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‘Samurai Warriors 5’: Epic Hack-And-Slash Combat Matched By Drama

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‘Samurai Warriors 5’: Epic Hack-And-Slash Combat Matched By Drama

The Warriors franchise is known above all else for one thing: satisfying hack-and-slash combat. From mainline Dynasty Warriors games to forays into other series - such as Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity - every game serves up arcade action to keep you playing long into the night. Samurai Warriors 5 is no exception, and that's exactly what we're here for.

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Although I'm not far into Samurai Warriors 5, what I've played already is delightfully cathartic. Eliminating wave after wave of enemies with basic and special attacks is always pleasing, particularly when taking on one of the enemy officers. These units are easy to spot in the enormous crowds of foes thanks to their distinct HP bars bearing their names. They're also much more deadly than the peons around them, so pick your time to strike. You can also fight on horseback, so summon your horse when you want an extra edge.

See the trailer for the game here

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How difficult the game is depends on you. Different modes are available, from Easy upwards. So far, the only real difference I've found is the enemy officers are more adept at blocking and striking on Hard mode, adding a nice layer of challenge, especially when replaying a level. Overall, Samurai Warriors 5 is more of a relaxing arcade experience, at least in the initial stages, but that's not to say combat isn't intense. The reason it seems more chill is down to how superior your character feels against the majority of enemies. This god-like feeling the game bestows upon the player is exactly why we play Warriors games, to be honest.

As you play, you'll develop your characters by earning experience points to level up. This rewards you with skill points, which are usable in the 'Dojo' screen, accessible from the menu. Here you can increase health, strength, and even the amount of rewards you get for downing opponents. You begin with only one hero available - Nobunaga Oda - with plenty more unlockable officers as you go.

Samurai Warriors 5 / Credit: Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd.
Samurai Warriors 5 / Credit: Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd.
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In terms of story, the bulk of it is told through the game's cutscenes. There is character dialogue throughout levels, spoken over the frenetic gameplay, but the video sequences before and after missions are the main way of following the plot. These scenes are directed and animated in the style that Warriors games do best, with a heavy focus on the main characters and some striking visual flair to dazzle your eyes. If you saw the recent Dynasty Warriors film on Netflix, you'll know what I mean.

One thing to note is the game's dialogue is in Japanese, so if you turn off the subtitles at the beginning (like I did), you're likely not going to have a clue about the game's story. Luckily, you can adjust this from the menu whenever you like.

Samurai Warriors 5 / Credit: Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd.
Samurai Warriors 5 / Credit: Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd.
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In my limited time with Samurai Warriors 5, I've felt right at home. The gameplay is chill-yet-hectic, with enough challenge to keep you engaged. Whether you're a returning Warriors fan, or someone looking to try out the genre for the first time, there's enough going on here to keep you coming back for a good while.

Samurai Warriors 5 was tested on PlayStation 4 with code provided by the publisher. The game releases July 27 2021 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.


Featured Image Credit: Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd.

Topics: PlayStation 4

James Daly
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