Samurai Warriors 4-II is a revised version of 4 that came out back in October last year, developed by Omega Force and published by Tecmo Koei like almost all the others. Promising more effective attacks, more dynamic AI, improved skill level up system and some other minor edits this is said to be the “Perfect Version” of the title. Although, with such a little gap between the versions is there really a point to get this one?
With over 13 different campaigns and around 5 battles per campaign, the story mode of SW4-II focuses not on singular characters but families and groups of friends. Similarly to other games in the Warrior Series you will choose a campaign and see the game from their perspective, with battles ending differently depending on who you are playing. There are no choices in this game, you simply have to wage war on the battlefield and watch 2 cutscenes that show the aftermath.
Taking place after Oda Nobunaga’s fall the land is again in a sort of turmoil as warring nations are trying to keep their lands and people safe, while others are using the confusion to make a name for themselves. Commanders are leaving armies that surrender and work with other countries in the hopes they can earn glory and honour for their family name.
There are a few “new” characters in this game, showing off a bigger view of people’s families and friends in the universe as well as how people met. The story is rushed along quite quickly, with only 5 missions it doesn’t exactly leave much time for character development, so at one point you will have an arrow pointed at your head and one cutscene later you will married to that woman.
All the different campaigns in Story Mode will last you up to 40 hours, with Free Mode adding in replayability to those levels with the ability to choose any character you want. Survival mode can add in countless hours as you traverse an almost endless Tower of increasingly difficult enemies in return for gold and items. With different difficulties, side objectives, free-mode and collectables there is quite a lot to accomplish in this game, easily hitting 100 hours in game time.
If you have played a Warrior’s game before you will know how to play this one, Square to normal attack, Triangle for a strong attack that dashes a lot more to hit several enemies at once, Circle for your Musou special attack. R1 contains your characters specific attack, either transferring Musou to rage or enchanting your blades with elements. Similar to the Recent One Piece game you can also select a partner for each battle, with whom you can control when they traverse the battlefield, give them orders or link up for combined Musou attacks.
There isn’t much change from other games in this release, parrying is done slightly different with Quick Time Event’s popping above enemy heads for you to press the corresponding button to stop their attack and strike back at them. Rage has been used before and increases your damage, slows down time and allows you to do a bigger and more powerful Musou attack.
As you play a character they will gain XP, levelling them up as well as increasing their Stats, from attack damage and Musou gauge to health and defence. You can also pick up weapon containers to unlock new weapons to use or fuse for your different characters to use. Gold is also obtained when completing objectives or from boxes which you spend in the shop for upgrading weapons or buying Strategy Tomes, the game’s version of Skill points.
Again you can create your own character using clothing, skills and weapons from any of the characters in the actual game that you have unlocked. It feels a bit more lacklustre then the earlier Dynasty Warrior game of this year with fewer choices, though it fits more in an Empire game then a core release. Your character doesn’t have as much weight to it when you can only really use them in Survival mode, or Free-Mode as they don’t have many lines to use or choices to make, leaving them incredibly non-unique.
Overall thoughts and feelings
Bringing in Character creation, customisation and online mode to a game that really needed something to set it apart, this version definitely feels fuller. However it isn’t enough to warrant a purchase over the older games. I felt as if I was just playing Samurai Warriors or Dynasty Warriors games of yesteryear with a few more enemies on screen and slightly better graphics. There is still a lack of English Voice acting which is sorely needed for a tactical game when people are shouting orders at you or asking for help as you can miss the text so easily in the heat of battle.
Samurai Warriors 4-II gets a 3/5, it is a well-rounded game without many bugs or gameplay annoyances but it doesn’t bring anything new to the franchise. The story mode felt uninspired as well as boring for the most part, rehashing a load of earlier stories with different faces. The family and friends angle changed the way the story progressed, not giving us enough focus on characters making them very look very one-sided. My advice would be to wait for the Empires edition of the game to come out as I believe that will have a lot more in it for the player to enjoy.
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.