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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – Before You Buy

Wo Long: A New Souls-like Game That Brings Players to Ancient China

  • Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a Souls-like game from KOEI TECMO and Team Ninja
  • The game is set in a fantasy, later Han Dynasty era, China
  • Players create their own character before beginning the game and character creation is very flexible
  • Combat relies on something called spirit and a give-and-take style parry system similar to Sekiro
  • Martial arts are weapon and loot-specific, powerful attacks
  • Divine beasts are temporary summons that can do an attack or bless you with a specific buff
  • Wizardry spells offer freedom for spellcasters.

Experience Unique Combat and Co-op Play in Action-Adventure Game

  • This game offers a unique morale system and a variety of weapon and spell options
  • It has linear mission levels with selectable sub-missions, enemies with their own respective morale levels, and an in-level power level system
  • There is a blacksmith and a full weapon upgrade system, as well as throwable range weapons
  • While the levels are generic and slightly dated visually, there is cooperative play available
  • The game takes around 25 to 40 hours to complete.

Wo Long: A Promising Game With Room to Improve

  • Wo long is a lot of fun to play
  • However, there are some kinks that need to be ironed out on both Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, as well as the PC version yet to come
  • The combat system looks promising and is easy to pick up for beginners, with some deep systems in place
  • The story, characters and presentation are not memorable
  • There was a demo released which was a good representation of the game
  • It is recommended people try the demo before buying.

