When it comes to the world of Shonen manga, there is no such thing as boundaries. And One Piece is the very definition of that thought. From the iconic characters of every shape and sizes to the over-the-top quirks and abilities that they possess. Even after hundreds and thousands of pages later, it’s still hard to grasp what the next character would be like or how their abilities would shape up the next big scenes of its universe.
Enter One Piece Pirate Warriors 4, a game that takes advantage of the very characters that shaped the franchise and mash them all up into one jam-packed musou game that becomes a bloody good excuse to have them all fight each other in epic grandiose battles across a vast array of One Piece’s best moments. But while it does provide such a large scope from its grandest and awe-inspiring adventures, it comes with the drawback of not giving its newcomers the chance to fully grasp what makes the source material great in the first place. Although I won’t suggest you watch the over 900-episode long anime or read the manga that is nearly breaking the thousand-chapter mark before taking part in this game. No! That would simply be absurd at this point.
To fans of the series, it’s a game that can be fully appreciated as they relive the best moments that One Piece has to offer but to others, it simply doesn’t have the same effect and it’s something that players have to take into consideration. So if you’re here to get an idea of what One Piece is about, it simply doesn’t do it enough justice to warrant a purchase but if you’re here to simply partake in the epic battles, feel free to experience a great game that delivers just that and more.
What makes One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 an impressive experience in the first place is also due to how loosely the story is spread. From the early points of the manga to the more recent and original content, it gives each character some flavour and you experience how they develop into the gameplay experience. Thanks to the expansive growth map of the game, a character can learn new moves and get stronger as you progress through their shared and exclusive trees. Its freedom towards that very aspect is what makes each and every quest feel unique despite using the very same characters over and over again. You always find something new to discover… you can mix and match what skills and abilities you want your character to bring to the table and it’s what makes the game really fun even after a couple of hours into it.
It’s also worth noting that characters doesn’t operate the same due to the four types of play styles that ranges from Power, Speed, Technique and Sky. While you can power through everything with Luffy and his devastating gum-gum moves, a character like Usopp would feel much more at home with mastering the technique to pull off combos such as placing bombs or littering the field with ignitable puddles before raining down with flame attacks. On the other hand a character like Crocodile would be more effective with raining down a flurry of attacks from the sky.
Despite the combat being very basic with a mix of light, heavy and special attacks, the kind of play styles a character brings aside from having their own mix of combos really deepens the entire experience ever so slightly from the button-mashy musou game we all know and love. And with the kind of flair that the cast of One Piece brings, it’s also a worth mentioning that there is never a dull moment when decimating a horde of trash mobs with the jaw-dropping flashy moves that Shōnen characters are known for.
But other than its story mode, the game also includes a free log that allows you to play the story arcs with any of your unlocked characters or play with original levels as you progress. The fun thing about the game is that it allows you to play with other players online whether you’re doing the story or the other two modes. But what’s sad here is that while you can technically play any level with someone, the matchmaking is rather inadequate. The game requires you to recruit or join from the quest selection screen so it becomes a disastrous turn of events when no such players are on the quest selected in the first place. It’s something that is best left alone without a friend to play with.
However, I am quite fond of One Piece’s environment and map designs. While it starts out very basic with the city and desert areas, it grows and expands into vast and dense forests or chilly ice-capped landscapes. It’s these kinds of visual changes which makes the game much more than just about the epic fights but also a marvel to behold for the eyes when one quest brings you from one gorgeous area while another drops you into a completely different setting. It never feels monotonous with the kind of world that One Piece has and it’s that one thing that really pulls me back time and time again.
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 delivers an impressive musou experience that has both a certain level of depth while still being just blatantly fun. It can be mindlessly button-mashy at times but there is a certain level of challenge that the game brings to the table. In almost every aspect of the game it provides some great quality with its combat, progression and overall visual delivery. While it does have a very loose and jumpy story aside from some awkward camera controls and lacklustre multiplayer options, it doesn’t change the fact that the game still offers some great fun that just about anyone can enjoy.
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 Is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC
The Game is Developed by Koei Tecmo and Omega Force and published by Bandai Namco
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One Piece Pirate Warriors 4
The PIRATE WARRIORS series has successfully combined the popular anime ONE PIECE with the thrilling action of the WARRIORS series to create a worldwide phenomenon selling more than four million copies!
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 49.99
Product In Stock: Not Available