Samurai Warriors 5 is the perfect game for those who want to experience the 1 vs 1,000 genres for the first time, or for those like myself who want to get back into it. The last time I played a hack ‘n slash game of this variety was Dynasty Warriors 6 for the PSP and I had an absolute blast with it. The only question on my mind though was if I’d have the same feeling and experience I did 14 years ago, or would it even be something greater?
When thinking about the story I was concerned about being lost at first due to playing the 5th game in the Samurai Warriors series, but I’m glad to say that the story is all new and fresh and I’ve understood everything that was going on without needing to know the events that had taken place in the past games. Everything takes place during the Sengoku period in Japan where there are power struggles over hierarchies and social orders between different influential leaders across the country. Throughout the story, you will primarily play as Nobunaga Oda, who is known as “Owari’s Great Fool” due to his reckless actions and cocky attitude, and Mitsuhide Akechi, a faithful and loyal commander of the Saito family who wants to learn the limits of his power. Together they both plan to restore balance throughout Japan. The one thing that I do admire about Samurai Warriors 5 is that everything is essentially locked behind the story, the multiplayer, Citadel Mode, Upgrading/buying/ selling weapons, etc. It pretty much walks you throughout the whole first act of the game to make sure that you have all of the mechanics down-packed, which I thought was helpful being a “new” player to the franchise.
Gameplay-wise it’s nonstop action around every turn. Samurai Warriors 5 is a 1 vs 1,000 type of game, meaning everywhere you look, you’ll constantly be running into an almost endless pool of enemies. With that being said of course you’ll have different methods of going about defeating them. Throughout your playthrough for each character you play, you will have a chance to level up stats, unlock different combos that you can use in battle, and different flashy skills to give yourself the upper hand on enemies. Along with all of this each character has their own set of Ultimate Skills. Ultimate =Skills are powerful skills that can be used during battle and can either instantly shred through and obliterate a massive sea of enemies, or do heavy damage on different enemy commanders. Every character is able to equip up to four types of Ultimate Skills at any one time. Some of my favorite Ultimate Skills have been the ones that either grant a major attack boost and the Avalanche, which allows you to thrust your weapon on the ground to create a shockwave that stuns enemies and commanders. As you also defeat enemies you also build up your hyper attack meter which boosts your attack speed and movement speed during battle allowing you to defeat more enemies at once. If I had to describe the gameplay as a whole I’d say it felt smooth as a hot knife going through butter. Everything just felt right and it never lost my attention as I kept unlocking new abilities and different button combos to use. Plus I also unlocked new characters to use and try out so everything always felt fresh to me. There are over 27 playable characters so you’re bound to find a couple that feel right to you.
Throughout the story, you’ll also be able to buy and sell weapons as well as upgrade them. Each weapon that you pick up or buy will have a tier level next to them indicating how good they are in battle. Weapons also have different perks on them such as chances to freeze enemies or set them on fire. The one feature that I like is that when you sell weapons with perks on them not only do you get money but you also are allowed to keep the perk that was attached.
Regarding the online mode you go through different scenarios with one other player and in general, I thought it was a pretty decent addition. I felt that it really didn’t add or take away from the whole experience though.
The art is absolutely beautiful and adds to the aesthetic of the game. All of the colors are used to fit with the surroundings and the scenery of the game whether you’re in a luscious field full of color or a hectic battlefield full of dark and depressing colors. The soundtrack adds to this its upbeat tempo and beautiful choreography.
Samurai Warriors 5 is definitely for veterans and for those who want to see what all the hype is about for the franchise. There’s a lot to accomplish throughout the title and many different combinations and play styles to choose from. So why not jump in and find one that’s right for you.Become a Patron!
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.