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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Release Date, Gameplay, And Everything We Know

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Created by the team behind the Nioh series and former Bloodborne developers, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty takes the Souls-like genre to ancient China.

Though Team Ninja has certainly kept busy over the years, churning out fast-paced, hack-and-slash action games and fighting titles in rapid succession, it's been a few years since the studio has unveiled a new IP. However, all that changes with Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, the next big project from the Japanese developer.

Revealed last summer during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a Souls-like action-RPG based on Luo Guanzhong's 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. However, much like Team Ninja's Nioh, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty offers a fantastical take on ancient history, embellishing well-known stories with demonic forces and mythical beings.

With Nioh director Fumihiko Yasuda and Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa at the helm of Wo Long, it's no surprise the upcoming game is one of the most anticipated of 2023. Here's everything you need to know before picking up a copy yourself.

Release date and platforms

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is set to release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on March 3, 2023. If you're an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, you can look forward to the title hitting the subscription service on day one.

However, if that news has you hopeful that Team Ninja might be working with Microsoft to get other titles on Xbox consoles--like Nioh, for example--Wo Long producer Fumihiko Yasuda has some bad news. According to the producer, there's not much of a possibility that Nioh will ever come to Xbox.

Setting and story

The upcoming action-RPG is set in China during 184 AD, just before the fall of the Han dynasty and the start of the Three Kingdoms period. As such, the game also features several legendary figures of the period, including Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, and Lu Bu. However, this is not your average retelling of ancient Chinese history. According to Team Ninja, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a dark fantasy--one where players must ward off ancient demons as they fight for survival.

Team Ninja also elaborated on the game's name, revealing a fair bit about Wo Long's story in the process. According to the studio, "Wo Long refers to a crouching dragon, which also refers to a hero or person of greatness who is not yet known. This is the story of officers, who will later become heroes, during their 'unknown' period, and also the story of a protagonist's rise from being a 'nobody.'"

Gameplay

In Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, players are given the chance to fully customize not only how their character looks, but how they control as well. After creating a character, players will get the option to select one of five "phases," or combat styles. These ultimately dictate a character's stats, starting spells, and what divine beast will aid them. Additionally, players will also have free rein to select what weapon they'd like to use from a wide collection of glaives, sabres, swords, and more.

Core to Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty's gameplay is its morale system, which indicates the strength of both your character and your opponents. By defeating enemies with a higher morale rank than your character, your own morale increases faster and more valuable items will be dropped. However, taking on enemies with significantly higher morale ranks is no easy feat. While the game is linear and lacks an open world, this mechanic does give the player some say in their approach to the game. Do you try to skillfully take down large enemies for massive rewards or grind out Genuine Qi--the game's form of experience--to level up and unlock new abilities? Both certainly have their merits.

Combat in Wo Long will be based on traditional martial arts, according to Team Ninja, and will emphasize graceful movement and deflection. Similarly to Sekiro's posture system, Wo Long's enemies have spirit meters that indicate their level of agitation, with attacks and perfect parries the quickest way to make it rise and open your opponents up for a fatal strike.

In GameSpot's Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty preview, Phil Hornshaw praised the game's combat, writing:

"The speedy gameplay, the variety of attack options, and the push-and-pull nature of the spirit system make Wo Long feel like a fresh spin on Souls-like games. It captures the difficulty and skill players like about the genre, while pushing a different kind of action game feel, one more akin to some of Team Ninja's other titles. Though we haven't seen all of Wo Long in action yet, Team Ninja's demo does a great job of giving a snapshot of a tough game that starts at the same place as other Souls-likes and goes in an exciting new direction."

Team Ninja has stated Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will be its most challenging game yet. However, this did not stop the studio from opting out of including difficulty settings.

Multiplayer

Though the game might not have difficulty settings, there is a silver lining in the game's multiplayer option, which grants players the ability to summon a friend during tough battles.

Trailers

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty's reveal trailer might have glossed over gameplay, but it did give us a sense of what to expect from Team Ninja's next game and a 2023 release date. In it we see the fall of what is presumably the Han dynasty at the hands of a demonic army, followed by our hero's call to fight.

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While this next video isn't a trailer, it does give you a great look at just how Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty plays as we run you through fifteen minutes of its demo. In it, we use the glaive to take down soldiers and face off against a shapeshifting general.

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The latest trailer for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty was released December 2023, and features a closer look at some of the bosses, characters, and vibrant locations the game is set in. It also offers a glimpse of the armor sets that are included in all preorders.

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How to preorder

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is currently available to preorder digitally through Steam, the PlayStation store, and the Microsoft store. You can also reserve a physical copy of the game through GameStop, Best Buy, and Amazon.

There are two versions of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty available for preorder: Standard Edition and Deluxe Edition. If preordered, both versions come with the Zhuque and Baihu armor sets. The Deluxe Edition also includes a digital art book, digital mini soundtrack, and the game's season pass, complete with the Qinglong armor set.


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Jess Cogswell

Jess Cogswell is an editor at GameSpot and an avid fan of coffee, anime, RPGs, and repurchasing games she already owns on Switch. Prior to GameSpot, Jess has worked for Uppercut, UPROXX, and Paste Magazine.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

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