Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – Our first impressions


Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is ready to officially debut this March 3, 2023, and for this reason the developers have in the meantime released a new demo on all the various digital stores, available from February 24th to March 27th. In these days we have been able to face the first two chapters of the story, obtaining a first overview of what the title will offer shortly. The demo also features the ability to transfer saves to the full version of the game, as well as rewarding the player with bonus equipment if they complete the entire demo.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will allow us to interpret a unnamed soldier (completely customizable in appearance, as in the pronouns used for the entire storylisten)) engaged in a bloody war at the end of the dynasty Hanwhere the enemies waiting for us will not only be humans, but also demons now out of control for all Three Kingdoms. If we could only get a taste of the intricate storyline for the moment, the same cannot be said of the gameplay. The title is branded Team NINJAsoftware house also creator of the series Nioh, with whom he shares many things. The title stands as soulslike, however, distorting the usual mechanics of the genre in several points. In fact, if the skeleton of the gameplay is a strong reference to what we have already been able to appreciate in the previous works of the software house, there are three novelties of the gameplay on which I would like to focus at least in this first place: the spirit bar, deflection, and the death and rebirth mechanic.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Our first impressions

In fact, the first thing you notice, once you have obtained complete control of the character, is a particular bar placed below our HP and in the center of the screen: the spirit bar. This indicator is divided into two ends, one red and one blue, and represents ours at the same time force (therefore the actual consumption that employs each of our actions) and our “accumulated strength“. Each heavy attack, casting of magic, dodging, parrying or hit will negatively increase our spirit bar, if it fills totally negative (ie red) we will be stunned and vulnerable to enemy attacks. The only way to increase the bar positive (ie blue) is to attack the enemy with light attacks. As soon as the bar has a positive connotation we will be able to deliver a powerful heavy blow capable of reducing the opponent’s spirit bar, as well as inflicting more damage on him. The spirit bar therefore revolutionizes the classic connotation of “vigor bar”leading us to choose more carefully the right moments to attack or defend ourselves.

The second “novelty” instead lies in the deviation. If in other soulslike titles the parry (or counterattack if you prefer) was only a secondary mechanic and at the discretion of the player, in Wo Long it becomes the focus of the entire title, greatly increasing the bar of challenge and difficulty. Whenever an enemy attack is about to hit us, we will be able to rely on the deflection mechanics which, depending on the equipped weapon, it will have a longer or shorter window of time to intercept the enemy attack and turn it against the latter. Obviously a question arises”why can’t we just parry?“. Every time we parry an enemy attack, in addition to receiving an amount of damage only slightly less than the attack itself, we will accumulate a significant amount of negative spirit, immediately finding ourselves exhausted or able to inflict only little damage on the opponent. If, on the other hand, we actually manage to deflect an enemy attack, not only will we not suffer damage and we will not accumulate negative spirit, but we will be able to reduce the opposing spirit and obtain positive spirit ourselves. Moreover some specific attacks (visible from the red aura that is created) they cannot be parried, but only deflected. This mechanic is essential to say the least during boss fights.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Our first impressions

Within the demo we can face three different mandatory boss fights, and of which the first two are oriented precisely on becoming familiar with the two new mechanics mentioned above (and therefore decidedly more difficult). We can say that each boss fight takes place in the same way: deflect each basic attack, inflict heavy attack with positive spirit, inflict critical attack every time we stun it, repeat everything until it is defeated. This may initially seem cumbersome and even frustrating, but I assure you that once you have trained well with the style of play, you will feel a high degree of satisfaction, especially as you will feel “untouchable”.

Last little news is the death and rebirth mechanicbased on the system Moral. Every time we kill an enemy, we will earn points that will fill the counter above our HP bar, called Morale Points. Morale Points indicate our strength within the mission and can be earned through the defeat of opposing enemies or by placing conquest flags along specific points on the map. We will have larger flags available that will act as a “bonfire” (here we can, for example, increase our level through the Life force obtained or learn new spells) and smaller flags that will partially free the area from enemies and will increase our Morale level, as well as the maximum limit that we can keep at each of our deaths. Every time we are defeated we will lose Morale Points and half of the Life Force in our possession (the “souls” of souls to be clear). Upon our death the Morale Rank of the enemy who killed us will increase (does not apply to Bosses) and we can recover everything only by defeating him. If we die again trying to recover them, of course everything will be lost. Unlike classic souls, if it was a boss who defeated us, we will earn it all again as soon as we enter the arena of the clash, without having to look for the lost loot inside the arena and without the risk of losing it by dying again.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Our first impressions

These were the three mechanics that most made me feel a slight breeze of novelty, but there are also the more classic mechanics we are used to. Within the game, based on which parameters we level up, we will be able to obtain points to spend in the same tree for active skills or spells. As well as in Nioh we could get random loot from defeated enemies or inside trunks, with the fight always split between close and distance. The invocations returnfeasible after we have defeated enough enemies and with the player’s ability to invoke them in the form of a spirit that deals damage or as a temporary buff. Technically the demo proved to be quite smooth in performance mode on Playstation 5 (version we tested), especially as we are not talking about open worlds or macro areas, but only about mission maps, even quite small ones.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Our first impressions

At first glance Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty it may seem a Nioh set in China, but the small changes made could provide the title with the right gear to differentiate itself from its predecessor. For our definitive judgement, we will have to wait a few more weeks, and as already reiterated, the release date of the title is set for next March 3 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC as well as being available from day one on Xbox Game Pass.

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( With inputs from : pledgetimes.com )

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