Four years after the last episode, Koei Tecmo’s musou-style action series is preparing to return to PC and consoles with a new adventure set in the times of feudal Japan, focused in this case on the (obviously fictionalized) deeds of the young man. leader Nobunaga Oda.
We have tried Samurai Warriors 5 in a basically complete version, on Steam, playing the first two chapters of the campaign and thus experimenting with some of the innovations introduced for the occasion by the Omega Force developers. But we can say it right now: don’t expect a revolution.
The countryside of Samurai Warriors 5 adopts a structure very similar to that seen in the last games of the series, with a set of more or less the same missions in which it is necessary to free from time to time the areas of the map from the presence of enemies, in particular the commanders. Tasks to be completed to gradually unlock new characters and alternative paths that will enrich the single player sector.
There are therefore no substantial differences compared to the traditional formula of Samurai Warriors: the authors have been careful not to experiment again with the open world setting of Dynasty Warriors 9, which had not given the expected results, and have limited themselves to inserting management elements which, however, we are not yet allowed to talk about, as well as a more multifaceted enhancement system than usual.
If the structural connotation of the Samurai Warriors 5 missions is what we now know perfectly, fundamentally unchanged since the beginning of the Dynasty Warriors series, how does the gameplay of this new chapter? Net of some marginal changes, even that is exactly as we expected, with all its limitations and a systematic repetition.
We have had the opportunity to talk about it over and over over the years: although in recent times we have tried to strengthen the base system in some way, the Musou they ask us to repeat the same maneuvers over and over again, facing hundreds of soldiers all together and adopting a minimum of offensive strategy only when you are faced with the bosses.
The special moves can also be very spectacular in this case, there is no doubt, but otherwise the formula is that, there is no escape. The performance of the impacts can be largely improved (from this point of view Sengoku Basara of Capcom can do much better, yet does not enjoy the same popularity), the scenarios do not have the slightest degree of interaction and theartificial intelligence of enemies is very modest.
In the end you go in search of a minimum of variety by moving between the menus for strengthening of the character and the modification of his equipment, but once back in battle the situation is always the same and attempts to shuffle the cards a bit, for example switching from one character to another where possible and assigning extra rechargeable attacks to the keys , are not enough to lift the experience from its traditional monotony.
If we want, a small but pleasant surprise comes from technical realization of the game, which adopts for the first time the cel shading technique for the characters, thus winking at anime-style atmospheres that adapt very well to the context and that give absolute best during the cinematics or the scripted sequences of the special attacks.
It is a pity that the same solution has not been used also for the scenarios, which remain traditional, generally desolate and widely seen, full of very generic assets. Instead, there is a lance to break with regards to optimization: despite the many enemies on the screen at the same time, Samurai Warriors 5 runs on an RTX 3070 at 4K with all effects at maximum without any problem in maintaining a constant 60 fps.
Samurai Warriors 5 is preparing to offer us the usual Musou experience, while changing the characters, adding small changes and adopting for the first time a pleasant graphic style in cel shading. If you know the series, you already know exactly what to expect: a brawler in which you fight hundreds of enemies at the same time, wiping them out always performing the same combos while waiting for the bar for special moves to recharge. There are some news around the corner, but it’s still early to talk about it. Will they be enough to revolutionize the experience? We doubt it.