Overall - 80%
Citadel mode also allows you to build bonds with allies. If you do enough missions with friends, they will unlock new scenes between the characters. They meant very little to me, but if you are into that thing, they are here. I played on the PlayStation 5, and I didn't notice any frame drops despite a ton of troops on the screen at once. I had no crashes or any other bugs either. Overall it seems to be the most technically sound Warriors game in a long while.
After being announced in February, Omega Force and Koei Tecmo’s Samurai Warriors 5 is now here. Is this re-imagining worth checking out, or should you stick to the older entries? Check out our review and find out.
Samurai Warriors 5 Review
Samurai Warriors 5 follows the story of Nobunaga Oda during the Sengoku period of Japan. It is a time of chaos and strife, where warlords have risen up to claim the land as their own. The Oda clan is small, but Nobunaga quickly claims much territory due to his daring and maneuvering. He quickly gains the nickname “The Demon King” and vows to end the chaos by beating every other clan. While the main focus is on Nobunaga, you also get a second campaign with Mitsuhide Akechi.
Akechi begins as sort of a rival to Nobunaga, who eventually joins up with the Oda clan to help rid the land of chaos. Their campaigns take them to separate places, but there are also some crossover levels as well. Beating both will run you past the 20 hour mark, assuming you do all the side missions. While those two are the main focus of the campaign, you can play a bunch of different characters on different levels. You usually get to pick between four or five characters at the start of a level.
Combat in Samurai Warriors 5 is what you’d expect from the series: you hack and you slash. Basic combos into heavy finishers with a special attack tossed in. There isn’t much new here, but the series combat was never really the problem. They have made it quicker to get to enemies, with the triangle attack being a dash attack, which is a welcome addition. On top of that, the air combat is pretty easy to do, taking some cues from the One Piece: Pirate Warriors series. I also noticed some Nioh inspired additions in the spear attacks since I recently played that, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
You can also bring Ultimate Skills and items into combat this time around. The skills are buffs like more attack or defense, weapon skills, dash attacks, and a few other things that just help you keep building your combo. Speaking of combos, I felt this game was more about getting as many hits in as you could as opposed to killing as many as you could. Of course, kills still mattered, but the ranking at the end reflected on your combo meter more than I thought it would. However, it made me keep the fights going longer and I kept trying to get higher and higher combos.
In-between stages, you visit your castle. Don’t get too excited though; it is just a screen. Here you can train your officers, buy new items and weapons, upgrade and sell weapons, buy mounts, and upgrade shops. Upgrading the shops requires materials that you can get in Citadel mode (which we will get to in a moment) and improve your purchases. Upgrading your weapons is a little tricky because they rank up with upgrades. For example, let’s say your character can only use level C Katanas, but you just upgraded to a B Katana. Well, you can’t use that sword until you upgrade your Katana skill to B. Once you get the hang of it, though, it is valuable and straightforward.
Citadel Mode is the other primary mode of Samurai Warriors 5. The mode is more of a base defense mode than a rush-in-and-kill-the-enemy-general mode. You need to defend your camp from the rush of enemies as they spawn. During this, you can place troops of your own and do missions to get aid from AI generals. You can play as any character you have unlocked, and experience and gold earned here count towards the main campaigns. You also earn materials to upgrade your shops and can sometimes get new mounts if you do well enough. You don’t have to do it to beat the campaign, but it is a fun mode to get a break from the campaign.
Citadel mode also allows you to build bonds with allies. If you do enough missions with friends, they will unlock new scenes between the characters. They meant very little to me, but if you are into that thing, they are here. I played on the PlayStation 5, and I didn’t notice any frame drops despite a ton of troops on the screen at once. I had no crashes or any other bugs either. Overall it seems to be the most technically sound Warriors game in a long while.
While Samurai Warriors 5 doesn’t break from the mold, it does help get the Warriors series back on track after Dynasty Warriors 9. Fans of hack and slash or past Musou games should check it out.
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