|System: X360, PC, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Omega Force||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Koei||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Weapons are customizable, as are each character's attributes, although it's virtually impossible to discern much difference with the characters. Having said that, it's even difficult to discern upgrades with the weapons, except for various elemental attacks that you can actually see, such as fire, ice, and magical energy. Weapons can be acquired from enemies on the battlefield. Using growth points, you can increase weapon attributes such as base attack and increase the number of slots for further upgrading. Various weapons can also be combined, as they become fused hybrids. Upgrades such as more powerful attacks and an increase in range are largely overshadowed by the relatively easy gameplay. Remember, this is a simple button masher. As long as you're tapping that button and moving around in the right direction, you won't experience much trouble.
The environments are impressive for their sheer scale, but certainly not for the graphic quality. The maps lack detail. In most cases the battlefield is little more than a field. Occasionally there will be some buildings and a line that represents a road. But we are not here to enjoy the scenery, we are here to fight, and the game really does concentrate on that aspect. We can move about the spacious maps with no loads as we move from section to section. There is some slowdown, but considering how busy the game is, I'm surprised there isn't more. But that surprise is short lived because it's very noticeable in the two-player, ad hoc mode. It doesn't make this mode unplayable, but it does raise suspicions concerning the overall lack of production values.
Unlike the console version, there are no cutscenes. The music is good, but it's generic and a little too "happy" for a game of this style. As expected, the voiceacting is just as bad as every other Warriors game in the franchise. It must be some kind of inside-joke with the developers to purposely cultivate such cheesy performances.
Warriors Orochi has some shortcomings, but to be fair I am imposing my personal preference on what the game should, or could be. But it's not totally my fault for thinking this. This is a simple hack-and-slash game. By its very nature it's repetitive. By hinting at more depth with weapon upgrades, 79 playable and combinable characters with upgradable attributes, and a two-player mode, I think it's the developer's responsibility to fully realize these features and implement them in the gameplay. Otherwise don't tease us.
CCC Senior Writer