During Xbox’s TGS 2022 panel today, Team Ninja of Koei Tecmo discussed the upcoming Han-era game, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. Two of the developers showed up to discuss how obsessed the development team were with the controls being tight, why they chose not to make a particular protagonist, as well as the difficulty of the game itself.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an exciting game from Koei Tecmo, and it all came about as they were considering the future of Nioh as a franchise, and how they could do something that wasn’t in Sengoku-era Japan.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty developers give further details concerning the upcoming title
One of the developers stated that they have a deep fondness for the Three Kingdoms era heroes in ancient China. It was a time of turbulence and chaos, and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games is a franchise that Koei Tecmo is well-known for focusing on. With that in mind, they began to consider how to make a Souslike set in the Later Han-era.
Team Ninja decided that a good concept for the game would be to focus on Chinese martial arts, various Chinese myths and legends, and the unique art of the Han Dynasty. The martial arts and combat styles attributed to that era have a style that would be an enjoyable experience in a Soulslike or action RPG.
Since it’s not a Historic game, they can use a darker world and have powerful, otherworldly enemies for the protagonist to fight. The developers stated that they wanted to accurately depict the chaos of the Three Kingdoms era, and their time at Koei Tecmo definitely helped with that.
This was combined with their experience of creating darker games alongside Team Ninja to create something unique. The Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty developers stated that the speed and fluidity of Chinese martial arts are key to the game.
Attackers and defenders constantly move and change positions throughout combat, making it a very action-focused game. They want to combine the feelings of tension and excitement, and that obviously requires good control settings. The team is obsessed with making the controls as sharp and responsive as possible. They also spoke about having a protagonist, or the lack thereof.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will have a character creation suite, instead of having an actual protagonist. This allows the players to immerse themselves in the experience, creating a look that suits them, instead of being locked behind what one general would look and act like.
It also makes online play more interesting, as most players will have starkly different character designs, making things look far more varied. Though there are advantages and disadvantages to having a specific protagonist, they decided not to go that route.
After all, it is based on historic moments. Not having a protagonist means that the player can visit more interesting places and perform more actions without being bound to the chains of history. If players controlled Liu Bei, for instance, they would not be free to simply roam the land at will.
It will also allow the developers to accurately tell the stories of the various generals of the Three Kingdoms era. At the end of the day though, this is also going to be a Soulslike game. The developers do not use that term, but it will be difficult without it being unfair.
It’s a game that will require trial and error, but it will not be overly difficult. That’s a hallmark of the Soulslike genre, and they want the game to feel difficult, but also rewarding. The Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty developers revealed that there will be five different play styles for players to try out at the TGS 2022 venue.
Finally, they teased a gameplay mechanic, the morale system. Keeping morale high on the battlefield is of great importance, and something that players must do in battle. From taking on the strongest opponents to receive huge morale boosts or keeping things slow and steady, this is a decision left up to the players themselves.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will also have an official live broadcast during TGS on September 16, 2022. The game currently has no release date, other than the information that it will come out sometime in 2023 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.