Review – WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition (PC)
When I was younger I was a pretty big fan of the musou games, with their large-scale epic battles and being able to take on armies with relative ease; it was something quite unique at the time. That said, I fell off them over the years for no real reason, even with some solid entries like Samurai Warriors or the apparently excellent Zelda musou spinoffs. Well, with the tightly named Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition randomly ported over to PC from out of freaking nowhere, now is as good as a time as ever to try these games again.
The story throws you right into the thick of it with an enemy called Hydra starting a massive battle. It’s a difficult fight, as the Hydra is unbeatable. You must time travel to then build up your army in past battles in the hopes of defeating this formidable foe and save the world. It’s a pretty cool set-up but hardly the focus of the game. It’s mostly a backdrop to allow you to gather up an army of awesome warriors.
Combat is exactly what would you expect if you’ve ever played a Warriors game before. You play as a super powerful warrior that takes on horde after horde of enemies, with the end goal of crushing the opponent’s army by defeating key players and dominating certain checkpoints on the map. It can be very button-mashy as you take down these hordes of enemies. Most of the (near nonexsisting) strategy comes in selecting your targets and reacting to threats on the map before they trigger a potential game over state.
WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition comes packed with a ton of content, and I do mean a TON. It boasts a ludicrous 145 playable characters, including guests from Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, and even Soul Calibur characters making an appearance. Impressively though, each character feels just different enough for them not to be duplicates. This however means there’s not a lot of depth and the repetition can set in. To combat this, you will bring a team of three into each mission, allowing you to combine attacks and create unique hero loadouts. It’s a lot of fun and that’s all that matters.
Add to that at least 70 different stages across a bunch of different game modes. If you like the gameplay of these games then this is the perfect title for you. If this is your first Warriors game then this could be massively overwhelming at first. Thankfully, the story mode does a decent enough job introducing certain elements, feeding you the roster at a steady pace, whilst also introducing upgrades through the store and bonds between characters. As far as musou games go, this is arguably the most packed of them all.
This version of the game marks Warriors Orochi 3‘s debut on PC. So how does it fair? Well, with Koei Tecmo porting more and more of their library over to Steam, we seem to be getting better ports, with some examples being the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection and Fatal Frame ports being solid (after a couple patches for the later). Warriors Orochi 3 continues this trend with a game that consistently reaches that 60FPS marker without a drop to be seen. Performance is consistent throughout.
However, it’s not perfect, and I did encounter a number of issues. First of all, the game launches in 340p for some reason and it took a couple of attempts before it would save my changes. Also, certain attacks do bring up some visual artefacts, especially whenever I tried to summon some ultimate attacks in order to kill a bunch of enemies at once. I’m not entirely sure why it happens on some characters, but it can be a distracting, but not a game breaking bug. Finally, if you were expecting ultrawide support, it’s not present, but pretty much on par for these ports. You don’t get much in the way of graphic options but it’s a 10 year old game that should run on most modern systems.
It’s also a game that is really starting to show its age… whilst also being a game that was showing its age when it launched. Some examples being short range pop-in, and enemies grouping together weirdly. It’s a bit of a shame there wasn’t much done to tidy things up, but it does the job regardless. It never felt like the franchise left the PS2 era. With that said, the Warriors franchise has never been known for pushing the graphical edge, instead focusing on large scale battles.
Also just receiving my Steam Deck I wanted to have a quick note into my experience. Please note that this is my personal experience with the game on Steam Deck and the game is currently unverified (which will not impact my score). To start, I did initially have an issue launching the game to a black screen, but this was fixed after a Proton update. Once in, however, the game worked, reasonably well but struggled to get to 60fps despite having plenty of GPU/CPU headroom. Overall a playable experience on Deck if you can get over some of these issues, and where I’ve spent most of my time. Just like how musou games are a perfect fit for the Switch, they are a perfect fit for the Steam Deck as well.
If you are a fan of museu games then you probably already have this one on the myriad of consoles it had been ported over the years. However if this is your first time, or you’re looking for some titles for your brand new Steam Deck (where it ended up fitting surprisingly well, glitches aside), then Warriors Orochi 3 provides a solid entry point for the genre. It provides players with dozens upon dozens of hours of content to dig into the button mashing genre of musou. This PC port isn’t perfect, but does its job well enough. Nothing that cannot be patched up later down the line. Keep the PC ports coming, Koei Tecmo.
Warriors Orochi 3 really shows its age and has some distracting visual artefacts on PC. They can be patched be bugs, however.
This is a love it or hate it kind of game. As it happens I really enjoy musou games, so the gameplay ended up being a banger to me.
Pretty standard musou sound design, which is a good thing, but also far from exciting.
Fun Factor: 8.0
Warriors Orochi 3 is packed to the brim with content. Not only that, its shallow but awesome gameplay loop is a perfect fit for a Steam Deck, where the game was also tested on.
Final Verdict: 7.5
WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate is available now on PS3, PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch (Japan only) and PC.
Reviewed on PC with an RTX 2060, Ryzen 5 3600X and 16GB RAM. Also tested on Steam Deck.
A copy of WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition was provided by the publisher.