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Review: Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition (PC)By Azuardo At 02.08.2022 21:51

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Koei Tecmo's Warriors games are particularly mixed affairs. Not only does the gameplay tend to be rather monotonous, but these titles can wildly fluctuate in both quality and content. Dynasty Warriors 9 and Warriors Orochi 4 are guilty of some of the worst the series can offer, while the title of discussion here and the collaborative efforts with Nintendo on the Hyrule Warriors games prove a lot of fun can be had if the effort is put in.

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition absolutely falls into the top tier of the Warriors franchise and can heartily be recommended to anyone looking to explore the games further if they have limited experience or may only have dabbled in the likes of the Nintendo licensed products. Of course, this being the first time Orochi 3 has been made available on PC marks a joyous occasion, and the best games always deserve their chance to shine on this popular platform.

Warriors Orochi 3 is easily one of the biggest offerings in this franchise and has been the benchmark for all titles since Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate came out in 2014. Since then, successive games have failed to match up, with the two main Legend of Zelda spin-offs being clear exceptions. 145 playable characters with the possibility of hundreds of levels to gain, absolutely dozens of missions that span sub-stories and what were previously DLC stages, and a handful of different modes really go above and beyond to demonstrate how jam-packed the Definitive Edition truly is.

Aside from those additional DLC stages that expand on some characters and offer alternative scenarios, the beefy story mode is the main attraction, where the eight-headed Hydra has destroyed the universe, leaving just a few lucky soles from varying time periods alive. With a mystic appearing to send the heroes back in time across ages, the goal is to save comrades before their inevitable demise, bolstering our team's ranks to form the ultimate resistance group to rise and take Hydra back on, changing fate for good (hopefully).

Suitably, the nature of the story allows a multitude of characters to show up from not just ancient Chinese and Japanese empirical time periods, but from a diversity of game franchises, some of which are not owned by Koei Tecmo. This includes Bandai Namco's Sophitia from SoulCalibur, Sterkenburg from Atelier Meruru, and Ryu Hayabusa, Kasumi, Ayane, Rachel, and Momiji from the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series. These weapons-based fighters fit neatly into the Warriors style of play, but the limited cutscene and tailored mission presence for these cameos is a bit of a shame.

It's always strange when a developer tacks on the word "definitive" to a game that quite clearly isn't definitive, and that's the case here in the PC version of Orochi 3. While almost all previous content is crammed into this already giant offering, a few weapons, wallpapers and costumes are missing. Nothing serious, but it does beg the question "Why?" and the fact it's difficult to find a list of the missing content is a frustration in itself. Online play is also scrapped from the few modes that featured it outside of the story, which may come as a disappointment to a few fans.

Regardless, what's left is a massive Warriors title that, yes, does show its age both during gameplay and outside of it, particularly due to rough character models and low-resolution portraits, but is just an all-around beefy game that is pure hack 'n' slash fun. There aren't as many special move options as in later titles and game speed is slower than modern entries, so Orochi 3 can feel limited in that sense, but it's got all the ingredients necessary to make a great Warriors game, with modes that expand to dungeon-like trials with up to five characters to control at once. Fans of any of the licensed material developer Omega Force has produced in recent years will find this is the game to check out to get a better appreciation for the franchise. Lack of English voiceovers in battle is still a big bugbear that rears its ugly head once more, though.

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While perhaps not deserving of the "[i]Definitive Edition[/i]" moniker, the long overdue Steam edition of [i]Warriors Orochi 3[/i] has got everything a franchise fan needs. Characters, missions, modes, weapons, levels, costumes, crossovers, meaty story - it's all here, minus online play and a few pieces of minor DLC. Ignore its aged looks and this is some of the best hacking and slashing in the franchise, the likes of which only the licensed [i]Legend of Zelda[/i] entries come close to.



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