Warriors Orochi 3 (WO3) serves as a sequel to the events following the previous installments in the series. It features characters from both Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors who have been forced into one world by a violent demon, Orochi. In combining the plethora of characters from both series, Warriors Orochi 3 allows for a fantastical dream battle where the main objective is to rid this new world of a terrible hydra that is wreaking havoc across the land. It is a shame that I have sworn off these types of games since a soured experience years ago. My jaded perspective remained fixated on the simple combat, falling into the common idea that the Warriors games were nothing more than ‘mash the attack button to win’. Warriors Orochi 3 is not reinventing the wheel in this case, but Tecmo Koei has taken years to iterate on their recipe and they have finally hit their stride and created the ultimate Warriors Orochi experience.
The game begins with a large cinematic battle that acts as the tutorial. At the climax of the battle, your three remaining heroes almost meet their doom, but are rescued mysterious new character Kaguya. She has the ability to travel through time, and presents the warriors with missions where they must relive the past and rescue the other one hundred Warriors that succumbed to death as their fate. Think Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but in Ancient China. The story sounds ridiculous, but I have to give them points for being original and actually pulling off an engaging story. The dialog is over the top, and the characters are both goofy and sincere in all the right places. As an added bonus there is no English voice acting in the game so you are left will a fully Japanese-voiced game. I found it difficult at times to follow the English subtitles due to the hectic nature of the battles, but it was worth the authentic experience of the original voice actors. The writing in Warriors Orochi 3 is not going to win any awards, but it is not throwaway either and I have to give it to Omega Force for creating a fun and unique story and amazing characters to back it up.
Expect to decimate thousands of enemies in every battle with special attacks.
The game is comprised of large scale battles that you teleport into using the time travelling techniques mentioned above. There are multiple chapters of the game that each contain their own set of individual battles. The main missions will keep the story going, but I was easily distracted by the different side missions that give you a chance to unlock other playable heroes. When you are dropped into a battle you may witness the death of one of your fellow generals and they will be unable to join your band of time travelling mercenaries. Select a side mission and you may have the opportunity to fight a battle that took place before the character died. The once-dead character will be able to join your team, given you actually go and save their life. In some instances, redux missions become available where you can play through the mission from another perspective. This version of the battle has different objectives and new unlockable characters will appear that you may have not seen when going through the first time.
The battles in Warriors Orochi 3 are hack and slash mayhem. However, the simplicity of the Warriors formula was perfect change of pace from every other game I was playing at the time. It is cathartic to single-handedly decimate entire armies with the press of a button (many, many times). Within each battle you are given various objectives; save a fellow general who is losing a skirmish, capture a strategic point to boost morale across the field, or kill an enemy general. This is all done with a team of three heroes, chosen before the battle. The heroes can be swapped at any time with the press of a button, which is critical to survival in the harder difficulties. I’m not going to lie, you do hit the attack button a lot - since every objective is completed by swathing through countless ranks of enemies.