Koei has announced a sequel to Warriors Orochi is coming to PS2 and Xbox 360 this autumn.
The first game, you may recall, saw the Serpent King Orochi kidnapping both the dynasty warriors and samurai warriors, who ultimately defeated him. Warriors Orochi 2 follows the adventures of a new group of fighters as they attempt to stop him making a comeback.
It'll feature several storylines, including ones set in the kingdoms of Wu, Wei and Shu and one which will reveal some of the Serpent King's secrets. There's also a Dream mode that'll have a separate plot.
If you're going to play Serious Sam, Croteam's riotous PC/Xbox FPS, through to completion, it's hardly going to leave you with any thorny existential questions to ponder. It's a game that's giddying in its simplicity. Several billion (well, many dozen) enemies spawn and charge/shoot at you, and you shoot back at them, endlessly circle-strafing and pumping the trigger in a gloriously dumb haze of gunfire and death yelps. And that's it, over and over, for the entire game. Zero subtlety. Minimal variation. On paper, it's deafeningly flat. It's the action-hero equivalent of LOLspeak. So, if you play Serious Sam through to completion, you are actually left with something to ponder: what the hell am I doing?
Koei plans to release Warriors Orochi for PC and PSP on 28th March.
If you're one of those people who remain resolutely nonplussed by Koei's Warriors series you can move along now. There's nothing to see here. Warriors Orochi is unlikely to convert you to the joys of Byzantine genealogies, shoddy voice-acting and button-bashing-filled battlefields. If you're not one of those people, well, you'll probably be wondering where Orochi fits in to the series: what new nuances it brings and how they affect the finely honed balance between battlefield strategy and button-bashing combat that Koei has pioneered. Read on.
The game is, essentially, a mash-up between Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors. It's been made possible thanks to the nefarious evil of the Serpent King Orochi, who has created a rift in the space-time continuum to test himself against warriors from each era (which is, of course, depicted in a characteristically cutting-edge cut-scene intro). It incorporates practically all the playable characters from both games across four campaigns, with maps and features that will be familiar to fans of either series. And all of the hallmarks are there - from the dizzyingly silly techno soundtrack and comedy voice-acting, to the countless numbers of combatants and constant ebb and flow of battle.
The thing that sets it apart from each series - the new gimmick - is the 'team battle system'. Which basically means that you pick a team of three fighters and switch between them whenever you like during battles. While team members aren't fighting, their signature musou moves, and their health, are recharged. It means that it's possible to wreak even more destruction than before, by switching between characters to chain Musou attacks, and it's possible to keep going for longer, by switching between characters to recover health. The other big new thing is a weapon fusion system that allows you to combine weapons to create more powerful ones.
KOEI's Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series are set to converge in Warriors Orochi, an ambitious crossover title for Xbox 360 and PS2, due out in the USA on 18th September.
Koei has revealed that it will release eight games this year, unveiling some previously unheard of titles in the process.