- Head of Team Ninja Fumihiko Yasuda and Development Producer Masaaki Yamagiwa share new details with Xbox Wire about the upcoming Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.
- Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is shaping up to deliver an epic, action-packed Souls-like experience.
- Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is now available for pre-order on the Xbox Store. It will also launch day one with Xbox Game Pass on March 3, 2023.
Revealed to outstanding acclaim during the Microsoft and Bethesda Games Showcase, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty wowed us with its unique blend of supernatural elements mixed with some wild-looking swordplay — both features one would expect to see from master games craftsmen Fumihiko Yasuda (Ninja Gaiden, Nioh) and Masaaki Yamagiwa (Bloodborne, Tokyo Jungle).
Coming to Xbox Series X|S on day one with Xbox Game Pass on March 3, 2023, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is setting out to deliver an epic, action-packed Souls-like experience that tells the story of a militia soldier fighting for survival in a world that blends dark fantasy with the classic Chinese Three Kingdoms setting. With a combat system inspired by Chinese martial arts swordplay, you’ll shift between offensive and defensive based attacks, with battle styles inspired by the five elements of Chinese Medicine (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), using them to battle all manner of demons and horrific-looking creatures inspired by myth.
To learn more about this sensational looking game, we had a chance to speak with Yasuda and Yamagiwa to learn more about Wo-Long: Fallen Dynasty’s unique setting, their approach to creating challenging (but fair) combat mechanics, and more.
Thanks for taking the time today to answer some of our questions for the upcoming Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. For our Xbox fans who may not be familiar with some of your prior work, can you please introduce yourself to our readers and talk briefly about some of the previous games you have worked on?
Yasuda: I am (Fumihiko) Yasuda, Head of Team Ninja. I am also the producer of this game. I have previously worked on a lot of games that involve people being cut by swords such as the Ninja Gaiden and Nioh series, as director and/or producer.
Yamagiwa: I am (Masaaki) Yamagiwa of Team Ninja. I am the development producer of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. Previously I worked at SIE as producer on titles such as Bloodborne and Tokyo Jungle.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the hero we’ll be playing as in Wo-Long: Fallen Dynasty? Like in Nioh, is he inspired by a historical or folklore hero?
Yasuda: The protagonist is a nameless militia soldier whose story is not told in history. Since this game is based on history, we decided to go with an original protagonist because not having a specific character from history or folklore as the hero minimizes limitations that would normally be placed in situations and production, allows us to illustrate their relationships with various officers that appear in the Three Kingdoms, and makes it easier to portray the protagonist taking a role in spectacular battles.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty has been described as a spiritual successor to the Nioh series. Do you find that description an accurate representation of the gameplay we can expect to see in Wo Long?
Yasuda: In terms of it having a Team Ninja-like degree of challenge and intense combat, I think the game will meet those expectations. Outside of that, the period and locations are different, so in addition to the art style and game world, I think players will find the biggest difference between the games is in the action. Nioh is samurai action while Wo Long is a Chinese martial arts action-based game, so there are big differences to each game from a system perspective and how the gameplay feels.
What is your approach to combat in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty? What will the Chinese martial arts experience feel like here for players? Are there other martial arts influences we can look forward to experiencing?
Yasuda: In Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, there isn’t the notion of stamina, and instead there is the presence of Deflects which can lead to instantly interchanging between offensive and defensive moves, so it’s a design where there are highly fast-paced battles and constant switching between offense and defense. Enemies are very powerful and hardly let their guard down, so I think players will enjoy much more aggressive battles.
What inspired the decision to tell a story in a dark fantasy themed version of the Three Kingdoms? Has this been something you have been wanting to do for a while?
Yasuda: When thinking about Team Ninja and what is next for the Nioh series, we were considering a world that wasn’t “Sengoku-era Japan,” and since I personally really like the stories of the officers of the Three Kingdoms, we began thinking about the concept of a dark action RPG that takes place during the chaotic Three Kingdoms period. With the legends of the several thousand-year history of China, the visual style of the Late Han period, a map with an overwhelming scale, combined with the tempo and strategic combat based in Chinese martial arts, we decided it would be the concept of a new title, and that’s how we began working on Wo Long.
Music can play an integral part in helping set the tone for not only the culture behind the game but setting the mood of this dark fantasy world you are creating. Can you talk about that creative journey, bringing these instrumental elements to life in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?
Yamagiwa: We’re using traditional Chinese musical instruments such as the erhu to create music that really fits the game. On top of that, for the battle music of officers, we decide on a theme such as the life or the personality of that officer, and not only decide on the direction of the entire track, but devise ways that the theme can be adapted and emphasized during battles or other situations.
Can you share with us some of the games that are inspiring your design and influence behind Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?
Yamagiwa: We referenced dark fantasy titles such as the Dark Souls series and went through trial and error to figure out how what kind of visuals we wanted especially since this game is based on the Three Kingdoms and China. In addition to games, we also took inspiration from a wide variety of references such as Chinese cinema and historical records, resulting in Qi, demons and other elements that make this game what it is.
For a player that may be new to this genre, and to your approach to combat and world exploration, what aspect of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty do you hope will resonate with them the most, making it hard to put the controller down?
Yasuda: This is by no means an easy game, but we want players to feel the overwhelming sense of accomplishment of overcoming difficult moments after a process of trial and error. In order to do that, the game can’t be irrational but needs to be fair and have a high degree of freedom, so we are especially careful on this aspect while retaining the signature Team Ninja feel that we are particular about.
Thank you again to Fumihiko Yasuda and Masaaki Yamagiwa for taking the time to talk with us about their upcoming game. Wo-Long: Fallen Dynasty is now available for pre-order on the Xbox Store for Xbox Series X|S. Wo-Long Fallen Dynasty is also launching day one with Xbox Game Pass on March 3, 2023. For the latest news about your favorite Xbox games, keep it tuned here to Xbox Wire.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Digital Deluxe Edition
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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
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