Warriors Orochi 2
The Warriors return with another round of "let's kill everything with combos".
Warriors Orochi 2 is the latest in the ongoing battle series from Koei, taking various characters from dynasties in rural China and using them to strike down hundreds of soldiers. Nothing significant has changed with the series, but if you're a fan, you might enjoy its mindless hack and slash gameplay.
In the game, the powerful warlord Orochi has been brought down thanks to the teamwork of several dynasties, but some of his enemy forces remain intact. Furthermore, some of the factions aren't getting along, as Lu Bu, Dong Zhuo and Masamone Date are at each other's throats. It's up to members of the remaining groups to band together and fight back to bring peace to the land.
If you played the previous Warriors games, you should know what to expect. You choose your character from the clan of your choice and beat up hundreds of enemy soldiers using combos and special Musou-powered attacks. You can follow Story mode and see how each faction's tale unfolds, or go into Free Play and kill thousands without a care in the world.
One big addition is the new Dream Mode. Here, you face off against enemies using the unlikeliest of allies, such as members of a warring faction.
In addition, Warriors Orochi 2 has multiplayer support. Find a fellow player who owns a copy of the game and you can team up with them in co-op missions. If you seek competition, there are versus modes, including Elimination (survival mode), Tower (capture the base) and more. Considering the nature of the gameplay, there aren't that many strategies to uncover. If you feel like playing Warlord Vs. Warlord, though, it'll do.
Visually, Warriors Orochi 2 is the best looking game in the series. The game runs smoothly with very little slowdown, even when dozens of soldiers fill the screen. Some characters are hard to see, such as bosses that sneak up on you with cheap hits (they do that often in this game), but overall, it's beautiful, with outstanding lighting effects, especially when you activate a Musou move and eliminate everyone in one swift stroke.
Koei needs to work on audio, though. We don't know why, but it's hell bent on using lame rock soundtracks and ridiculously bad dialogue. These are supposed to be warriors, and yet they sound like chumps you'd find at the local bar. Fortunately, you can reach for the volume switch and crank your own tunes.
For some, Warriors Orochi 2 will feel like the same old song and dance. However, give Koei credit for making enough changes to make it feel like a sequel rather than a lame expansion. The Dream Mode is interesting, the multiplayer component works better than expected and the visuals shine. Now if more work could just go into the general gameplay and audio, we'd really have a war on our hands.
What's Hot: Good multiplayer and co-op modes, graphics hold up well on the PSP, a variety of playable soldiers.
What's Not: Monotonous gameplay, B-movie quality music and voice acting, incredibly cheap enemies.