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Samurai Warriors 5 Preview (PS4) – An Exciting Reinvigoration For A Franchise That Sorely Needed It


Samurai Warriors 5 PS4 Preview – It’s been a long while since Koei Tecmo revised the Samurai Warriors franchise. After 2018’s open-world take on the Dynasty Warriors franchise, I was personally happy to see a return to the franchise mission-based Musou style gameplay we have with Samurai Warriors 5.

I didn’t experience much in my preview build of the game, but after spending some time with the game I am excited to jump back into the action franchise.

Samurai Warriors 5 PS4 Preview

A Return To Form For The Warriors Franchise

I wish I could talk about the game’s narrative and story, but I was advised to skip all narrative cut-scenes due to potential game crashes when I played. But, I got to get a glimpse at some scenes and can say that the game’s story is presented with gorgeously drawn animated cut-scenes that set up the story sequences and provide background to the battles ahead.

As mentioned above, the traditional Musou action returns in Samurai Warriors 5. Moving away from the open-world presented in Dynasty Warriors 9, Omega Force returns to the traditional mission-based formula spread out between various chapters. Most of my time was spent playing as Japan’s most historical figure: Oda Nobunaga, as you play through his conquest of Japan in the hopes of uniting the country under one ruler.


Those familiar with the formula are going to be right at home when it comes to combat. Mixing up light and heavy attacks to perform as you take on mindless hordes of opposing enemy armies. It’s the essence of the Warriors franchise.

The game’s simple combat may not impress those that love titles like Devil May Cry, but the Warriors franchise hasn’t really changed much throughout the years, at least when it comes to its heart and soul. The core gameplay mechanics remain the same with Samurai Warriors 5 but it’s not just baseless foot soldiers you strike down as the opposition have their own generals, which pose a much bigger threat because they can deflect your attacks and counterattack, doing some heavy damage. I found myself on the brink of defeat numerous times.

Outside of the traditional attacks, you can equip Ultimate abilities on your characters that allow you to pull off extra moves or give you buffs like increased speed and attack. This comes after building up an energy bar from defeating enemies and growing your combo meter.

You can also activate a Pulse skill that allows you to speed up your attacks and damage, almost like putting you in a hyper attack mode. While in Pulse mode, you can activate your Ultimate Musou attack, which ends with a cool-looking hand-drawn portrait of the character (which you can see in the image at the top of this article.

Samurai Warriors allows you to customize your character by changing out your weapon. You can’t replace the weapon the character uses, from a sword to spear, for example, but you can change it out for the same type of weapon with different stats and buffs, including adding elemental damage to attacks.

Graphically the change from realistic character models to a more cell-shaded look has done wonders for the franchise. Instead of needing to compete with the most high-profile-looking games on the market, the cell shading gives the game a much-needed revitalisation and it fits with the great animated cutscenes. I hope this is a sign that this type of art style will be utilized more by Koei Tecmo in their titles, especially for their licensed Musou titles.

Once again, the voice work is all in Japanese, which unfortunately doesn’t help players who can’t speak the language. It becomes a problem when you get new objectives and messages in the middle of a battle and don’t have the time to read what the messages are relaying. For better or for worse, the music is once again your heavy metal rock, so unfortunately you’ll either like it or you won’t in traditional Warriors fashion.


A Brief But Promising Look

My time with Samurai Warriors was brief but exciting. The new animated art style is a welcome change, and the return to a more traditional mission structure is something I’m personally happy to see. The gameplay additions help keep the action fresh. I can’t wait to dive back into Samurai Warriors 5 when it launches.

Samurai Warriors 5 releases for PS4 on July 27, 2021, and will be playable on PS5 via backwards compatibility.

PC preview code provided by PR