Eighteen months ago, Koei Tecmo released the 4th offspring of the Warriors Orochi series in the West. Many fans can already imagine how this game plays and it is therefore not surprising that just like its predecessors, this game will also have an extra game in the form of an Ultimate edition, but how ultimate does it actually feel?
The ultimate edition, inevitably, introduces new content, extra missions and new characters to further enrich an already impressive roster, in total the game has more than 170 fighters from the various Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, Warriors Orochi and beyond.
In fact, figures such as Ryu Hayabusa, protagonist of the Ninja Gaiden series and a permanent presence in the fighting game Dead or Alive, returns; Jeanne d’Arc, appeared in Bladestorm a few years ago: The 100 Years’ War; Achilles, protagonist of the spin-off Warriors: Legends of Troy; and then Gaia, Hades, Yang Jian and Perseus, it also features an extra campaign that has been dropped between the original chapters of Warriors Orochi 4, with secondary missions and a new ending added.
If you have already played the original, Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate will reward you with a nice package of tools, very useful to further improve the characters you used during fights and thus take on the new challenges of this edition with more confidence.
As mentioned, the main content revolves around the original campaign, with new and interesting, but not essential, side stories. No matter how pleasant for those who still have a great passion for Musou. This despite the well-known number of refractory characters of these games that needs some renewal on both the structural and gameplay levels.
In short, let’s talk about unnecessary extras if you feel like you’ve already “given enough”, even if you come up with a price for the upgrade that isn’t exactly cheap: a whopping €39.99 in the eShop, where the entire package is also sold for an exaggerated amount, all in all €69.99.
Fortunately, this Ultimate edition is not only limited to new characters and extra missions, but there is also the presence of new challenges in Challenge mode, a number of custom mechanics and an interesting mode called Infinity mode, in which we have to overcome twelve towers that all lead to Zeus and his city in the sky.
The experience is quite chaotic, there are timers that must be respected for the completion of the different quests, a large amount of loot to be collected but also and above all an independent progression system, parallel to the campaign, which will therefore oblige you to free as many characters as possible to play.
Because it is Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate, a simple, comprehensive edition, the basic experience of the Omega Force title remains almost completely unchanged and the classic Musou formula presents itself: you end up on a map that is besieged by enemies and from time to time you are given points of interest that you must free from the enemies and the commanders that are lurking around.
The degree of bashing the same buttons time and time again is very high, even if everything possible has been done to stop the outdated game system: you can switch from one character to another at any time (limited to the selected trio, however) , there is an upgrade system for weapons and hunters between one mission and another, and finally the repertoire of combos and special movements seems quite extensive, allowing you to at least change the type of attack used to defeat the enemies. At the en the difficulty is really just average, and finishing the game is purely based on time rather then skill.
Technically, no improvements have been made compared to the original edition: docked on the Nintendo Switch, the game is generally running well, with only rarely a dip in frames when an army of characters are on screen. We are talking about hundreds of polygonal models that move at the same time, and the traditional pop-up effect that the series used has been considerably reduced.
This is of course not a visually stunning game: the scenarios are boring and empty, sometimes dark and simply not beautiful, and act as a simple background for the action. The sound commentary is adequate, with fairly decent music, but the Japanese dialogues are a bit too hard to follow in the middle of the gameplay: another disadvantage of a plot with great potential that is lost in a game that sometimes wants to offer too much.
Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate is, as the title says, the ultimate version of a musou game that unfortunately is only meant for fans to come back and cannot offer much extra to welcome newcomers.