The Warriors series is like Call of Duty or the NHL sports franchises, as in you know there is going to be a new game every year. It might be called Dynasty, Samurai, Gundam or Orochi, but we all know one is coming out. This year we have Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, a game that has been eagerly awaited for by Tecmo Koei fans for some time now. Will it offer anything new to the formula, or is it another simple DLC collection cash-in?
The part of the charm for this series that sets it apart from the others is the player is not handicapped by one narrative and seeing the same events from everyone’s view. Any experienced TK vet knows the Dynasty and Samurai stories like the back of their hand because they are steeped in history. But Orochi is a crossover; a gigantic what-if scenario that brings a fresh perspective to this flagship series. The narrative from the first two games continues, with the collected band of brothers being brought together to defeat a world consuming hydra. With almost everyone dead, the few lucky survivors of a last ditch effort to kill the beast are given the hope of rescuing everyone in the past thanks to some mystical time travel.
What TK does well in the Orochi series is it allows players to pick three characters to use in battle instead of the standard one. With a cast of characters scaling past 100 this is essential, as the default cast has been bloated past comparison. Every character has their own move set, weapons, and story. The latter being the most impressive part of the game as the story mode is longer than an RPG. No one is lost in the confusion, and even characters not billed as fan favorites get some spotlight.
As mentioned in the intro this is an ultimate version, so the base game has already been out on the market for a while now. TK took the time and made this more than a simple DLC update with a few new characters. While Kasumi from Dead or Alive is cool, her inclusion alone is not reason enough to shell out more cash. What is a reason is gauntlet mode; the mode that separates the casual players from the hardcore. Instead of three characters you get five; any five from all those unlocked previously in story mode. The only exception is a default group for players who want to try it out first. Your goal is to go through a gauntlet of new levels all warped together into a new, weird mishmash, trying to find the exit. Escape and you get loot, new characters and keys to unlock the next connecting stage. Lose and you just get some XP. However, this mode is brutally tough as there is a meter called miasma that keeps going up the more you kill, and the longer you are there. Even with ways to lower it, the situation can get out of hand quickly and also when the miasma is low certain enemy officers can one-shot the player. I had Ayane leveled past 280 (there are 9 prestige promotions), and she got slapped around like a rookie.