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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Team Ninja's take on Romance of the Three Kingdoms


Keyboard Koala
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On October 26 2020, during a development steam celebrating the 40th anniversary of Koei Tecmo president and CEO Kou Shibusawa's career, it was announced that Team Ninja were currently developing a new action game based on Luo Guanzhong's 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The game in question is now known as Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, and was formally revealed on June 12, 2022 at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase event for release on Microsoft Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, with PlayStation 4 and 5 versions being announced shortly after.


A dramatic, action-packed story of a nameless militia soldier fighting for survival in a dark fantasy version of the Later Han Dynasty where demons plague the Three Kingdoms.

Players fight off deadly creatures and enemy soldiers using swordplay based on the Chinese martial arts, attempting to overcome the odds by awakening the true power from within.

 

Development on Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is being led by Team Ninja's Fumihiko Yasuda (who directed Nioh and Nioh 2) and producer Masaaki Yamagiwa (best known for his work on Tokyo Jungle, Déraciné and Bloodborne no less), who joined Team Ninja in October 2021 following his exit from SIE's now-defunct Japan Studio.

 

Like Nioh before, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty takes place during real-life historical events, but is embellished with prominent supernatural elements taken from both folklore and mythology.

 

 

Debut trailer:

 

 

Slated for an early 2023 release on PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X/S, and pc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Keyboard Koala said:

Yeah, is it me or are the Nioh games even harder than the Dark Souls games?


They can be, but there are some skills that make you quite OP, like Sloth.

I must say that this game sounds seriously fantastic. Copied this info dump from Era, based on an IGN article. I love the sound of faster paced combat, Chinese martial arts, the morale system and less emphasis on loot.

SETTING
- Wo Long is a soulslike game similar to Nioh, but focused on Chinese martial arts as a new style of combat.
- Set in China's Three Kingdoms period, which Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three Kingdoms series have also been set in for more than three decades. This is Team NINJA's first game to be set in this period.
- The game's title refers directly to the main character. "Wo Long is Chinese for 'crouching dragon.'" - Yasuda
- "The game is set during the Yellow Turban Rebellion. As our subtitle Fallen Dynasty implies, the Han dynasty is about to come to an end." - Yasuda

GAMEPLAY
- Not open world. Level-based structure like Nioh, but with more freedom in levels.
- Players can now jump.
- Combat is faster-paced than Nioh 2, but not as fast as Ninja Gaiden.
- "Since the game is set during the wartime of the Three Kingdoms period, we came up with a system that revolves around the warrior's morale. Both the player and enemies have a morale status, which will lead to new strategies within the Soulslike genre," said Yamagiwa.
- "...killing or being killed also has an impact on how strong the main character and enemies are. It's a system that sounds like a Souslike adaptation of Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis system." - IGN
- Less emphasis on loot, but will "still have a large variety of weapons to choose from."
- Character creator is in, with improved visuals and new parts to match the Chinese setting. Anonymous main character like Nioh 2.
- Multiplayer is in. Co-op gameplay is similar to Nioh's.

DEVELOPMENT
- Wo Long's development started back in 2019.
- Development producer Masaaki Yamagiwa published Bloodborne and Deracine while he was a producer at Sony's Japan Studio.
- "At the time, we were looking for a setting that could work for a Nioh sequel." - Fumihiko Yasuda, producer. Yasuda was director and producer of Nioh 2.
- Yasuda and Yamagiwa collaborated previously on Nioh 1, when it was a PS4 exclusive.

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After Nioh 2, Team Ninja said it was the end of that series & they would be doing something completely new afterwards. I for one am very pleased at this ‘completely new’ game they have announced. Nioh 2 especially was one of the best games of the previous generation so I’m very much looking forward to more feudal chaos.

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  • 2 months later...

Looks awesome, but there’s this, Black Myth Wukong, Wuchang: Fallen Feathers and Where Winds Meet.

 

They’re all set in historic China, all look really promising, but I’m getting confused which is which!

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Stances and stamina are out. it was mentioned a while back.

 

Quote

How has the action changed from the Nioh series?

Mr. Yasuda:
 The big change was the introduction of jumps. Also, the concept of stamina and stance has disappeared. The degree of freedom of action has increased more than before, and it is now possible to search inside the stage in three dimensions.

4Gamer:
 Will the action be more intense if there are jumps and no stamina?

