Wo Long: How Team Ninja’s New Soulslike Differs from Nioh

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While the new trailer for Team Ninja’s highly anticipated Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty features real gameplay for the first time, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Team Ninja’s new Soulsborne title. Most notably, after making two episodes of the Nioh series, the team decided to take a slightly new direction — and we wanted to know how it differs.

IGN sat down with producer Fumihiko Yasuda and development producer Masaaki Yamagiwa to find out how Wo Long differs from the developer’s popular previous series. The most obvious thing that sets Wo Long apart from Team Ninja’s previous efforts is the setting, and it looks like this new location will set Wo Long apart from Nioh in multiple ways.

“Because we were set in China, we were able to create locations on a much larger scale than Nioh, which was set in Japan,” says Yasuda. “Even something like a castle is much bigger than before and the exploration has become more vertical as the player character can jump into Wo Long,” he adds.

While Nioh’s battles were based on ninja skills and samurai swords, Wo Long’s fight is all about Chinese martial arts.

“In terms of gameplay, the biggest difference is the emphasis on speed,” continues Yasuda. “There’s no stamina meter like you had in Nioh, so you’re constantly faced with a multitude of situations where you have to react immediately. You can choose to play more aggressively, but there are also many new ways to dodge enemy attacks.”

The absence of an endurance meter and the faster combat reminded us of FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but Yasuda and Yamagiwa tell us that the increased pace only made sense to them for a game focused on Chinese martial arts.

Yamagiwa says that movements of real Chinese martial arts practitioners were implemented through motion capture, but were adapted to the game’s fictional action.

The absence of an endurance meter and the faster combat reminded us of FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.


The new trailer shows the player character with a wide variety of weapon types, ranging from a spear to a longsword and a double sword. The designs and attack patterns of both the weapons and the attack patterns differ noticeably from each other compared to Nioh’s more grounded action.

“There will be more than 10 weapon types to choose from in the final game,” says Yamagiwa.

System wise, Wo Long’s biggest game changer is arguably the Morale ranking system. In Wo Long, both the player and the enemies have a Morale rank. If the enemy ranks higher than you, it will be more difficult to defeat them. The player can increase his rank by defeating enemies, while dying will result in a relegation. Enemy ranks are also affected by player encounters. Yamagiwa says this new dynamic is a fundamental aspect of Wo Long’s level design.

“New Wizardry spells are unlocked when you reach a higher rank, which act like magic spells,” Yamagiwa tells us. “Divine beasts can also be summoned to aid you in battle,” he continues. “In the trailer you can see the Vermilion Bird being summoned, one of China’s legendary beasts. You will befriend more of these divine beasts as you progress through the story.”

As implied by Bruce Lee’s famous quote “Don’t think, feel”, Chinese martial arts are all about intuition. It seems that Team Ninja is striving to faithfully incorporate that philosophy into Wo Long.

For more information about Wo Long, read our exclusive Summer Game Fest interview.

Esra Krabbe is an editor at IGN Japan.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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