Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – 15 Details You Need To Know Before You Purchase

The team behind Nioh returns with another punishing action RPG. Here's what you need to know before it releases on March 3rd.

Posted By | On 04th, Feb. 2023

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – 15 Details You Need To Know Before You Purchase

Team Ninja returns this March with something different. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an action RPG that features several elements from Nioh but distinguishes itself with its setting, combat and pace. It’s out on March 3rd for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC while also releasing day one on Game Pass. Here are 15 things you should know before buying it.

Story

Before the main game’s events, a mysterious Elixir has cropped up throughout history, seemingly containing the key to immortality. An emperor attempted to covet it, only to face tragedy for his kingdom. As the Han Dynasty approaches its end, the Elixir emerges again, and someone is attempting to create it.

As a nameless soldier, you’re caught up in the war and fighting the Yellow Turban Rebellion after it torches your village. Your run-in with the Elixir is a given, but this is also the story of your rise from a “nobody” to a hero. Famous heroes like Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Jian also crop up, some serving as allies and others as enemies.

Setting

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Set in 184 AD during the Three Kingdoms era, the Later Han Dynasty in China is beset by turmoil. The Yellow Turban Rebellion is running amok, and a military coup led by Guo Wei has overthrown the Dynasty. There’s also the matter of demons and other monsters. Throughout their journey, the player traverses various stages, including Meiwu Fort, a fortress with high walls and lavish interiors; Guigugou Valley, which was playable in the demo; Hulagaon Pass, a snowy area between Yellow River and Mount Song; and much more.

Character Creator

Like Nioh 2, players can create a character in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. You can choose a figure type and appearance template while also setting the stance, skin color, face skin type and body skin type. From there, more options await, like face, facial hair, hair, hair color, makeup, voice, hair types, and more.

Weapon Types

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There are sixteen weapon types to choose from, a massive step up over Team Ninja’s previous games. Thirteen are melee-based, like the sword, dual swords, glaive, staff, poleaxe, spear and straight sword, while three are range-based, including the bow and arrow. Each has a unique play style, like the dual swords being well-balanced and easy to pick up while the poleaxe is heavier and encourages waiting for the right moment to strike. You can beat the game with a single weapon type, but the developer encourages switching weapons based on an enemy’s patterns.

Martial Arts

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The Three Kingdoms setting isn’t just for show – Team Ninja also wants to recreate the fast-paced nature and style of Chinese martial arts. To that end, each weapon’s moves are based on motion-captured animations from actual martial artists and then adjusted for in-game usage. It’s also worth noting each weapon type has techniques called Martial Arts. The straight sword, for example, allows for a quick slash that also acts as a dodge for quickly moving backwards.

Wizardry

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Magic or Wizardry consists of five phases – Fire, Earth, Wood, Metal and Water. They each have distinct spells, and while the demo had you choose only one phase, you can mix and match in the full game. Fire is primarily an attack-based Wizardry, ranging from ground-based fiery waves to short-range explosions, while Metal debuffs enemies and Earth enhances defense. Divine Beasts like Zhuque, Baihu and Xuanwu can also be equipped, each having unique attributes and attacks while corresponding to a phase.

Combat

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Combat is an interesting mix of various titles, featuring the fast-paced hack-and-slash nature of Nioh combined with the parrying of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Essentially, you have Spirit for Martial Arts and Wizardry. It can also unleash Spirit Attacks, good for heavily reducing an enemy’s Spirit. Attacking raises Spirit while defending lowers it, and it’s possible to deplete your Spirit Gauge and open yourself up to fatal strikes.

Deflects are your main goal in combat – they mitigate enemy damage and reduce their Spirit while also affecting Morale. Sometimes, enemies and bosses will unleash attacks with glowing red icons – a well-timed deflect will break their attack, and temporarily stun them. You can also block, switch between weapons after a successful Deflect to keep a combo going, and dodge.

Morale

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While you can level up and increase attributes, Morale is just as important. Think of it as a separate level of sorts, one that swings dynamically depending on your actions. Taking down enemies (who also have Morale Ranks), landing successful parries and depleting an enemy’s Spirit will increase your Morale, enabling you to deal more damage while taking less. However, if you die or have your Spirit depleted your Morale drops. Dying also resets Morale, though this can be mitigated with Fortitude.

Fortitude

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As you traverse stages, you’ll be able to place down flags that raise your Fortitude. Some are smaller, granting slight increases, while larger ones can bump it much higher. Fortitude influences your minimum Morale Rank when dying. If you go down with 14 Morale and have placed enough flags for Fortitude, you’ll restart with the same amount of Morale as opposed to zero. Planting a flag also increases your current Morale Rank, and functions as a rest spot and checkpoint.

Exploration

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A huge part of Wo Long’s level design is how much more open each area feels. There’s way more mobility, courtesy of jumping, to explore your surroundings, and they have increased verticality compared to the Nioh series. Various secrets and foes lurk around, but you may also discover shortcuts, Fortitude flags, loot, and other bonuses.

Co-op

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If you’re not too keen on going it alone, Wo Long supports co-op for up to three players. Cross-gen crossplay is supported, allowing Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S or PS4 and PS5 players to pair together. But there’s no cross-platform multiplayer, so PlayStation and Xbox can’t group up with each other or PC players.

4K and 60 FPS on Xbox Series X and PS5

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The demo for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty confirmed two graphics modes for PS5 and Xbox Series X – Resolution, which runs at 1440p/60 FPS, and FPS, which runs at a dynamic 1440p/60 FPS (with the resolution slightly dropping to maintain the frame rate). The Xbox store listing indicates 4K Ultra HD support, which should be detailed more before launch.

PC Features

PC players shouldn’t worry, as 30 and 60 FPS frame rates are confirmed, along with resolutions up to 4K and Ultrawide screen support. Other options include rendering resolution, HDR, V-Sync, ambient occlusion, texture and shadow quality, screen-space reflections, and so on. Font size for subtitles, notifications and other text can also be adjusted, and there’s even DualSense support with haptic feedback. Though DLSS support is confirmed, it’s still unknown whether it will be available at launch.

Playtime

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Anyone that’s played Nioh 1 and 2 can confirm that they’re both pretty long games, even if you don’t do everything. Producer Masaaki Yamagiwa confirmed to Vandal that Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty would take 40 hours to complete. There’s no confirmation as to whether this is just for the story, or whether it includes other side content. Other challenges will be available after the ending, but we’re still waiting for more details on a potential post-game.

Season Pass

Of course, Wo Long also has a Season Pass. It’s included in the Digital Deluxe Edition and adds three new DLC packs, which add new demons, scenarios, stages, weapon types and generals (who you’ll likely end up fighting). Each of these should add several more hours of gameplay on top of the base game, going by previous Team Ninja DLCs.


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