Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will be a Soulslike game in the vein of Nioh, as the reveal trailer suggested, but it will have mechanics that will set it apart from the other franchise by Team Ninja.
In a new interview with IGN, Producer Fumihiko Yasuda and Development Producer Masaaki Yamagiwa talked at length about the newly revealed game, highlighting how it is a Soulslike in the vein of Nioh that will share the DNA of both publisher Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja, combining China's Three Kingdom setting upon which many games from the publisher as based with the signature hardcore action gameplay of the development studio.
While the Three Kingdoms period is iconic for Koei Tecmo, Team NINJA itself has never tackled it before. By merging Team NINJA’s action with Koei Tecmo’s most popular setting, you could say that Wo Long shares DNA from both sides. But Koei Tecmo has actually never made a dark fantasy version of the Three Kingdoms setting
Having been conceived as some sort of a Nioh sequel, many will be the similarities between the two entries in the series and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. But many will be the features that will set them apart, as the Three Kingdom setting will have an impact on the combat system, which will feature a morale status for both player and enemies that will influence the death mechanics. Additionally, action and combat will be faster than in Nioh, and players will be able to seamlessly switch between offense and defense, and even jump, which, Massaki Yamigawa said, is iconic to Chinese martial arts.
The action is speedier than Nioh, and you can do things such as jump into an enemy and then launch over them. That being said, we did want to maintain that feeling of being in control of an actual human being, so there won’t be too many flashy jumps or wire action. In that sense I guess you could say it is more down to earth.
You can block, dodge or ward off an enemy’s attack while you’re attacking. This seamless flow of offense and defense is something we feel is iconic to Chinese martial arts. There are moments of full force, but then there’s also a softer and gentler side to it. We wanted to show this characteristic by creating a more natural flow between offense and defense.
The ability to jump in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will also influence stage design, which will feature way more verticality and exploration possibilities.
Since the player character can now jump, there’s a lot more room for verticality and exploration in general. That being said, at its core Wo Long is a linear structured game just as Nioh was. With Soulslike games becoming more and more popular, this kind of design gives Team Ninja an opportunity to display what we do best
While the Nioh and Soulslike influence will be strong in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, it seems like the game will have its own identity, thanks to some of the mechanics detailed in the interview. If the game will manage to set itself apart from other Soulslike games remains to be seen, but Team Ninja has so far shown they know how to handle the genre well, so we may be in for yet another great action game from the Japanese studio.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty launches in early 2023 on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. The game will be available on day one on Xbox Game Pass as well.