Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Review (XSX)
Ahhhh, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. A Souls-like game, the genre I absolutely love to hate. I have them all, Dark Souls to Sekiro, Mortal Shell to The Surge, Remnant to Elden Ring. I love the style and design elements involved in this genre of game. The problem being is I always struggle with them. I have not finished any of the aforementioned titles, and not from lack of trying. I regularly return to many of these titles and have another crack at them.
So going into Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty I had a little anxiety about how I would fare. After all coming out of the Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo stable I had high hopes.
A Solid Start.
Right off the bat I was smiling, at the many familiar nuances even moving through the menu. And then came the character creation. You play as an unnamed militia soldier so there is no predefined character given to you. Saying the options given to you to create your persona are broad would be an understatement. The sheer wealth of options is very cool and you can do as much, or as little, as you want.
Obviously none of these aesthetics have any bearing on gameplay abilities or attributes. A bit of a shame because I was soon to find out that any extra help I could get would be welcomed.
I’m Liking This.
My initial foray into the world of 184AD China showed promise. The obvious Tutorial Section was doing well at leading me through the subtle differences that Wo Long had from other Souls-like titles. I was enjoying it, really enjoying it. Even upon coming across a larger, tougher enemy for the first time I only had to farm the surrounding areas a couple of times to level up enough to unlock a spell I could use to great affect on it.
Here I was, feeling confident. Learning how to master the use of my Qi through Martial Arts and Wizardry Spells. I started returning to a few areas to try and farm some sweet loot and level up to unlock some neat looking Spells. Finally a Souls-like I can handle.
Or So I thought.
You Have To Be Kidding!
You may have noticed that the last two screenshots are in similar areas. Well, yes. That is because they are. And yes, it is still in the area I would call the Tutorial Section. The Battle Flag, think Campfire from Dark Souls, shown is the last before the first boss. Yup, the first boss… I tried and tried to beat him to the point of rage quitting. After cooling off and putting on my big boy pants I returned. This time I defeated him first go, or so I thought. Cue cutscene with me standing over my slain enemy while he scoffs a magic pill and transforms into an even bigger, badder boss who promptly stomps me into the dirt.
A small sliver of me hoped I would restart at the cutscene. Of course not, back to the Battle Flag for you my friend.
So this is where I currently stand with Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. A roadblock at the end of the Tutorial Section. Should I have to ‘Git Gud’ to enjoy a game that already shows glimmers of being such great fun? Maybe? But two words used there, game, and fun. I should not need to work hard to achieve the right to have some fun. Here in lies the serious problem with Souls-like games. Why should casual gamers, or gamers that haven’t got the time to invest have to miss out on some of the greatest games made because of a toxic pissing contest about getting better.
Allow gamers to choose an easy difficulty. After all it is only affecting the individual playing.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty has everything going for it. I love the setting, the look, the combat. Will I be going back? Hell yes! Hopefully with some serious farming, and some YouTube help, I WILL get out of the Tutorial Section.
I just wish I was better at it.
No. I wish there was an easier difficulty setting.