Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Is A Faster, More Aggressive Souls-Like

With Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, developer Team Ninja feels like it’s riffing on a riff. The action game studio has already given its spin to the Souls-like genre with the Nioh games. In Wo Long, Team Ninja once again borrows some of the underpinnings of From Software’s lauded series, but takes a faster, more Ninja Gaiden-like approach. It’s some of the same ideas but with a different feel, which will challenge action game fans in a lot of different ways.

GameSpot got an early look at Wo Long’s playable demo on PlayStation 5, which gives a snapshot of the game’s combat systems. A lot of the foundation will be familiar to Souls-like fans–enemies hit hard and are tough to kill, often sporting unblockable or uninterruptible animations. Whenever you stop to rest at a checkpoint, enemies respawn, forcing you to fight them again. Healing is limited to a small set of flasks you carry, and using them takes a very long time, leaving you open to attack. Most fights come down to analyzing or memorizing enemy attack patterns so you can exploit weaknesses and avoid taking an abundance of damage.

But as mentioned, Wo Long takes a much faster and more aggressive approach to that foundation than most other Souls-like games, making it most comparable to something like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Wo Long focuses on Chinese martial arts, and thus, much of its gameplay is about speedy strikes and redirecting your opponent’s force. Its biggest adjustment from similar games, though, is that it drops the usual stamina gauge that dictates how many moves you can make before you stall out.

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Author: Phil Hornshaw