Koei Tecmo has struck gold with its faster and more mythology-oriented takes on Soulslikes, with Nioh and its sequel both enjoying great critical and commercial reception. The developer’s next project, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is looking like a natural evolution of the concepts and ideas found in the studio’s previous releases, and we now have tons of new information about the game thanks to the recently released free-to-play demo which will be available on current-gen console platforms until 25th September. We have played through the demo, and here are 10 new things that you need to know about Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.
Classes And How They Work
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty follows the Soulslike rulebook pretty closely in this regard, and immediately upon starting a new game – players will be prompted to choose from one of the available classes. There are 5 classes to choose from, and each is based on a certain element and specializes in one particular aspect like debuffs, stealth, attack, defense, and the like. Each of these classes also comes with a Beast that has powers associated with the element of the class.
Of course, you are free to invest points in any of these stats once you start the main game – allowing you to craft hybrid builds that excel in more than one aspect of combat. Oh, and there’s also a detailed character customization system that you can use to adjust your character’s looks to your heart’s content.
Attacks and Spirit Gauge
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty offers plenty of ways to wreak havoc upon their enemies, and at the epicenter of it all is the Spirit Gauge. It’s a lot like Sekiro’s posture system, but it has some nuances that help distinguish it from its inspirations. You can use accumulated positive spirit to call Beasts, but if your spirit gauge reaches a negative limit – you will be momentarily stunned.
Over on the offensive side of things, Wo Long features two types of attacks – a normal light attack and a slightly heavier Spirit attack. The light attack helps in accumulating positive Spirit, while spirit attacks consume spirit points from the same pool. Last but not the least, you also have a couple of martial arts skills attached to each weapon – which also consumes spirit.
In Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, there are no shields to protect you from incoming damage. Sure, you can use the left trigger to assume a guard stance with your weapon, but parrying is the name of the game here. Pressing the block button right before an enemy attack hits will deplete some of the enemy’s gauge – allowing you to follow up with attacks of your own. Critical attacks can’t be blocked like this, and will need to be counter-attacked with precise timing through a different button combination. Once an enemy’s posture is broken, you can follow up with a critical blow that takes out a significant chunk of the enemy’s health bar.
As mentioned before, each class comes pre-equipped with a Beast summon. While you start the game with the beast that is associated with your class, you are free to change the equipped beast at a Battle Flag which are basically the game’s checkpoints. Once you accumulate enough Spirit, you can call upon the equipped Beast which will then start to wreak havoc upon your enemies while also imbuing some special powers to your player character such as elemental buffs to the weapon among other things.
One of the more interesting parts of Wo Long’s combat system is its Morale Rank. The player character and every enemy has a Morale Rank associated with them, which is an average estimate of the enemy’s stats and difficulty. Ideally, your Morale Rank should be in close proximity to the enemies that you are fighting, otherwise you are going to have a tough time getting through these fights. Your Morale Rank increases with every defeated enemy, but it will also go down upon death.
Once you reach a new checkpoint, your current Morale Rank gets locked to that number – meaning that it won’t drop below that number after death or defeat. Dealing critical blows to your enemies also lowers their Morale Rank, which is an advantageous tactic that’s worth looking into.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an unforgiving game right from the onset, and the boss fights are going to be a brutal test of the player’s skill level and understanding of the game’s mechanics. It seems as though every boss will have 2 phases at the very least, with the latter of them obviously being tougher than the former. The boss at the end of the demo shows off a bevy of hard-hitting moves with plenty of range and variations, and being even slightly careless about things will surely spell instant doom.
The levels in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty wouldn’t organically connect with one another; instead players would be able to select them through a menu screen just like Nioh. That said, each level is going to be sprawling arenas that loop around itself and are filled with different enemy types and rare loot drops. There are multiple side paths that players can explore alongside shortcuts that should make the next run to the boss arena that much more manageable.
Co-op And PvP
While PvP can’t be accessed in the demo, developer Koei Tecmo has confirmed that Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will feature full support for the same – meaning players will be able to duke it out against one another using their favorite spells and weapons.
Co-op will also play a major role in the game, allowing players to summon friends to help overcome the many challenges that lie ahead. In addition to summoning other players in online mode, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will also feature AI companions that should aid solo players in their journey through ancient China.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty features an assortment of weapon types, ranging from polearms to straight swords to dual blades and what not. Each weapon has different attacks, martial arts moves, and a star-rating which is basically a rough gauge of its quality. Players can equip two different weapons at a time, and switch between them with relative ease. Apart from melee weapons, there are crossbows, bows, and throwing knives which can be used to engage enemies at a distance. All in all, players will have a ton of options and variety in how they engage with enemies.
While stealth isn’t going to be the focus of the experience, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty does offer some options for players to silently thin the enemy resistance before swords eventually start to clash. You can deal critical blows by sneaking behind an enemy or by performing an aerial strike from the skies above. Headshotting enemies through powerful bows is also a great tactic for the same. Of course, investing in stealth-related stats will also help in increasing the efficiency of these tactics by a significant margin.