Samurai Warriors 5 Review
Developers: Koei Tecmo
Systems: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Overall Rating: 🏹🏹🏹🏹🏹
This story takes place during the Sengoku period, during which an inverted social order started to extend all across Japan. As war rages throughout the Sengoku period, several influential figures appear across Japan seeking to reign supreme over these turbulent times. Among those figures, the great daimyō, Yoshimoto Imagawa, dispatched his troops to escort the minor daimyo of the neighbouring nation – Ieyasu Tokugawa – as a hostage. While everyone was assessing the situation, there was one person watching all of this occur from high above. That person was Nobunaga Oda. This story begins with Nobunaga, along with his childhood friend Toshiie Maeda, as they make a raid on the Imagawa Army in order to rescue Ieyasu.
A hack n slash from the heavens. Musou games generally get a really bad wrap in the gaming world, Samurai Warriors 5 is ready to buck that trend! With a stunningly gorgeous painting-like art style and incredibly smooth graphics, even on Nintendo Switch handheld, Samurai Warriors 5 is the Musou game we have dreamed of for a long time.
Entering into the hack n’ slash fray with rich, painting style graphics and a gripping story to boot, Samurai Warriors 5 will dominate the genre. An abundance of content and replay ability ensure a fast paced, all out war on a titanic scale for a handheld console. There’s even DLCs coming that will further enhance your gameplay with new battles, weapons and horses.
The story of Samurai Warriors 5 centres around the characters Nobunaga Oda and Mitsuhide Akechi. The initial storyline has you taking control of a young Nobunaga as he struggles to maintain control and expand his territory whilst under constant bombardment from rival factions! You will see Nobunaga get married, suffer backstabbing and also gain valuable allies along the story that will get progressively harder as you continue. If you have placed these games before I would suggest starting on a harder difficulty setting as it is relatively easy and you may not feel challenged if you're just button mashing. If you’re a novice, however, you will find the middle ground difficulty to be perfectly acceptable.
As you progress through the story, you will unlock access to Mitsuhide Akechi’s storyline as well as an abundance of characters, weapons and battles from alternate points of view or those that happened at the same time as the main storyline. I loved this aspect and it was a fantastic surprise which happened just at the time I was beginning to get bored with always playing as Nobunaga. (This only happens for the first chapter in the story really).
Story progression equals expanded features in this game and once you reach a certain point you will unlock the fantastically fun ‘Citadel Mode’. This is essentially a tower defence mode in which you will be rewarded with items and building materials for successfully repelling the enemy and not allowing them to breach your citadel's gates. This is a great feature that allows you to upgrade your buildings and further upgrade the abilities of your characters, weapons and horses creating a bit more of an RPG vibe to the game.
The visuals of the game are absolutely stunning, the characters all look like they’ve jumped out of a painting and into battle, this more than makes up for the very well recognised environmental stuttering that occasionally happens in these massive games. I will say however there are vast improvements on the environments in this game compared to its predecessors.
The only points lost for this game come in the categories of audio and performance, saying this, they are only very minor. In terms of audio, I really wish they had an English language voiceover option like earlier games in the series but I do understand that the Japanese audio enhances the historical side and the realism. Single player handheld and docked gaming for Samurai Warriors 5 suffers no performance issues, the only issue comes when you are playing local co-op. Sometimes the environment struggles to load quickly and enemies and allies will suddenly appear right on top of you… this however isn’t always the case and only happens in the bigger scale battles or highly detailed areas.
Ultimately Samurai Warriors 5 is an absolute dream of a Musou game and is the absolute pinnacle of all ‘Warriors’ games and yes I include Hyrule Warriors in that! As a long time fan I am honoured to be playing this game that promises to keep me entertained for many months to come.