I recently had the pleasure of getting my hands on Warriors All-Stars from the guys at Koei Tecmo. Warriors All-Stars is the next Warriors game to be release on August 29th 2017. It’s your traditional hack and slash game that you would expect from the Warriors series with a twist. This time it features a wide array of characters taken from various titles owned by the company. During the preview I picked Arnice as my character which is the main character from the Nights of Azure game.
So the story for Warrior All-Star is a kingdom that relies on magical springs to sustain themselves suddenly face trouble when they being to wither, if this isn’t bad enough they also lose their king. The priestess of the spring informs her children Tamaki and Shiki as well as her nephew Setsuna that the springs must be restored and the only way of doing this is by using the power of otherworldly Heroes. When Tamaki attempts to summon the heroes it goes horribly wrong and the heroes are scattered throughout the land. Tamaki, Shiki and Setsuna proceed to recruit the various heroes to their cause in a race to restore the springs and claim the throne.
When the game first loaded I was graced with a cut scene that briefly describes the story for the game and shows off some of the fox-like people, once it had finished I got the chance to pick my character. From what I saw of the character roster I have to say I was impressed and at the same time surprised to see which characters were making an appearance in the game and I was excited to see how they would all bounce off each other.
With Arnice I had a little dialogue cut scene before it gave me the option to play a tutorial level which I wasn’t going to turn down as I wanted to see what mechanics this game had introduced. So when in a level if you select the options button you have a little menu that’s made up of Hero Info, Hero Skills and Regard Info. Your hero information displays info about your hero and actions flows which are combo guides. Hero skills show there heath, attack, defence and experience. Regard info shows all your unlocked abilities and dialogue between characters that you have a better relationship with in the party. You can get Hero Cards that give you new abilities and boost your stats in battle. These are collected at the end of a level and can be equipped to Heroes.
Gameplay wise it’s your stand warriors control scheme, with square being your light attack, triangle heavy attack, cross to jump and circle to perform your Musou attack (special) when you have filled up the gauge. L2 locks onto big enemies, these enemies have a level and depending on your level compared to its, you could be in for a hard battle. It’s wise to make sure that you’re around the same level or are the same level before tackling these enemies, well it depend on if you want a challenge. By hitting R1 you get to see one of the new features that’s present in the game. It allows you to access your Hero Skills. Each hero in the party has their own unique skills and can be called upon during combat to unleash it. The max party size in the game is four so overall you will have five members including yourself. R3 is your Musou rush, kill as many enemies as you can in the time scale provided to unleash a devastating attack. The more enemies you kill the more allies will appear on the screen to cheer you on, once the timer ends all the heroes that you got will do an attack together. If you kill enemies quick enough you can get more time which in turn will allow you to get all the allies available. Another new feature is that if you press a DPad directions that has an ally allocated to it you will be allowed to have that Hero fight alongside you for a short period of time. You can have a max of 4 allies fighting alongside you and whichever Hero you called upon last will let you briefly use them, you can even use their Musou Attack and so on. If you have a better relationship with your allies the cool down period on this will be quicker. I also got told that if you have the right allies in your party that you’ll be able to perform Hero Chains, I didn’t have the chance to perform one but was told that they allow the player to link multiple Warriors together to do powerful attack.
The World map is where you progress through the story by navigating through the world and selecting varies mission types. Then once you are in a mission it plays out like a normal Warriors game in a sense of your given an objective and you have to complete it. You will have lots of different mission types available to you, to name a few you have Key Battles; these are the main story missions, Hero Battles: these allow you to discover new companies and Dramatics Battle: battle that involve combat between Heroes. Some of the missions you see on the world map have a little timer and if you don’t select them in time are lost forever. These are normally mission to get more treasure or experience, so not game changing if you miss them. I had the chance to play a quick Hero Battle, it was to recruit Plachta. It was simple to do and allowed me to be able to use her in my party once I had complete the mission. It was a nice change from just having to do story driven missions.
The soundtrack for the game is really good and fans of Koei games will love it even more as it is made up of soundtrack from the main games as well as remixed versions. Levels are also based off of environments from the games that the characters are from.
The game has a general hub area, I didn’t really get to spend a lot of time in there as the preview was timed and in the early stages of the game there isn’t much to do. It’s made up of a Tavern, Inn, Refinery, Training grounds and a command room. The Tavern lets you strength you relationships with character that you have unlocked as well as learn more about them. The Inn works in a similar way but only certain character will show up in the Inn and the same with the Tavern but the Inn has a Hot Spring which when visited allows further bonding between characters. The refinery allows you to enhance, sell or create new cards for your Heroes. Enhancing cards is a big deal as you can unlock unique abilities and attributes that can’t be found on the battlefield. The Training grounds provides you with a place to level up your allies. You will have to us gold to do so but is very useful to do if want some quick levels. Then we finally have the Command room, where you can find side missions for allies and also go to the world map to access more of the main story.
The time that I spent playing the game I can definitely say it’s one that I will be picking up. The familiar gameplay that we love from the Warriors series and the new added features that just make you even more overpowered really suit the game and it was really nice seeing all the character from different series come together. There wasn’t any issue with frame rate or lagging due to how many enemies there were and I found myself just ploughing through hordes of enemies and unleashing Arnices’ Musou attack. I’m only hoping that the full game will bring me as much fun and hack and slash madness as the preview did. I’m also looking forward to making the ultimate party, who knows, maybe it will be Arnice, Plachta, William, Zhou Cang, Lu-Bu and Nobunyaga Oda? Any Warriors fan should keep their calendars free because you’ll have hours upon hours of fun with this game, if your new to the Warrior series or want a good hack and slash game Warrior All-Stars might be the best starting point because it offer a wide range of characters each with their own play style. The only negatives were that it was a timed preview so I couldn’t get my hands on much of the game and that there was a lot of reading to do as most of the cut scenes were heavily dialogue, though that is what we expect with these games.