Spirits are likely high at Team Ninja. The developer behind the Ninja Gaiden and Nioh games launched Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty today, and the new Soulslike action RPG appears to be a hit with players, having achieved a peak of nearly 76,000 concurrent players on Steam already, according to numbers from SteamDB, including being fourth in Steam’s top-sellers list at the time of this posting. That said, the PC port of Wo Long appears to be far from perfect, having launched with poor-feeling mouse controls and odd settings for a PC game (e.g., target performance or graphics), oversights that probably led to its current Mostly Negative rating on Steam despite positive reception from critics.
From a Steam description:
A new dark fantasy Three Kingdoms action RPG from Team NINJA, the developers of Nioh.
184 AD, Later Han Dynasty China. The land is overcome by chaos and destruction. The imperial dynasty that prospered for many years is now about to collapse.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a dramatic, action-packed story of a nameless militia soldier fighting for survival in a dark fantasy version of the Later Han Dynasty where demons plague the Three Kingdoms. Players fight off deadly creatures and enemy soldiers using swordplay based on the Chinese martial arts, attempting to overcome the odds by awakening the true power from within.
Wo Long refers to a crouching dragon, and also refers to a hero or person of greatness who is not yet known. This is the story of officers, who will later become heroes, during their ‘unknown’ period, and also the story of a protagonist’s rise from being a ‘nobody’.
From a Metacritic review roundup:
Jeuxvideo.com (85): After Nioh, Team Ninja once again proves its great mastery of action-RPG with Wo Long Fallen Dynasty. Admittedly, the copy is not perfect (bestiary not provided enough, rather disappointing endgame, side missions which take up areas already visited) but the gameplay is so solid that we are ready to excuse almost everything! Here, it’s all about parry, martial arts and spells, in a novel approach for the genre. Most of the atmospheres are successful, there is plenty to choose your path as a warrior and everything is even more accessible than the studio’s Japanese Souls-like. An excellent pickaxe.
Gamespot (80): Its parry-based combat is frequently stellar, and Team Ninja has made a number of smart changes to keep Wo Long feeling fresh, even if there’s always a tinge of familiarity. It has its issues, but if you’re craving a fast-paced action RPG built on satisfying combat, Wo Long ticks most of the right boxes.
IGN Japan (80): Taking its cues from Nioh and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty boasts a number of challenging mechanics. The simple yet profound Kisei system and the Morale Rank system are innovative features, and the sheer speed of the combat is addictive. However, while the fundamentals of Wo Long are excellently made, it suffers from a number of problems both large and small, including an unwieldy UI, a one-dimensional story, and a lack of variety in both melee attacks and enemy types. If developer Team Ninja’s Nioh series is anything to go by, it’s possible that many of these problems will be resolved in future updates and DLC. For now, at least, Wo Long is a highly enjoyable game that falls just short of hitting the next level.