One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, another in the Warriors series of games by Omega Force, is an action game following the famous Anime series. Luffy and the game return in their 3rd Warriors style game, however it starts from the beginning of the anime and merely improves on the early releases. Dishing out punches and sword slashes to hundreds and thousands of troops you will make your way through quite a chunk of the anime, from the East blue, the Grand line and more.
The game has 3 modes to choose from; Story Mode, Free Mode and Dream Log which all take different spins on how to play. Story mode goes through the anime in chronological order and you are forced to the characters inside the episodes. Free Mode allows you to play any episode with any character. Dream Log follows a randomly sorted campaign with bosses and basses on islands you need to defeat to complete, kind of like Empire/Kingdom mode in other Warriors games.
Story Mode starts off with some backstory of Luffy, the main character, telling us about his old friend and the aspirations he has for becoming a pirate. The first mission takes us into saving Zoro the 3-Sword-Style user, with one in his mouth, and kind of forcing him in a way to join our Crew in normal Luffy fashion. From there we get Nami, Usopp, Sanji and even our own ship to sail off into the Great Sea. The story mode covers a wide portion of the anime, cutting out almost all of the filler in favouritism of 1 episode per arc.
Characters don’t change as often as they do in the anime, with Luffy and Nami keeping their outfits for most of the game and only changing once or twice, when in the anime they had quite a few different looks and outfits. Cutscenes are animated for the game, differently than the anime, cutting down on a lot of the long pauses and conversations to get the player back into the game as soon as possible.
The story mode can upwards of 10 hours, depending on difficulty level. Free mode and collectables more than doubles that paly time, with Dream Log being where you’ll spend even more time to conquer the entire ocean. Every character has a skill poster to fill out and acquire, skills to unlock, levelling up the 50 and breaking their caps.
In normal Warriors fashion you take control of a “Hero” or “Main Character” that will take care of most of the enemies on the map. Either through people with special powers like Luffy or normal people like Nami, you will dominate the map with long reaching attacks, special attacks and a new Kizuna rush coop attacks. The majority of gameplay is found in the battle maps you will move between for each episode of the game.
During battle you can press Square and triangle for varying attack combos, with more unlocking as you level up characters, or hold down a button to charge up an attack. Circle is for your Special Attacks, from Gum Gum Rifle from Luffy to Three Thousand Worlds from Zoro, with ranged blasts or up close attacks. Special attacks will be what takes down bosses health and waves of enemies in one hit through using them does use up a bar of your Special gauge.
A new addition to the One Piece Warriors games is Kizuna Rush, a kind of rage meter that builds with any partner character you choose during battle. As you attack, defeat enemies and win objectives you will charge up their gauge to lv 2 and higher, allowing them to attack after any of your combos. When you press R2 with a full gauge you can enter Kizuna mode where both your attacks and partners are increased, along with the ability to bring in up to 3 helpers in your barrage. To end the mode you can press Circle which will combine your special attack and that of the partners for a barrage of 4 possible beam style attacks.
As you play through the game you will level up your characters, increasing their stats, rewarded coins to unlock new moves gauges and increasing stats, unlock skills through their posters, new coins through your rank and objectives from episodes and more. Just by playing you will be achieving something, either through in your face unlocks or in the background changes. Dream Log is one of the best places to do all of this with its increasing difficulties and random bosses to face.
Online mode is mostly restricted to Story and Free Mode’s with the other player taking control of another character in the episode, or any character they have unlocked in free mode. Dream Log seems to lack coop or online support. The online mode itself could of used some more work, as matches take quite a while to find, and they don’t stay open very long, which is great when you are hosting as matches are quick, but when you’re looking it can be quite a race. A bigger lobby or list of available matches would have made this part of the game smoother.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in the game is very close to the music you hear in the anime, which fits the game completely, even when the characters are bawling their eyes out in normal One Piece fashion. Tracks can become a boring loop at times with the longer missions, fading into the background as you bash and explode your way through waves of enemy troops. I kind of wish there were more tracks or a better shuffling mode for in battle as I found myself wanting to turn on PS Spotify to listen to something else.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is yet another solid edition into the Warriors Franchise, fans of the anime should be able to find exactly what they want in this release, all the action with none of the filler. It does cut out some of the better moments of the Anime however it does give off a better feel of progression due to being “sped up”. The characters control pretty different from one another, though similar moves do pop up here and there, but with the big roster it can be hard to make up so many unique move sets. The new Kizuna Rush really adds a new way to battle you way and rewards players for trying out new partners.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 gets a 3.5/5, battles are fun, evolving and engaging however the game does feel a bit repetitive with some of the objectives needing to be done, challenges being hidden at points and a load of background annoyances that can really add up. Multiplayer unlocks as you play meaning it only is viable after you complete it on your own or have people join your game. The Dream Log is great but not much different than other Warrior games side modes and the game seems to be lacking a bit of that Pirate feel with the Warriors style.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.