Review: Samurai Warriors 5
Developer Omega Force is once again releasing a new iteration of the Musou genre. Samurai Warriors 5 is like a reboot of the other titles in the franchise, where we go back in time. But, how's the game? Read it in our review!
Samurai Warriors 5 falls into the Musou genre. This genre lets you play different licensed or unique characters to kill hordes of enemies, conquer territories and continue storylines. The genre sees several iterations including Zelda, One Piece, Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors. Dynasty Warriors 9 was a less successful title, while One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity did well. But, what does the Samurai Warriors reboot look like? Spoiler: pretty nice!
In Samurai Warriors 5 we take a step back in time, where we play as a young Nobunaga Oda, the demon king. He wants to unite the country and this is the story of his first adventure in it. The game is made on a smaller scale, but that makes the focus better in my opinion. You don't have any nonsense mechanics, just a clear story with the accompanying battles. Of course, you also play several characters, including Mitsuhide Akechi, whose story is similar to that of Oda. The focus that the story offers makes for a more linear but clearer experience. You also don't necessarily need other titles in this title to understand what's happening, although it does provide some more hype with the fan.
The gameplay in Samurai Warriors 5 reminded me a lot of One Piece Pirate Warriors 4. The maps are quite open and large and the gameplay is a lot smoother and faster. In terms of weapons, you also have a full arsenal per character at your disposal. There are about 15 types of weapons to play, from fast to slow and from light to heavy damage. Although each character can use any type of weapon, there are certain specific weapon types that are better suited for each character. This gives you access to an ultimate attack when you link the right weapon to the right character. It's all about making combos and killing as many enemies as possible in those combos. The action is fast and over-the-top. However, you are not alone! You can play the game in co-op mode, but also with an AI as a partner at your side. The AI works pretty well too!
A new design
Samurai Warriors 5 throws the franchise in a new art direction. So beyond the smaller roster and better dialogue between the characters, and then the clearer focus in terms of story, the game has drastically changed one big aspect: Graphics! The game is full of style when you consider the cinematics and the gameplay. The more anime-esque art style is a perfect fit for a reboot of a franchise that hasn't seen any sign of life in years. It simply made the game a source of style and I thought this was one of the coolest elements of SW5.
The voice acting and dialogues are also of high quality, I also immediately recognized some voices from anime shows, which is always a nice extra! So, in this area there is little to complain about the game!
Besides the free mode and story mode, there is also a new mode. This Citadel Mode rattles a bit with the formula we know. It's a mode in which you defend a base and then sprint through the map to take over areas. This fashion is perfect for raking in materials and experience. There are also unique cutscenes to unlock.
The game ran extremely well at 60 FPS on my Playstation 5. So apart from the really cool graphics, the game is technically a masterpiece. I was not immediately surprised about this, given that the Warriors games are often just right technically, Dynasty Warriors 9 is not taken into account in this expression. The game also runs at a good resolution and always looked sharp on my 4K TV!
Although there is normally not much to say about a Musou game, Samurai Warriors seems to have a strong focus. It's not my favorite game in the series, but it tells a great story in a fun way. Also, the interactions between characters are quite interesting and the story was easy to follow for someone who hasn't played all the parts. The gameplay is just fluid, fast and somehow therapeutic. The art direction is perhaps the coolest thing about this title, with a very nice drawing style and stylish cinematics and cutscenes.
So, basically little has changed, but Samurai Warriors 5 does enough to keep me interested in both the game and the future for the genre. Can I recommend the game? Yes! Also to newcomers to the SW franchise or the Musou genre. It's a focused slip-on for fans and aspiring fans.
Have you played Samurai Warriors 5 yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below !
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