WoLong: How is the new Soulstice from Team Ninja different from Naoh

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Although the new trailer for the long-awaited game Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty from Team Ninja shows the real gameplay for the first time, we still don’t know much about the new name of Team Ninja Soulsborne. In particular, after creating two parts of the Nioh series, the team decided to go in a slightly new direction, and we wanted to know how it differs.

IGN met with producer Fumihiko Yasuda and producer-developer Masaaki Yamagiwa to find out how Wo Long differs from the developer’s popular past series. The most obvious thing that sets Vo Long apart from Team Ninja’s previous efforts is its setting, and it seems that this new location will set Vo Long apart from Nioh in many ways.

“Being in China, we were able to create locations on a much larger scale than in Nioh, which was set in Japan,” Yasuda says. “Even something like a castle has become much bigger than before, and the exploration has become more vertical because the player character in Wo Long can jump,” he adds.

While Nioh combat was based on ninja skills and samurai swords, Wo Long combat is based on Chinese martial arts.

“In terms of gameplay, the biggest difference is the emphasis on speed,” Yasuda continues. “Unlike Nioh, there is no endurance scale here, so you will constantly face a lot of situations in which you need to react immediately. You can play more aggressively, but there are also many new ways to dodge enemy attacks.”

The lack of an endurance indicator and more dynamic combat reminded us of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice from FromSoftware, but Yasuda and Yamagiwa tell us that the accelerated pace seemed natural to them for a game dedicated to Chinese martial arts.

Yamagiwa says that the movements of real Chinese martial artists were implemented using motion capture, but they were adjusted to match the fictional action of the game.

The lack of an endurance indicator and dynamic combat reminded us of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice from FromSoftware.”

The new trailer shows how the player character uses a wide range of weapon types, from a spear to a long sword and a paired sword. Both the design of the weapon and the attack patterns are noticeably different with the flow compared to the more mundane Nioh action.

“There will be more than 10 types of weapons to choose from in the final game,” Yamagiva says.

In terms of the system, Wo Long’s biggest game changer may be his morale rating system. In Wo Long, both the player and the enemies have a Moral rank. If the opponent is ranked higher than you, it will be more difficult to defeat him. The player can increase his rank by defeating enemies, and death will lead to degradation. Enemy ratings are also affected by the confrontation with the player. Yamagiwa says this new dynamic is a fundamental aspect of Wo Long’s level design.

“New magic spells will be unlocked when you reach a higher rank that work like magic spells,” Yamagiwa tells us. “Divine beasts can be summoned to help you during battle,” he continues. “In the trailer you can see the call of the Scarlet Bird, one of the legendary beasts of China. As you progress through the story, you will make friends with a lot of these divine beasts.”

As follows from Bruce Lee’s famous quote “Don’t think, feel”, Chinese martial arts are based on intuition. It seems that Team Ninja strives to accurately embody this philosophy in Wo Long.

To learn more about Vo Long, be sure to read our exclusive Summer Game Fest interview.

Esra Crabbe is the editor of IGN Japan.

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