Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Review
With games like Nioh and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Team Ninja has found itself delivering its own take on the soulslike by mixing genre fundamentals with expertly-crafted combat mechanics. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty follows the same trend as previous entries from the studio, offering a challenging action RPG experience with a Team Ninja touch, but this time exploring combat foundations that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice established four years ago. The end product is a fantastic combination of the two.
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Although its inspirations are always felt, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty still feels unique in the soulslike space. Team Ninja’s dark fantasy take on Han Dynasty China is an exciting blend of high-octane combat with interconnected and simple progression mechanics that never feel bloated despite being so plentiful. However, the game does stumble with balancing so many moving parts at once and can feel disconnected from the larger picture at times. Much like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty may prove divisive due to its focus on individual player skill compared to a fully fleshed-out action RPG experience, but that doesn’t stop Wo Long from being another excellent Team Ninja release.
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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s story starts with a clunky exposition dump before the player jumps in, but the narrative gradually gets better as the game progresses. Wo Long’s story and setting can best be described as “wuxia cinema meets dark medieval fantasy,” as larger-than-life heroes and generals face off against demonic forces of evil with an elixir of immortality at the story’s center. Unfortunately, a lot of these main story concepts are quite vague and confusing at the start, and Wo Long often works best when it focused on the more grounded elements of the narrative, such as its heroes, villains, and battles.
Surprisingly, the main cast of characters…