is colourful, Japanese-anime at its finest, combining the joy of the Dynasty Warriors franchise with the best of the existing One Piece formulae. Essentially, your aim is to kill literally thousands of bad guys but don’t worry – they’re not very bright or sophisticated bad guys so you may not find this too troublesome. Every so often you may get chucked a more challenging bozo to deal with, just to keep it interesting and make sure you stay on your toes. With this one, however, you may simply be aiming to stay alive and amass as high a score as possible.
That’s perhaps not quite fair. There is, for example, a large array of characters which can all be unlocked through the completion of various missions and by defeating certain bosses of the bozos. There is thus the possibility of amassing more health points, defence points, attack points… and perhaps other kinds of points I’ve not thought of. You’ll also get the chance to try out different attack combos which should certainly add a bit of variety to the basic premise. The fighting is actually fairly fast-paced which also helps to prevent this game becoming repetitive and as your characters develop you’ll find yourself needing to play rather more strategically than you do in the beginning. The other main thing to say about this game is that its main appeal is probably – satisfaction. It is just, simply, satisfying to kill thousands of bad guys in a short space of time.
The graphics are, well, okay. The characters themselves look good although the backgrounds leave a lot to be desired. The special effects during combat, however, are also pretty effective so perhaps you can forgive the developers for forgetting about the backgrounds. Plus, it does all look much sharper than it might have done had it not been featured on PS4, so count yourselves lucky – it could have been worse.
If you’re new to this franchise then it certainly won’t take you long to work it all out and it’s probably the best instalment so far to get started on. If you are familiar with the concept, however, it may come as good news to hear that Pirate Warriors 3 returns to the original One Piece storyline and sees Luffy (pronounced Loofy for all you newbies) leaving the Fuchsia Village to pursue his dream of becoming the Pirate King. The original Japanese voiceover remains, but there are English, French, Italian, German or Spanish subtitles. Phew.
As you plough your way through mass-killings of your enemies, you also have the opportunity to join forces with another player online and participate in a Rescue Request or in a 2 player co-op – each of these helps to lighten the repetitious load slightly. But not, unfortunately, completely.
If you’re a fan of the Dynasty Warriors or One Piece formulae then this game is definitely for you as it is a well-done replica of their best bits. Beware, however, that this latest instalment is more refinement than revolution of the franchise. The makers, Omega Force, clearly believe in adhering to the concept of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ which is admirable enough, particularly given the massive popularity of the whole franchise. The game is good fun to play, the graphics are engaging enough and there are a large enough number of characters to keep the game going for a while. On the downside, however, you should be aware that the game is liable to become repetitive fairly quickly.