Samurai Warriors 4-2 Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Samurai Warriors 4-2 – Review

I’m honestly not sure what’s going on with Omega Force; their PC division to be exact. I’ve had the chance to review some of their previous outings as they got ported to my favoured platform, yet both Dynasty Warriors 8 and Toukiden: Kiwami turned out to be a bloody mess, each in its own particular way. I even went as far as to denounce the developer, which is something I practically never do. Entering the latest Samurai Warriors offering, I was sure I’m about to see more of the same – rock-solid gameplay foundation, tonnes upon tonnes of content to delve through, flamboyant characters and over-the-top combat… all rounded off with an astonishingly horrible technical background. Suffice it to say that I was astonished to see Samurai Warriors 4-2 running phenomenally well on my computer at the highest settings, all the while looking reasonably good. Again, I’m not sure what’s changed in Koei Tecmo and Omega Force’s approach to PC, but damn, keep at it.


If this isn’t cringeworthy, nothing is.

Turning the game on, you’ll be greeted with a typical introductory movie that’s either going to hype you to hell and back or make you turn it all off. If you’ve ever played either a Dynasty or Samurai Warrriors game, you know exactly what you’re going to find here. Hugely implausible hairstyles, a severe lack of manly characters, questionable approach to combat and dialogue that’s cheesy as all hell. It’s all a part of the series’ charm though, and there’s been minimal changes to this ever since my first run-in with the work of Koei Tecmo. Dynasty Warriors 3 was one of the first games I played on my then-new Playstation 2, and the over-the-top approach to classical Chinese mythology fascinated me to no end. Playing as Xiahou Dun, I’ve spent countless hours attempting to complete the story, and that made me interested in all future iterations of the game. Samurai Warriros tackles Japanese mythology in much the same way, albeit with more katanas added to the mix. What I’m getting at is that, if you aren’t aware of what’s waiting for you in this game, and aren’t used to such an approach to action titles, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not going to find it all that enticing.

The gameplay remains much the same as it’s always been. Players get to select a character (or two, depending on the gamemode) and wreck several thousands of poor mooks as they trudge towards their objectives. The levels are expansive and decently detailed, but just as flat as they’ve always been. Not much has changed in their complexity in that regard, furthering the focus on combat the series have always been nurturing. Rarely will you ever have a chance to stop and look at the sights – the enemies keep coming from designated arrival points until the appropriate commander is taken down. The game thus clearly shows you an objective you’re trying to accomplish at any given moment, making the plow through the enemy forces impactful and enticing on a small scale. The combat itself, which makes up for about 90% of actual gameplay, remains immediate, impactful and fluid, even though some attacks simply refuse to connect one to another. There’s a variety of combos to execute, and some additional strikes unlock as your character levels up. Of course, these mainly depend on your avatar’s appropriate weapon of choice.

Samurai Warriors 4-2 features a rather interesting character creator to fiddle with, even though there’s no way you’ll actually create one that’s not at least a tiny bit androgenous, unless you stuck a beard to him along the way. Here you can also select your armament, which allows you to add a personalized touch to your creation. It’s a fun concept, and works wonders for when you’ve already completed all of the game’s stories that are on offer.


Things escalate quickly in Survival modes.

I have also been impressed by the game’s interestingly scaling difficulty. Whereas it wasn’t all that difficult to take down officiers or unique characters in previous Warriors outings from my experience, this game forces you to adapt and dodge accordingly. Block is used by many of these characters, and some are simply resistant to the stagger that’s oh-so-helpful against the average grunts. The required level of knowledge about gameplay is thus ever-increasing, but only rarely feels like the game is cheating to take you down.

The story follows the actual Japanese history closely, from what little I can tell, although the whole thing is much more flamboyant and evidently less gritty than it actually was. The dialogue itself is cheesy enough to make you cringe at some points, but this goes well in hand with how the rest of the game is concepted. It all meshes nicely, and there’s much to do even for those who wish to ignore the arguably deep storylines completely and focus on gameplay itself instead. Samurai Warriors 4-2 includes an actual survival mode, where players are tasked with advancing through a series of increasingly more pressing waves of enemies. It’s intense, and remains my favourite thing in a Warriors game, ever.

I’ve already praised the game’s enhanced engine and its much-improved support for PC platform, and I’ll do so again. Samurai Warriors 4-2 runs much, much faster than any of its predecessors ever did, disregarding the selected graphics settings. It also looks nicer, now including all of the ‘advanced’ post-processing effects and whatnot. It’s still a visually subpar game at best, but at least some progress is shown on what is definitely the most powerful gaming platform. My only real gripe with this side of the game’s technicals is that my native laptop resolution wasn’t supported at all – I was stuck playing at 1280×720 instead of 1366×768, and that makes for a rather large discrepancy in visuals as far as image clarity is concerned. Hopefully this gets fixed in one of the upcoming updates. The soundtrack annoyed me greatly and had me turning it off quickly, even though the voice-over itself sounded well-off.

All in all, Samurai Warriors 4-2 is a much-needed improvement over the previous titles mustered by Koei Tecmo and Omega Force, and easily makes me hopeful about their future offerings, which are hopefully going to be as well-rounded as 4-2 is. If you’re a fan of the Warriors series but don’t have a home console to play this game on, the PC version is now an easy recommendation.