Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Reviews Call It A Strong, Flawed, New Soulslike

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Reviews Call It A Strong, Flawed, New Soulslike

Reviews for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, the challenging new Soulslike from Nioh creators, broke cover last night and the broad consensus from the masochist crowd is that it’s pretty good.

Average scores across Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC fall within a few points of each other — 80, 81, and 82, respectively — on the aggregate site Metacritic. As always, let’s break it down into positive, mixed, and negative takes to build a rounded look.

The breakdown of reviews looks like this: From 87 reviews across all three platforms, the game drew 74 positive reviews and 13 mixed reviews. There are, at the time of writing, no negative critical reviews, meaning the game seems to have pleased everyone to a greater or lesser extent.

The Positive

Overwhelmingly, the reception was positive, with meta scores ranging from the high 90s to the low 80s. Most point to the game’s difficulty and the pleasure of overcoming that difficulty. Kotaku US reviewed the game, calling it “wonderfully challenging, utterly captivating—and the most approachable Soulslike to date.”

Hardcore Gamer didn’t feel that it went too hard, saying “the difficulty is high, almost seeming insurmountable at first, but part of what makes Wo Long great is how the difficulty isn’t unfair. The gameplay is structured where players are rewarded for learning the fighting style of their enemies and using their mastery of their own skills against them.” So, sounds like fairly standard Souls fare there. Destructoid felt differently, stressing “that Wo Long is not going to be for everyone. It can be extremely punishing, especially if you’re butting heads with the parry system.” The parry system has come up a few times among reviews, particularly the game’s savage opening boss which functions as a kind of tough love tutorial, so that certainly tracks. Game Informer felt the shine wore off in the game’s latter half, but that it was nevertheless “a finely honed delight. Its action is precise and responsive, and learning the intricacies of each adversary is exceedingly fulfilling.” PC Gamer bemoaned the technical issues on the platform, but ultimately felt that “technical issues aside, Wo Long is a master of its craft that future Soulslikes should study under.”

Among the Australian contingent, Press Start felt that though the game fell “into the same pitfalls suffered by prior titles, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is another deeply satisfying Souls-like.” Checkpoint Gaming liked what Team Ninja was trying to do overall, but felt that its “systems can be overly complex with a flurry of gauges, ranks, and stats to consider all at once. Even with a few difficulty spikes and balancing issues.” Stevivor compared it to another Soulslike releasing this week, saying that “While I wasn’t jazzed with Scars Above and the way it tried to incorporate Soulslike elements, Team Ninja has certainly found its groove in Wo Long Fallen Dynasty.” Well Played came in at the lower end, feeling that “some wonky difficulty and questionable enemy AI spoil some of the design nuances and mean it doesn’t quite hit the heights of Team Ninja’s previous efforts.”

The Mixed

There are far fewer mixed reviews overall. It seems most people were happy to wear Wo Long‘s wider problems because the combat was so enjoyable. However, there were a few for whom it just didn’t quite click. Screen Rant said if “another Team Ninja Soulslike focused on parrying and inventory management sounds like a great time, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will certainly deliver, but a lack of mechanical polish and an inflated inconsistent campaign may be a hard sell to the uninitiated.” Dexerto was among a few outlets that felt that while it “features some interesting new ideas and a stunning new setting, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty fails to live up to the brilliance of Nioh and Nioh 2.” VGC called it “more of a side-step than an evolution from Nioh 2, Wo Long is inventive and an adventure worth taking even if it’s technically suspect on PS5, but won’t live massively long in the memory once you’ve slain your final boss.” TheGamer felt much the same, saying “Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is, at best, a serviceable Souls-like. If you enjoy Nioh and Sekiro, it’s a fun bit of filler, but it’s derivative and bloated, serving as a highlight reel of previous Souls-likes while missing the point of what made its inspirations, and even predecessors, unique to begin with.”

The Negative

And now, a little treat. There are NO negative reviews on Metacritic. Nobody outright hates Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, which I think is about as a good a result as you can hope for from a Soulslike.

So there you go. For From Soft fans looking to fill the void until Elden Ring‘s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC arrives, it seems Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will serve as a fine substitute. Obviously, if you’re not a Soulslike fan, you can probably give this one a miss, but if you’re into the genre, then it seems it’s worth a play.

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