One of the challenges of having a popular series is offering something new and different. After a certain point you run out of ideas, with some games inadvertently changing the thing that people loved. This has resulted in some series being fairly stagnate. With Samurai Warriors 4-II offering a different take on the original title, will it be enough for fans or is it only for those who missed the original release?
Samurai Warriors 4-II tells various stories focusing on a number of different characters. Each story has its own tone and feel, which makes them feel different, though your enjoyment is going to depend on how much you care about the characters and the history of those involved. With that being said, with more than a couple different stories to experience, there is sure to be at least one that piques your interest.
Beyond the stories Samurai Warriors 4-II holds true to what you would expect from a Dynasty Warriors-esque title. There are a lot of enemies, most of which you can defeat in a couple of hits, across a huge map with various objectives you need to complete. Every character has a series of simple combos and at least one special attack that will lay waste to those around you. You can further the depth by making use of the cancel system to prolong your combos or use the evasive dodge to avoid damage, though you don’t need to master these concepts to be successful in the world of Samurai Warriors 4-II. The same goes for telling the AI what to do, but that can help you complete a number of optional objectives.
Part of what makes Samurai Warriors 4-II enjoyable is the smooth gameplay and solid graphics. Even when a large number of enemies were on screen the game played without any noticeable lag and the animations were vivid enough to make Samurai Warriors 4-II feel superior to similar low budget games. This is most noticeable during the cutscenes, which are surprisingly well done for a series usually remembered and played for the mindless combat.
As mentioned above, every level features a number of objectives, some of which are optional, where as others are not, that you can do. Each of these offer a nice change of pace to the repetitive gameplay, with them adding a little bit of depth to an otherwise simple game. The other fun thing is changing how you go about the mission can also change which objectives you get. So if you didn’t bother to capture a place or defeat a boss one run and then did so in another run, you might get a new event to complete.
Another way Samurai Warriors 4-II lets you do a little more is through customizable characters. Those interested in creating their own character can customize practically any aspect of their character and even load custom images off a USB to use in game. From there, said characters can be used in modes/online to dominate your foes or just screw around and have fun.
Speaking of having fun, those interested in the more mindless gameplay aspects will enjoy the tower. In this mode you have 10 minutes to progress through as many floors and objectives as you can. Completing a floor will add 2 minutes to the clock, so it’s less about how well you manage your time and more about how quickly you complete the objectives. Once your timer runs out, you fall in combat or choose to escape you’ll leave the tower and be awarded your spoils.
The only real downside to Samurai Warriors 4-II is that it isn’t anything a Samurai/Dynasty Warriors fan hasn’t seen before. A lot of the same characters, will defeat the same enemies, while trying to complete various objectives for their overarching goals. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since the characters are different enough to have fun running around, just that Samurai Warriors 4-II is more of the same. If that’s something that sounds appealing to you, then it’s a pleasant looking experience that runs quite well on the PlayStation 4. However, if you were hoping for a more tactical version or just a deeper version of Samurai Warriors, then Samurai Warriors 4-II is not that game.
[Editor’s Note: Samurai Warriors 4-II was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]