Yasuda:
 That's right. In the way of fighting Chinese martial arts and kung fu as we imagine, I think that there is an action that combines offense and defense, such as attacking while hesitating or handling the enemy's attack, but in this work it is instant. A Chinese action-like battle system has been introduced that allows you to switch between offense and defense.

 

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On 26/08/2022 at 18:45, Jamie John said:

This looks very good, but very hard. I hope they don't do all the different stance stuff, like in Nioh. That was too much for me to get me head around.

 

Same here. Part of From Software's strength is how relatively easy it is to get to grips with the combat system, yet it takes ages to actually master it.

All those stances seemed to make things unnecessarily complicated.

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7 minutes ago, Keyboard Koala said:

 

Same here. Part of From Software's strength is how relatively easy it is to get to grips with the combat system, yet it takes ages to actually master it.

All those stances seemed to make things unnecessarily complicated.

 

Yes, well put. I only played Nioh for an hour or so because of it. That, and it seemed so obviously derivative of Souls that it annoyed me. I got up to a bit where the guy kicked a ladder down to make a shortcut and turned it off.

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8 hours ago, Jamie John said:

 

Yes, well put. I only played Nioh for an hour or so because of it. That, and it seemed so obviously derivative of Souls that it annoyed me. I got up to a bit where the guy kicked a ladder down to make a shortcut and turned it off.

 

I too find this sort of derivative game design unbearable. Why, I had to turn off Demon's Souls in disgust when it had me unlock a short cut by kicking down a ladder; such a rip-off of Resident Evil 4. And I don't even like Resi 4!*

 

*there are probably earlier examples of this particular shortcut technique, and Nioh obviously owes a debt to the Souls games, it just tickled me that the example you gave — both broadly (unlockable short cuts as in most Metroidvanias) and specifically (ladder lockdown shortcuts) — are a notably non-unique element of Souls games.

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17 minutes ago, Wiper said:

 

I too find this sort of derivative game design unbearable. Why, I had to turn off Demon's Souls in disgust when it had me unlock a short cut by kicking down a ladder; such a rip-off of Resident Evil 4. And I don't even like Resi 4!*

 

*there are probably earlier examples of this particular shortcut technique, and Nioh obviously owes a debt to the Souls games, it just tickled me that the example you gave — both broadly (unlockable short cuts as in most Metroidvanias) and specifically (ladder lockdown shortcuts) — are a notably non-unique element of Souls games.

 

Ha. Well, it was just one thing in addition to lots of other very Souls-y things, if I remember, which put me off it. The whole animation seemed very similar to me, and rubbed me up the wrong way. I was probably more susceptible to being irritated by it because I found the game so hard to play.

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The stances of Nioh are an absolute delight, adding an essential layer to the combat that properly elevates them above all of the Souls games aside from Bloodborne with its trick weapons. Outside of PVP they're fairly simplistic in execution so the particulars are not that important (they all follow the template of tradeoffs between speed and power), you could play the game without ever changing stance if you found one that felt comfortable for your playstyle. But their addition affords you the opportunity to properly style on enemies, making the moment to moment gameplay more akin to a character action game than Souls, and this is where Nioh gets its own sense of identity, where each weapon has enough variety in approach that you frankly build an entire lesser game around each one, yet here it's just part of the ensemble. Shouldn't be a surprise given Team Ninja's legacy.

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I'm sure it's very rewarding once you get into it, but it definitely felt like there was a barrier to entry. Enough to put me off, anyway. It's telling that the devs have dropped stances for this game.

 

I've read that the Nioh Collection on PS4/5 is supposed to be very good, however, and the first time I tried Nioh 1 was before I'd played Sekiro, so having completed that, I might be a bit more tolerant of it. Nowadays, though, I'm just not sure how much of an appetite I have for games I have to teach myself and painstakingly learn, which kind of puts stuff like this outside of my purview.

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I agree; it's not as if the "masocore" genre needed an even bigger barrier to get players going. As said before, the elegance of From Software games comes from the whole easy to begin with, rock hard to master approach. I echo the sentiment that if the devs themselves are letting it slide, they probably acknowledge that maybe it wasn't necessary.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tried this on Series X (it looks promising) but once I got past the initial moves tutorial and started in the first area it just kept quitting to the dashboard without even moving a couple of feet.

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