Warriors Orochi 2

November 10, 2008

Warriors Orochi 2 is the newest hack and slash title from KOEI with a simple premise: combine playable characters from previous Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors titles.

Game play in Warriors Orochi 2 is similar to previous Warriors titles with available modes including Story mode, Free mode, Survival mode, VS mode, and Dream mode. Story mode is largely unchanged as you select which storyline you’d like to play and then select the officers that make up your party. You play each scenario in the storyline unlocking additional playable officers as you progress through the storyline. Each scenario has 4 levels of difficulty to accommodate gamers of varying skill levels. Each storyline contains 8 scenarios of increasingly difficulty. Free mode is similar to Story mode only you are able to play any unlocked scenario with any unlocked officer. Survival mode is similar to what you’d expect the Warriors series to be if it were a fighting game. You select a trio of officers and face off against random sets of officers of increasing difficulty. Score is kept based on the number of consecutive rounds you win. VS mode is a series of 2 player games that include cooperative play, king of the hill, and a steeplechase race. Dream mode is similar to Free mode in that it places your 3 officers into a scenario, but the scenario is derived from the unique theme of the 3 officers.

One major change that appears in Warriors Orochi 2 is that instead of selecting individual officers to play through each scenario, you select 3 officers and have the ability to dynamically switch between them during the battle. This allows you to build a balanced party of officers as opposed to focusing on the individual strength of a single officer. While you are using one officer, the remaining 2 regenerate their health and musou meter.  You can also launched a chained musou attack by pulling the trigger to switch characters after starting a musou attack with one officer.

Blending character sets from both Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, Warriors Orochi 2 boasts an impressive list of playable characters that will keep you striving for completion for months to come. There are storylines for the 3 main families in the Dynasty Warriors series as well all 3 Samurai Warriors titles and then there are an additional 2 storylines.

Warriors Orochi 2 is a hack and slash title, but it contains a very deep system of character and weapon upgrades that would impress most RPG fans. Characters level up through a standard system of experience points that are awarded for killing enemies during a scenario. Bonus XP is awarded for killing rival officers during a battle. In addition to XP, you are awarded Growth Points after successfully completing a scenario. Growth Points can be used to as XP for leveling up your officer or for upgrading your weapons via weapon fusion.

Each officer in Warriors Orochi 2 has 4 available base weapons. The first 3 weapons are collected by killing enemy officers. Officers will randomly drop weapons as they are killed. The weapons will contain random attributes that enhance the weapons abilities. Weapons can also be upgraded or fused. Upgrading requires the collection of treasure and adds minor enhancements to your weapon. Fusion allows you to spend Growth Points to merge features from 2 weapons into a single weapon that is more powerful. The 4th weapon for each officer is only earned by triggering a certain set of circumstances in a particular scenario. These final weapons are usually incredibly powerful and are worth the effort to unlock them.

Despite my love for the Warriors series, Warriors Orochi 2 is basically the same game that came before it with a few more bells and whistles. Its groundbreaking gameplay is no longer cutting edge and is becoming quite stale. KOEI needs to begin finding new ways to change the franchise up or risk driving away all but the most hardcore fans of the Warriors series.

ESRB:  T for typical PG-13 sword-related violence
Pros: Expansive roster; 3-officer party
Cons: Series is getting stale
Plays Like: Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.