Only available for download from www.koei.com (opens in new tab), Warriors Orochi is a hack-and-slash successor to the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors franchises. This console port combines characters from both series in a new story line that involves an evil serpent king who fuses time to create a world where the Three Kingdoms era of China and the Warring States era of Japan exist side by side. If you’re still with me, try keeping up with the four story lines that boast a cast of 79 characters who betray and try to kill each other more frequently than the cast of Days of Our Lives.
The graphics are improved for the PC release, but while the characters are well rendered, they’re also expressionless clones who fight on bland, redundant terrain. Attacks don’t have much variety, and like many old four-button console games, your controls are ridiculously simple. You can obtain different weapons, but the upgrade system is tedious and the interface is counterintuitive. Multiplayer is limited to two people using the same keyboard.
Since you’ll be “KO”ing about 500 enemies per mission, expect blisters on your fingers and blood in your ears. The soundtrack is a strange mix of generic rock and techno - an odd compliment to the historical settings. Even stranger is the voice casting and dialogue; apparently, some ancient Han warlords had an amazing grasp of surfer colloquialisms and ’90s-era pop-culture references. The AI’s difficulty cuts both ways. In “easy” mode, you’ll find the opponent AI is seemingly blind and armed with butter knives. But, you’ll also likely lose half of your missions because your allies’ AI is equally inept.
Whatever charm the campy dialogue provides wears off after about 10 minutes, leaving you with a game that suffers from obstructive camera angles, tedious gameplay, and uninspired combat.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 41% (Tolerable)
May 8, 2008