That’s a weird naming convention.
There are so many Warriors games on the market, it quickly becomes impossible to keep track of them all. So when KOEI Tecmo throws something like Samurai Warriors 4-II into the mix, I don’t even know where to begin. Not a sequel to Samurai Warriors 4, but also not an expanded or enhanced edition, this feels more like a different take on the game. It borrows some things and removes others. It is confusing, but that doesn’t change the fact that the team at Omega Force continue to hone their craft; 4-II is just as good, and in some ways better, than its (?) predecessor.
So what’s different?
Well for starters, the main campaign now focuses on individual characters as opposed to entire clans. This gives a more personal motive to the characters, but honestly it is hard to follow without some knowledge of the era. The cut scenes are well done and there are plenty of reasons to come back for more. There are a dozen campaigns to play through, although by the end of that, fatigue can definitely set in.
Platforms: PS4, PS3, PC, Vita
Price I’d Pay: $39.99
In addition to the campaign, which is standard musou fare, there are other modes to keep players occupied. Gold Rush mode for example tasks players with collecting as much money from enemies as possible. Time attack also returns and is pretty self-explanatory.
The most notable addition to 4-II is Survival Mode. While it sounds simple, and truthfully it is, this mode offers up an addictive challenge. It pits players in a castle where each floor hosts objectives that must be completed to move on. These range from defeating tons of enemies, to taking out specific captains. Each level completed also awards bonuses, making each area a new adventure. This combined with story mode make the package well worth investing time in.
Sadly 4-II doesn’t feel as complete as Samurai Warriors 4. I am not sure why Omega Force feels the need to pump these out at this pace. It feels like that team is made up of infinite staff. It seems a new musou game is released every week. In fact right now I am reviewing two games from the developer in the same week. That is kind of insane.
This is still a musou game at its core, so combat focuses around the combo system players have grown accustomed to. The big change is the way weapons are upgraded. They are now fused with each other, creating more powerful weapons. Horses can also be fused, which sounds weird. This system is a lot more intuitive than previous games, making progression feel a lot more streamlined in the process.
Visually the game looks impressive. A lot of the performance issues from the original Samurai Warriors 4 have been cleaned up, especially in indoor areas. Enemies still share animations and the typical Warriors hang-ups remain, but on the whole the game looks and performs a lot better than its predecessors.
Samurai Warriors 4-II is a weird step in the series. It isn’t a typical remake or sequel, and it would almost benefit if it didn’t carry the numbered moniker, even if it does share a lot in common with the previous game. Still, it is yet another solid entry in the series. Omega Force has become a machine at crafting these, and for those not yet tired of the setting, there is still a copious amount of fun to be had here.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.