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(logo reveal sound)- [Jake] Hey, and we're backwith another episode of "Before You Buy",that show we give yousome straight up gameplay,and our first impressions ofthe latest games releasing.It's me, Jake Baldino, andhere we've been playinga lot of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.This is a Souls-like from KOEI TECMO,the folks behind DynastyWarriors, and Team Ninja.The legends behind like, NinjaGaiden, and a bunch of stuff,more recently, the Nioh games.And with this, they'vemade another Souls-like,and to be a bit reductive,this is kind of likethe Sekiro inspired one.Long story short,it's not actually fair tocompare it to Sekiro really,but like Sekiro is the perfect,beautiful, near flawless thing,where Wo Long is kind oflike the messy cousin.It's inconsistent,it's not like a beautifulrefined work of art or anything,but it's a lot of fun.It takes fun parry mechanics,and adds in some RPG-ness,and some fairly complex systems,and you've got a decent game.And just so you know, we'vebeen playing a review codesent to us by KOEI TECMO and Xbox,and this footage is capturedrunning on Xbox Series X.We also put a few hours intothe PlayStation 5 version,and we'll talk about both in a bit.So this game plops youinto a kind of fantasy,later Han Dynasty era, China,with a bunch of warring factions,but also spirits, monsters, and dragons.There's a story set up,and it's pretty loose,but you're adventuring through,and meeting a bunch ofcharacters along the way,in some surprisingly stylish,and cool choreographed cut scenes.Characters often come and go,but some of them are kinda memorable,for they're like so corny,it's good voice acting.Story just isn't reallywhat's keeping you going here,but the presentation is decent, alright.You create your owncharacter before you jump in.And shout out to the developers here,there's a really flexiblecharacter creator,with a bunch of sliders forall different body parts,and features, and full color gradients,and you can make a totalweirdo, and I love it.Now you jump into the firstkinda tutorial-ish opening area,and it's trial by fire.You know, it's a fairly challenging gamethat relies on something called spirit,the give and take of tradingblows and blocking them.You wanna build onto anenemy to break theirs,and leave them vulnerable,while also making sureyou don't get attacked too much,or wait too long and lose yours.So it's a give-and-takestyle parry system,akin somewhat to Sekiro.Spirit is tied to a lot though.You'll wanna store it up,and use it against yourenemy for more damage.The dodge button doublesas the kind of parry deflect button,and it is key to this game.Successful parry builds your spirit.So, time it just rightand parry an attack,and then leave an opponent vulnerableto a special heavyattack, or a fatal strikethat's usually a one-hitblow against smaller enemies,or just a damage-heavyattack against bigger ones.That one-hit blow also works for stealth.I mean, there's kind of stealth,it's not great, it's just kindof walk up behind enemies,and stab them.I wish there was a bit more to it,especially 'cause you canrun around on rooftops.I wish there was a bit morenuance, it's not great, but hey.You can also burn yourspirit on special attacks,such as moves called martial arts.These are powerful, cool attacksthat are weapon and loot-specific.These are pretty satisfying,and there's some good variation to them.There's a bit more I'll get to, but first,I just wanna say here, the combat is good.It's very satisfying, and once it clicks,it's just a ton of fun,and it's the best aspect of the game.The clash of swords andblows, the give and take,the push and pull is really satisfying.Mastering an enemywhere you can like havetheir attacks memorized,means you can satisfyinglydeflect their first strike,and kill 'em in one hitwith a quick, successful,cling, clang, pshhh, boom, dead,like it never gets old.That perfect first strike, parry,and then kind of like backstab dark souls maneuver,is so satisfying here.Enemies of all kinds, especially bosses,have these red attackscalled critical blows,which can be pretty devastating to you,but if you deflect it just rightit opens them up to apowerful counter attack,and goddamn, like I saidbefore, it just, it feels good.I mean like stop me if you'veheard this before, but yeah.Occasionally I did get screwup by some button press lags,or at least that seems like what it was,like where the animation didn't finish,and also the actual dodgeroll is kind of crappy.Maybe it's just me, maybe I just suck,but like as zippy as the game can be,it's not always quite as responsive,but those are my only complaints really.It's mostly an absolute blast man,and I thought I was burntout on Soul's games,after a bunch of Eldon ring,but after an hour intothis, I was like okay.But the game takes thisgood satisfying core,and adds like a lot of systems on top.The combat stuff I didn'teven finish getting through.There's the martial arts like I said,but also divine beasts, whichare like temporary summons,of a special creature toeither do a sort of attack,or you have the option ofhitting a different button combo,to just have them come andbless you with a specific buff.Then there's also the wizardry spells,and I absolutely love theway spells work in this game.I usually don't rely onspells in these games,but something about ithere just really works.You're not locked to any specific type.There's a ton of freedom.You just need to have the right spirit,and morale parameters,and then there's a goodamount of spell variety too.You map them to face buttons,you access by holding a trigger,and they're just fun toexecute, and actually useful.Give yourself a defense buff,or a brief ability to absorbenemy's health to your ownupon striking them, orfireballs, lightning bolts,different elemental stuff, you name it.I just liked finding them,leveling up, and unlocking them,trying them out withthe different elements.It's just nice betweenthat and the martial arts,with layers of different triggersthat access differentface button mappings,like you just feel like youhave a lot of tools in battle,and it's nice.Oh, and then the weapon differences too.So like I said, you have special abilitiesthat are tied to different weapons,but also every weaponfeels pretty different,and they have a lot of distinctand cool animations for them.Different swords and swords styles,two swords, pole arms,staffs, heavy weapons,and just lots of stuffto mess around with,and build upon, as well as a blacksmith,and a full weapon upgrade system.And there's throwableand range weapons too.It's a lot, but it'san impressive