Koei Tecmo is famous for their Dynasty Warrior series which has spawned multiple spin-offs and even diverged into creating clones of the same gameplay experience based on favorite brands like One Piece and Fist of the North Star. These games have proven to be quite popular but there is only so many times you can milk the same formula. Warriors All-Stars is the latest attempt from Koei Tecmo to try to leverage the gameplay mechanics of the Warriors Orochi series into another spin-off, although this time the unique hook for the game is that it features numerous crossover characters from games that are all published by Koei Tecmo.
Some of the variety of characters features in the game include Sophie from the Atelier series to Ryu Hayabusa from the Ninja Gaiden series. The recently released Nioh’s lead character Williams has also made the cut to the game, proving it to the be ultimate crossover for a Koei Tecmo fan. The characters are not just limited to a role in the party, they also carry an impact on the story as the game features multiple endings depending on how you are able to find and unlock each of the character. There is a lot of content for a Warriors fan here although most of it is incredibly repetitive with not much in the way of rewards, so you can skip it if you prefer and just go for the main story.
Despite what it might look like, the developers have actually attempted to create a story here so that there is a purpose to why all the heroes are gathered in a single world even though they belong to a completely different one. The story focuses on a magical spring which forms the basis of life in the world of Warriors All-Stars. The only priestess of the spring finds out that it is drying soon and decides to summon heroes from all over the world in order to save it. While the priestess manages to summon these heroes to her world, you will be starting out with the one that you pick as your main character. The rest of the heroes have to be slowly unlocked and recruited as you progress further in the story as they are transported to various parts of the world.
The basics of the gameplay are pretty much what you would expect from a Warriors game. You have a light and heavy attack with the ability to combo between both for a variety of different moves. You can also press a button to execute a special move once you fill the meter for it. Aside from that, the new additions here are the party members with the ability to select upto 4 party members aside from the leader. These party members are then assigned a controller button so you can execute some special moves with them, but they also come with a cooldown timer so you can’t spawn them with succession. Most of the battle is simply resolved with button mashing as the game is not that difficult if you only attempt missions that have the same level requirements as your character.
The progression system is based on the experience points that you gain in battle. The leader gains the most experience points followed by the other team members. Those characters that are not in the party won’t be able to gain any experience points, although you have the option to make them level up by spending some of your hard earned gold on them. Aside from that, the game features a central hub and a full world map that shows all of the story missions, side content as well as any of the heroes that you have unlocked and have to recruit at that point in the story.
The game features a central hub that is used for story purpose or you can spend some free time in it. This hub doesn’t offer much and also has a distinct lack of NPCs. One of the gameplay mechanic in Warriors All-Stars is that it uses a card system that can be equipped by the player to improve the stats of their character. Each of the hero can equip a card that corresponds to their particular character. The cards are usually ranked and their strength is based on the ranking they carry. You will be able to upgrade, enhance card attributes and create new cards by combining old ones from a merchant in the central hub.
The story missions revolve around the same Warriors formula with a world map dotted by conquered zones. You rush from one place to the next trying to conquer zones or defeating either the mid-boss or the story boss during these moments. The game relies more on your button mashing than actual skills but it somehow all blends together well resulting in a experience that might get repetitive with time, but still continues to be fun. To recruit characters, you will have to trigger their missions which can also result in a fight between you and that particular character. It is different depending on each character where some will fight you before joining while others will require your help before they can join. Recruiting a character also unlocks a whole other set of story or side content on the world map for you to explore.
The visuals are nice and look rather clean especially on the PS4 Pro but the environment textures are again one of the weak points for the game although it is a norm by now for a Warriors game. Each of the character brings his own distinct look from their series to the game. The frame rate also manages to hold steady at 60 FPS which improves the experience but the central hub of the game felt odd because I noticed that frame rate was dropping with no reason at all. Thankfully the majority of the game works fine without any major issues even if you are slashing hundreds of enemies.
Warriors All-Stars Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Warriors All-Stars is a hack and slash game by Koei Tecmo. It is a crossover based on the long-running Warriors series, featuring an array of cast taken from various titles owned by the company, similar to the Warriors Orochi series.
Warriors All-Stars is one of the better efforts from Koei Tecmo with a whole lot of content to play in the game. However the quality of this content is debatable but if you are a fan of the various Koei Tecmo franchise, you might find the appeal in it.