The Soulslike genre is still gaining momentum in the 2020s thanks to such big hits as Nioh 2 and Elden Ring. With Hollow Knight: Silksong on the horizon and a host of other indie games, the format first introduced in FromSoftware Demon’s Souls continues to delight the growing community. FromSoftware itself may take a break from the Souls formula if the rumors about Armored Core are confirmed, but Bloodborne fans still hope that Sony will do something with one of the developer’s most popular games. Meanwhile, after success in the Nioh series and further experimentation in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Team Ninja moves on to Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.
There are few details about this project yet, but it is expected that it will continue the Soulslike studio series started by Nioh. The action of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty takes place in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms setting, also heavily drawn by Dynasty Warriors by Koei Tecmo. Like Nioh, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty takes place during real, albeit embellished, historical events filled with demons and various other supernatural elements. Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa teamed up with Fumihiko Yasuda, Nioh’s producer, to work on this game, and the connections to their previous work are obvious.
Similarities between Vo Long and Bloodborne
One of the first points of comparison that can be drawn between Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty and Bloodborne is how they relate to previous games by their developers. Bloodborne was a somewhat experimental game that appeared after the first two parts of Dark Souls. This shifted the setting from dark medieval fantasy to one of the most successful Gothic and Lovecraftian places in the horror genre. By comparison, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty moves from the Japanese Sengoku period to the Han Dynasty, which inspired the Novel about the Three Kingdoms. Nioh and Fallen Dynasty are visually much more comparable, but there is still a shift.
The same can be said about his gameplay. Players don’t have a full idea of what the regular fights and progress in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will look like, but chances are it’s still similar to Souls. It was the same in Bloodborne, but she was a pioneer of faster battles in FromSoft’s Souls. Aggression was encouraged with the health-restoring Rally mechanics, and players could continue the offensive by switching between two forms of weapons at any time. It looks like Wo Long will upgrade the three racks and the state in the Nioh scabbard to five fighting styles, and some kind of moral mechanics includes defeating stronger enemies. Wo Long can set the pace for future Soulslike offerings from Team Ninja.
How Long and Bloodborne contrast
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty has various features characteristic of titles like Souls. The game is played by an unnamed militia soldier, possibly a non-standard character, who is called Wo Long or a crouching dragon. Like the Good Hunter and many Chosen undead before them, this soldier is no one who will rise to greatness. To do this, they must fight hordes of soldiers, madmen, monsters and their combinations.
Little is known about Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, so further comparisons with Bloodborne will have to wait. The settings of the game are completely different, since almost all people in Bloodborne have become victims of mutations or madness at the hands of the Great Ones. Fallen Dynasty takes place during an important period of political maneuvering in China. Despite the fact that demons will bring so much chaos, the fight against mortals will be no less important — and perhaps even more dangerous. However, those looking for their next Souls-like fix should keep an eye on Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty as it continues to approach next year’s release.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will be released in early 2023 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.