WARRIORS OROCHI 4 ULTIMATE / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: KOEI TECMO / PLATFORM: PC, PS4 (REVIEWED), SWITCH, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Warriors games have been around since the late 90s, taking hack and slash combat to the extreme with battlefields full of literally thousands of enemies just waiting to be chopped down to size by a gigantic cast of playable characters. We've spent time in the Three Kingdoms era of China with Dynasty Warriors and travelled to the Sengoku period of Japanese history in Samurai Warriors, and now Warriors Orochi 4 combines the two in an alternate universe where various factions from Chinese and Japanese history join forces to fight through an insane storyline involving an all-consuming battle with the Greek Gods...
So many Warriors games have been released that, by now, chances are by now you'll already know if Orochi 4 is going to be up your street or not. For the uninitiated, you control a band of warriors (here you're in charge of a party of three, with four more AI-controlled fighters in supporting roles) as you race around a battlefield taking down literally thousands of enemy soldiers and commanders. Each character has their own unique weapon, combos, over the top magical abilities and musou attacks (devastating crowd-clearing strikes), and every playable character's abilities can be upgraded as the game progresses. New characters unlock after pretty much every battle, eventually leaving players with an immense roster of almost 180 to choose from. Trying them all out is just part of the fun and, with so many characters, you'll certainly find plenty that fit your style perfectly.
Originally released at the end of 2018, Orochi 4 Ultimate adds a hefty amount of new content for late-game (level 50 and above) players (owners of the base game can download the Ultimate update on its own, or the whole thing is available as a bundle for newcomers). There are new side missions that fill in some gaps in the main story (if you're even able to keep up with the story, that is - it really is quite bonkers), brand new characters and weapons to unlock, some additional trials to play through in the game's Challenge Mode, and an all-new Infinity Mode where randomised towers can be tackled to earn weapon upgrade materials and - yes! - even more new characters.
For our money, Hyrule Warriors is the greatest game of this kind, but Warriors Orochi 4 really does come very close. Go in expecting some crazy, flashy, over the top, ridiculous fun, and you won't be disappointed.