offering,and there's a lot of loot,like the game just pilescrap on you all the time.If you played Nioh, you probably know,and as much as the crapis useful to break down,it's still kind of tediousand annoying sometimes.Like, hey loot is cool, but relax guys.Now the general flow,it's linear kind of mission level based,with selectable sub-missionsa bit further in.You progress through areasthat get progressively harder,and eventually face off against the boss.But there's this morale system,it's kind of like you'rein-level power level,I guess that's how I would describe it.You still have RPG statsand stuff to get to.You have your own level, butthis number also matters.All enemies also have theirown respective morale levels,and it matters more with thebigger mid-guys and bosses.The higher your morale level is,the less damage you receive from enemies,and the more stuff youcan do during a fight,like cast certain spells,that are locked behindmorale requirements.And morale points goup by killing enemies,landing special attacks,fatal strikes, andaccessing certain things.If your level is higher than an enemy's,you'll do more damage.If you get hit by one of thoseglowing red attacks, or die,your morale level will drop.It's an interesting system,because it kind of incentivizesa little bit of grind,and just full level mastery.It's kind of like a darksouls style game spin on,like level point control, Iguess is how I would say it.Since you start off a little bit weaker,it's tougher at the start,but kill your way around,and get deeper into a level,and kind of memorize a couple of things,and the easier it gets,and you can start farming,or getting ready fora battle ahead of you.You'll either think it'sa bit of a distraction,or something that's kind of cool.Ultimately I liked it, you'regonna be working on this,as well as just traditionally leveling up,and putting resource pointsinto one of a fewdifferent affinity pools.Now you do this bybringing your souls backto a bonfire in the level,you know what I mean?It's just easier to say it that way.Managing morale andfarming souls has a bitof a different flow here, andit's good, but my issue is,that most of the levelsare pretty boring or ugly,just not as compelling as I'd hope.I'd wanna spend more time in themif they were a little more interesting,but I found a lot of it really generic.There's a good amount of elevation,and some good ways to get sneak attacks,and a couple of memorablebits here and there,but nothing I'm really gonna remember,and I'm not just talking looks,I'm talking layout wise too,simple, straightforwardkind of forgettable stuff.The bosses also are hit and miss.A lot of them are actually fairly easy.I was genuinely surprised,as someone who naturallysucks at these types of games,like this isn't me flexing at all,but then at least there are some sprinkledthroughout who areincredibly hard, I will say.Also, the first boss, he's a bit tricky.It's kind of like thatfirst test type of thing.I expect that one to make or break people.It's where you gotta kindof learn how the game feels.Some bosses are really coolscreen filling monsters,while others are more likegeneric boring pushover monsters.The one-on-ones with individualpowerful dudes though,are mostly very cool.Oh, and sometimes you have, oryou can call upon AI allies,that will help you out anddraw the fire a little bit,just throughout the game,not just boss battles.You can command them a littlebit too, which is nice,and that helps becausethey are absolutely dumb.They get a little betteronce you level them up past a threshold,and eventually you can get their armor,like they have their ownlittle sub-progression.But yeah, very nice anduseful to have in a pinch,but not the sharpest toolsin the shed by any means.You can also play cooperatively,once you get past the introtoo, and that's pretty big.I mean imagine Sekiro-ishwith more RPG mechanics,and co-op gameplay?Yeah, like I keep saying,it's a lot of fun.Depending on your experience,and how much you might suck,expect this one to take youanywhere from 25 to almost 40-ish hours.Visually I will say thegame looks pretty dated.It just feels old, colors andtextures fall kind of flat.There's not too much to the lighting,and it's all just kind of drab.Even in the more colorful areas,and cooler armor pieces later on,a lot of it's still just a bit stale.And performance wise,we did have some significantperformance issues on Series X,some noticeable slow down during bosses,but some of that seems tobe fixed with a patch now,so just pointing that out.On PlayStation five,we also did have some framedrops during cut scenes,and a few big moments,and on both consoles, a fewtimes where the game froze.I also had one hard crashon PS5 at one point.It's not an absolutemess, but worth notingsome kinks need to beironed out a little bit,and we haven't seen the PC version either,so bear that in mind.Still, it doesn't getin the way of the factthat Wo long is a lot of fun.The combat just clicked with me,and I had a blast going through it,and just kind of bad-assign my way around.Like I said, it's not insanelybrutal the entire time,so I think maybe it's alittle bit more accessible,at least for the first few hours,maybe that helped me enjoy it more?Either way I like the combat,I like the depth of the systems,and a lot of that makesup for the whatever story,the forgettable characters,and boring presentation and levels.I know, it seems like a lot,but I just got into the combat zone,and really, really had fun.Now, if you played the demo they put out,I can kind of confirm that'sa decent representation.Also shout out to themfor putting out a demo.I really want demos to return.There was a time where wehad a lot of demos for games.I don't know if anydevelopers listen to this.I mean like, I think some developers do,I've met some, but publishers,like the actual business corp-type people,I don't think they listen to these videos,but if they are,hey business people putdemos out, we like them.Try before you buy is good.Anyway, that's a "Before You Buy",you know how this goes by now,I give you some pros, somecons, and some personal opinion,and now I want to hear yours.Let me know what you think of this game.If you played the demo, youprobably got something to say,so let me know how you feel.Let's talk about all thisstuff in the comments,and I just wanted to saythanks for sticking with us.We've been cranking out a lotof "Before You Buy" videos.We've been very hard atwork, playing a lot of games,and we appreciate you guys showing up.If you like us, all you gottado is click the like button.But that's it.Thank you very much forwatching and we'll seeyou guys next time.