Fallen Dynasty is a fun challenge that needs polishing – Liukin

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Written By techgiga

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When one thinks of the era of the Three Kingdoms of China and Koei Tecmo, one’s first thought might be the fast-paced hack-n-slash action of the a military dynasty a series But Wo Long: Fallen DynastyDespite its different play style, it doesn’t let its predecessors outshine it. While it’s definitely more action-oriented than other Soulslike games, it’s still quite challenging. Unfortunately, part of the challenge is dealing with things that are out of the player’s control on PC, such as slow frame rates and poor quality controls, depending on how you play the game.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynastylike most of the others a military dynasty games, takes place during the Yellow Turban Rebellion during the Eastern Han Dynasty. The unnamed player avatar (which the player can customize) becomes embroiled in a conflict between the various kingdoms. However, this time they seek an elixir of immortality, rather than territory. You battle through levels with historical figures like Zhao Yun or Guan Yu as your partners, all while wielding magical powers and Divine Beasts in a fantasy version of China. The story isn’t very impressive and ultimately forgettable, but the action and cutscenes are a joy to watch.

Another reason I have such a hard time remembering the story is because it takes me a while to beat each level. For reference, Team Ninja has disbanded Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty on various battlefields. Once you complete one, you move on to the next. Each level associates you with a Three Kingdoms figure, or you fight against one. Before facing the boss, you need to explore the area and go through any enemies you come across. You can deal with random mobs in several fancy ways. But if you let your guard down, they can seriously wreck you. At the end, you open a door for a boss. Some of these bosses are ridiculously difficult, while others are a piece of cake. There’s a very simple formula to follow when facing bosses: parry. Soul veterans should have expected that though.

the thing with Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty it’s obviously not as easy as it seems on paper. Parrying depends on your weapon, with weapons like staves having a wider window against slower attacks. I also found that momentum can be harsh, even when using a weapon with a lower deflection difficulty. You also have to balance your spirit (basically, you can’t play too conservative), which means the game forces you to get in close and combo the enemy. Some bosses have a short pause before unleashing their critical hit, which is easy to fall in love with when you first fight them. Luckily, there’s always a save point right before the boss fight, so you don’t tend to lose much progress.

surprisingly, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty it’s really accessible. Now obviously you need some skill to fight the bosses. The game doesn’t feel sorry for you. However, the Morale and Fortitude systems can make your life easier. The more enemies you defeat, the higher your morale will be. Additionally, your Strength increases each time you raise a battle flag. The closer your morale is to that of the boss, the more damage you will deal and the less damage you will receive. Fortitude, on the other hand, is the minimum morale level you have. So players who want an easier time can play to boost their morale and make every success count. Conversely, players who prefer a challenge can simply maintain the minimum morale before a boss fight.

oh long it sometimes stutters, making my frame rate terrible despite my gaming’s pretty good specs. It would be a minor annoyance except for the fact that every frame is literally what separates my character from a successful detour or a world of pain. There are also some quirks in the patch I played related to the menu. Due to certain circumstances, I played with a mouse and keyboard. This is a setting that Koei Tecmo supports. Unfortunately, the team probably didn’t expect someone to use a mouse and keyboard. Even at its fastest setting, the camera feels sluggish when rotating. Also, it was difficult to navigate the Enchantment menu to give my character new spells. This is because my cursor disappeared more than half the time, forcing me to exit the menu and click again just to see the skill trees.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty it has a unique worldview and a fun yet challenging combat system. Unfortunately, there are some issues that hinder it apart from its performance on PC. Boring environments can become boring to look at, and the story is pretty generic despite the setting. I also felt that the historical figures could have gotten more screen time instead of existing as glorified decoys. However, maybe that’s my bias as a fan of Three Kingdoms and not necessarily a fan of souls. It shows promise as a new game inspired by Koei Tecmo’s Three Kingdoms, but it needs to polish its rough spots before it can shine on its own.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty It is readily available on PS4, PS5, Windows PC, Xbox Series X and Xbox One. Windows PC version tested.

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