Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty‘s first expansion, Battle of Zhongyuan, was a by-the-numbers affair. It demonstrated why Team Ninja’s motion sport excelled whereas additionally not addressing its faults. Conqueror of Jiangdong, the second DLC, is in an identical boat and has a handful of unbelievable and difficult boss fights. However whereas its positives are nonetheless evident, this follow-up growth additionally extra clearly factors out Wo Long’s shortcomings.
Nioh had essentially the most primary and easy DLC. Its expansions added new story ranges, a weapon, spells, extra gear, a…
Wo Long remains to be — and can doubtless at all times be — a unbelievable motion sport with clean controls. Melee bouts are quick, and deflecting blows is a responsive central mechanic that may greater than help the whole sport. Unlike Lies of P, the window is a bit of on the large facet, however this permits gamers to really feel extra highly effective with out requiring perfection. Utilizing the stamina-like Spirit Meter intelligently (which this replace has additionally buffed) is an easy-to-grasp mechanic that yields extra depth with out overcomplicating all of it.
There simply aren’t many new enemies to train these fight skills on. Its lobster creatures are each foolish and an excellent addition to the bestiary, however there’s not a lot else in addition to that; even the degrees themselves don’t stand out from what Crew Ninja has already created. Conqueror of Jiangdong’s handful of levels has the everyday jungles and wet shipyards which are additionally within the base expertise. Nioh 2’s DLC improved over time by going increasingly fantastical so as to stand proud of the bottom sport, but those self same ideas haven’t been utilized to Wo Long.
The brand new boss fights fare a bit of higher however are unnecessarily hamstrung. As is the case with virtually each different a part of Wo Long, these climactic showdowns are held again by the pleasant AI. They both make battles laughably simple or create an excessive amount of chaos and artificially crank up the problem. Whereas they’re doubtless meant to dial down the general degree of problem and create a extra distinctive expertise, they only make Wo Long worse.
Nevertheless, these showdowns are nonetheless sensible at their core, and that is solely evident if gamers exit of the best way to dismiss the AI or play the facet missions that strip away companions. This enables gamers to truly be taught patterns and persist by ability, not luck. Each one among these bosses is excellently designed and has a ton of strikes that require speedy reflexes to deflect, so it’s disappointing that these higher battles can solely shine in non-compulsory quests. The final boss doesn’t get its personal facet mission, although, and is among the hardest and most rewarding fights in the entire sport. Though, that’s solely evident after dismissing each dumb allies which are simply liabilities sporting armor.
Pleasant characters diminishing Wo Long’s fight was an issue within the unique marketing campaign however is much more prevalent and annoying right here. Any irritation like that’s solely going to compound if it retains occurring, and this DLC has given it that area.
This holds true for Wo Long’s different annoyances, like its simple issue and infinite provide of ineffective gear. Conqueror of Jiangdong isn’t a lot of a problem, particularly for anybody who has completely mined the remainder of the sport. These comparatively easygoing ranges make the ultimate boss much more stunning because the issue spike is so ludicrously sudden and steep. There’s additionally a brand new characteristic that robotically sells armor, weapons, or equipment beneath a sure threshold when resting at a battle flag (which is useful), however it doesn’t handle the underlying downside of how bloated its gear system is.
The one new notable piece of kit is the brand new weapon: the lengthy sword. It’s terribly defined within the temporary tutorial pop-up, however it’s an fascinating blade that’s constructed round charging assaults. Charging doesn’t go away gamers completely weak, both, because it’s nonetheless potential to deflect incoming blows whereas focusing. Parrying whereas charging builds energy even sooner, so it incentivizes and rewards expert play and those that are keen to threat taking part in offense and protection on the identical time. As was the case with the cestus gauntlets in Battle of Zhongyuan, Crew Ninja has repeatedly proven its knack for creating distinctive weapons that may change how the sport is performed.
Wo Long: Conqueror of Jiangdong DLC Review: Ultimate Verdict
Crew Ninja nonetheless can’t inform tales, although, as Conqueror of Jiangdong’s cutscenes are nonsensical and haphazardly stitched collectively to justify going to every degree. And whereas the plot doesn’t matter right here, it’s one more instance of how the studio is treading water with Conqueror of Jiangdong. This sophomore growth consists of some wonderful boss fights, however ones which are nonetheless sullied by unhelpful allies and relegated to facet missions. These hiccups sit on high of the sport’s small pile of issues that’s slowly rising because the DLC rolls out. Wo Long remains to be a high quality motion sport and Conqueror of Jiangdong is a reminder of that, however it additionally factors out — and magnifies — its weaknesses.
Boss fights are difficult and various
The lengthy sword is a novel addition to the sport’s arsen
Allies nonetheless throw off the sport’s rhythm
Huge issue spike highlights how simple non-boss fights are
Disclaimer: This Wo Long: Conqueror of Jiangdong DLC assessment relies on a PS5 copy offered by the writer. Performed on model 1.018.000.