Fallen Dynasty Offers an Incredible Solution to the Difficulty Debate Over Dark Souls

Fallen Dynasty Offers an Incredible Solution to the Difficulty Debate Over Dark Souls ...

Team Ninja surprised a lot of people by releasing a demo for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, the studios next Soulslike title set to release in 2023. The action titles' most striking feature so far has to be its elegant adaptation to the types of optional difficulty settings that the Dark Souls franchise (and many other Souslike games) have avoided.

First, some bad news. While Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will be available on PS4 and Xbox One when it launches in 2023, this recent demo is currently restricted to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S owners. So, after that, everyone will have to wait until Wo Long is released (or Team Ninja is nice enough to offer another demo).

Wo Long feels great in its experimental, limited form. Ill post my full reviews once Ive used the game more often, but I can assure you that lovers of Nioh, Soulslike titles, and contemporary action RPGs will want to keep an eye on this one. It just takes a lot of small things right.

Wo Longs best early feature is its approach to the notorious difficulty that so often characterizes other Soulslike games. However, the games fascinating Morale system does offer a means to keep the game's difficulty under control. Wellkind of.

Every character (meaning you and your foes) in Wo Long has a Morale level. That Morale level represents a character's general strength/difficulty in its most basic form. If you encounter an enemy that has a significantly lower Morale level than you, though, the fight should be fair or even in your favor.

Morale levels can change as you defeat enemies and discover key locations in the game. When your Morale level is high enough, youll become considerably more powerful. Indeed, those with high enough Morale levels may begin to feel like an unstoppable force of nature capable of defeating many adversaries with relative ease.

Before you feel too confident, though, be aware that your Morale level will be reset every time you die. (thoughts on that part of the system at this time). Even basic enemies can become bigger obstacles over time.

To be honest, its a little too early to say whether or not Wo Longs Morale system will remain engaging/balanced throughout the entire game. Even in its infancy, the system accomplishes a few key things.

First off, it provides an indication of where you stand in relation to certain enemies. Historically, Soulslike games have preferred trial by error methods that encourage you to explore (or avoid) certain areas based on how quickly you die in them. Morale gives you a slightly clearer indication of how dangerous certain locations and enemies are.

Second, Morale allows players to farm their way out of difficult areas more efficiently. Anyone who wants to win a battle has a much greater likelihood of doing so if they take the time to increase their Morale level.

Morale gives Wo Long the kind of Nemesis System-style mechanic that many games lack due to the copyright concerns surrounding that concept. It's not exactly the same as the Nemesis system seen in the fantastic Mordor games, but I'm all for any concept that allows enemies to become more powerful over time by defeating you. That's fair play.

The Morale mechanic does seem to be a good match for the easy mode options that some people prefer for Souls-like games. However, it's still integrated in a way that allows players to play a different game without having to pay any attention to it.

While I do have concerns that the Wo Longs Morale system might produce some balance issues throughout the whole game, it certainly makes a fantastic first impression. At a time when Soulslike developers are still required to answer questions about the genres difficulty, its nice to see those same developers find creative solutions to necessary challenges that do not require you to simply pick a different mode or hit a brick wall until it falls.