If you were hoping for a new hack-and-slash game for the fall, Koei Tecmo has you covered: Warriors Orochi 4 is happening, and it’s dropping in North America on October 16th (September 27th for Japan). The game will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One (NA/EU only), Nintendo Switch and PC, through Steam. It will offer both online and local, split-screen co-op on all platforms.
Warriors Orochi 4 will include all characters from the previous rosters in addition to characters from Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires and Samurai Warriors 4-II. This makes for 165 characters, plus another five new characters, who have been teased as Greek deities (such as Poseidon and Athena), to make for a total of 170 playable characters in Warriors Orochi 4. The first of the five new characters is Zeus, who has also been confirmed as the main antagonist of the game. If you were expecting collaboration characters like Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, Koei Tecmo will not be adding any of those characters.
Here is what the official website lists as the storyline:
The re-assembled heroes are faced with yet another new battle.
The key to solving this mysterious situation and returning the world back to normal are eight “bracelets” that possess great power. In search of these bracelets, the heroes clash against one another with their individual convictions.
Before long it becomes apparent that Zeus, the king of gods of Mount Olympus, is behind this. What is his aim in rebuilding this parallel world in which the heroes battled against Orochi? In order to solve this mystery, the heroes decide to battle against the gods.
A summary from the Warriors Orochi 4 FANDOM wiki says the heroes have forgotten all of the events of the past games, and to return to their respective eras, they have to seek the eight mysterious bracelets with “aid from the Mystics who remembered the past conflict.” While the synopsis seems vague, it has me interested in how ancient Greek deities will play their part in the storyline.
The gameplay demo we played was on the Nintendo Switch, and quite frankly, it ran a lot smoother than I had anticipated. Warriors Orochi 4 game director Masaki Furusawa said the team is working hard to ensure the frame rate on the Nintendo Switch will keep up with that of the other consoles for smooth gameplay across the board.
The newest installment in the Warriors Orochi franchise includes an all-new magic mechanic. Each hero has two types of magic attacks that can help keep the hit combos going. Zeus’ primary magic attack, for example, is a giant ball of lightning that you can steer through a crowd of enemies to do a good grip of AOE damage. And if you were frustrated with getting back to your horse quickly in previous titles, you can now summon the horse at any time at any place on the map.
Playing Warriors Orochi 4 split-screen with the Nintendo Joycon controller was actually a lot more enjoyable than I had ever anticipated. I’m typically not a fan of using the small and thin controllers, but somehow for this game, it worked. Playing with the Switch Pro controller, you use ZR to swap characters. Since you’re “missing a button” with the Joycon, you simply press down on the joystick to swap. This worked better than I had anticipated, and I never felt cramped playing with the Joycon.
Warriors Orochi 4 ran very smooth, looked beautiful on the Switch, and offers a lot for fans of the series and newcomers. Although I only got to sample three characters, including Zeus, each character felt different and unique. A lot of games struggle to make different characters (and cars, if you’re talking about racing games) feel unique, so I’m excited to see if Koei Tecmo is successful with doing it for 170.