Review: Samurai Warriors 4-II
Tecmo Koei and Omega Force prized beat’em’all took the opportunity to release a second and final version of their fourth chapter of Samurai Warriors, which whatever name we give it, Samurai Warriors 4-II is not the fifth installment, but a somewhat improved version of his elder released a year earlier. But does it really brings something new to the game that it needed a different release?
The story is mainly the same, based on the Sengoku era, a troubled times in feudal Japan, where men are fighting to unify Japan under one banner. It is in these difficult times of political intrigue, war and social problems, that the game’s main plot is found, as it is the case for each installment of the license. Paradoxically, Samurai Warriors 4 has already addressed quite brilliantly the fate of Daimyos, feudal Japanese lords such as Oda Nobunaga, the most iconic of them.
Like most Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors titles, the franchise often involve a multitude of characters to be played with, and in this case, 56 of them, that will be introduced slowly throughout the 13 chapters in Samurai Warriors 4-II. The scenario, though based on a storyline that is a work of fiction, alternates between large battles and cutscenes, and the latter are sometimes a little long my taste.
Far from revolutionizing the genre, Samurai Warriors offered some new elements and especially a certain fluidity in movement. No more delays with what you see and what you do on the screen. The musou genre, never really needed to change its winning formula, since we find the same feeling of fluidity as did its predecessor. Nevertheless, sometimes there are too many characters on the screen which can drive the game to go through framerate drops, but not really any kind of loss of control.
The developers have also kept the short duo battle gameplay feature, giving the choice for players to pick two characters for each mission. Thus, it is easy to change the protagonist in the battle by simply pressing a quick button to switch to its AI teammate, which is done instantly, without any latency or loading time, making battle as immersive as ever. Combined with the hyper attack, the dynamic devastating combo, and the constant hammering of the attack button remains as fun as it is in the franchise. The goal, besides winning the battles, is of course to decimate countless small grunts and some lords, like any beat’em’all.
Thus by keeping the same recipe, the story mode is classic, because as usual, it will ask the player to achieve a number of objectives such as eliminate a particular lord, accompany a VIP to its destination, or other usual objective. The gameplay is easy to handle. Only the repetition of actions and game mechanics can become boring for a while.
Samurai warriors II-4 yet has some innovations. First improvements is in regards to the weapons. It is now possible to merge these weapons in order to provide more power, attack and passive skills to the desired weapon. This goes as well for armor, which helps a lot to get the optimal gear, and reduce having to sell the surplus.
On the other hand, the big change made is to the skill tree that made its first appearance in the Samurai series. Already based on good ol old Dynasty Warriors functions, this skill tree has its own flair and specifications. After each fighting phases, you can craft new weapons but also buy strategy tome, which can then activate nodes on the skill tree, which then let you use various skills such as gain more experience, strength, etc.
Another novelty is linked to the game modes available in the game. Samurai Warriors 4-II no longer offers the chronicle mode, where you could create your own hero, replaced by a the new survival mode. Nothing extraordinary at first sight except the challenge: Two types are available, the first remains simple, forcing you to climb the highest level of a castle by scoring points (which remain classics like fighting a particular lord). After completing a floor, you then receive a reward, if you manage to beat it within a set time.
Technically, the game is quite similar to its predecessor. The graphics and soundtrack do not change and are the norm for a game like this on the new generation. If the fluidity already stated is always appreciated, we can still point out the weird late and sudden appearance of enemies ready to fight you. In terms of AI, it appears it has been revised and gives a slightly more difficult challenge than its predecessor. Despite this, the player has the choice of difficulty ranging from the easy to a nightmarish mode.
Samurai Warriors 4-II was reviewed using an PlayStation 4 redeemable code of the game provided by Tecmo Koei. The original game was released in 2014, and this refined edition is also available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PC in both retail and online store releases. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• A good lifespan
• Improved AI
• The Survival Mode
• The Chronicle mode has been removed
• A local coop mode that can be filled with bugs
• Too much repetition