Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty has been confirmed for a PS5 and PS4 release in 2023, but the game's debut trailer doesn't really tell us much. We know that it's an action game and that it's set in feudal, Three Kingdoms-era China, but aside from that, we're all waiting on actual gameplay.
Thankfully, developer Team Ninja has been happy to share a few key details on its latest project. In an interview with IGN, producer Fumihiko Yasuda and development producer Masaaki Yamagiwa reveal that Wo Long is indeed a Soulslike action title.
"Making it a challenging game was something we had decided from the beginning. With all the legendary heroes of the Three Kingdoms period, it can come across as somewhat campy, but in reality it was a time of war and devastation. It was a dark period in which people were constantly fighting, which is a great match for a Soulslike game," Yasuda explains.
Yasuda goes on to say that Wo Long is going to be especially difficult, which might end up being a divisive stance depending on your tolerance for particularly challenging games: "There’s no doubt this will be an extremely challenging and demanding game, but we’ve come up with new ways to approach that difficulty. In that regard, players can look forward to a type of satisfaction that wasn’t present in earlier Team Ninja titles."
Still, this is clearly a passion project for Team Ninja. The devs talk about their interest in the Three Kingdoms period — a time when China was carved into pieces by warring nations — and their desire to build on previous Team Ninja property Nioh.
However, unlike Nioh, Wo Long won't have loads of loot, and unlike the recently released Elden Ring, it won't be open world. Team Ninja says that the game will take place across set levels. "At its core Wo Long is a linear structured game just as Nioh was. With Soulslike games becoming more and more popular, this kind of design gives Team Ninja an opportunity to display what we do best," Yasuda says.
The studio's also keen to show its flair for creating great combat systems. Wo Long will unsurprisingly utilise Chinese martial arts, and will apparently focus on graceful movements. Yasuda explains: "We wanted flowing combat in which you seamlessly switch between offense and defence. The action is speedier than Nioh, and you can do things such as jump into an enemy and then launch over them. That being said, we did want to maintain that feeling of being in control of an actual human being, so there won’t be too many flashy jumps or wire action. In that sense I guess you could say it is more down to earth.” Nioh was already quite speedy, so it'll be interesting to see just how fast Wo Long is.
As for the main character, they're yours to create — just like in Nioh 2. "In Soulslike games, you’re always tackling a difficult challenge, so you’ll naturally want a character you can project yourself into. There’s no better way to do that than by creating your own character," says Yamagiwa.
Oh, and Wo Long is apparently Chinese for 'crouching dragon' — so that's that cleared up!
We can't wait to see this one in action, but are you liking the sounds of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty? Draw your blade in the comments section below.