Everything we know about Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Swords, sorcery, and slaying monsters in Three Kingdoms-era China — it's all here in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, launching this March.
Koei Tecmo made waves when it announced an action game developed by Team Ninja set in the Three Kingdoms period. It’s an era of Chinese history that’s already been well-explored in media, including video games — most notably, the Dynasty Warriors series also published by Koei Tecmo. Now, this new game, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, is putting a new action-focused spin on this classic period of warriors and political intrigue.
That’s an exciting enough prospect, especially given Koei Tecmo’s previous work with this setting. But with Team Ninja on board to develop and the director of Nioh in charge, it’s even more intriguing. After it was first revealed last year, fans couldn’t wait to pick it up.
The game is set to launch on March 3, 2023. Before we pick up our swords and set off across the middle country, here’s everything we know about the game so far.
The fallen dynasty of Japan Studio
Wo Long is being spearheaded by two individuals: producer Masaaki Yamagiwa and director Fumihiko Yasuda. The former was a member of Sony’s Japan Studio, who worked on several games over the years such as Ape Escape, The Legend of Dragoon, Team Ico’s titles, and Bloodborne. The studio folded in 2021 following a restructuring, and Yamagiwa had already left to join Team Ninja by that time.
Team Ninja is famous, of course, for the Ninja Gaiden series — but they also developed the fantasy action-RPG Nioh and its sequel. That game was directed by Yasuda, and featured a blend of historical influence and mythical elements based on Japanese folklore.
Given Yamagiwa’s penchant for producing top-quality titles and Yasuda’s eye for stunning fantasy action, they seemed like the perfect pair to produce a Three Kingdoms game. Wo Long was in development for about two years before it was announced in 2021 at a 40th anniversary event for Koei Tecmo.
When it was officially showcased in 2022 at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase event, prospective players were enthralled. The action looked intense, and the story appealed to those familiar with the Three Kingdoms era. Needless to say, the game has a lot to live up to.
Blast your enemies to kingdom come
Wo Long takes place during the Three Kingdoms history of China — specifically in 184 AD, the beginning of the Yellow Turban Rebellion. This period of history is shrouded in mystery but has been the subject of countless stories over the years. Much of this can be traced back to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a 14th-century novel that combined history and fiction to create an embellished yet popular retelling of this era.
The game, of course, takes things even further by bringing in elements of myth and the supernatural. Wo Long centers on a nameless warrior who takes up the sword against the demons and beasts plaguing the land of ancient China.
Obviously, it’s a more fictionalized take on history, infusing dark fantasy into this historical time period. You’ll meet several figures from Chinese history on your quest, many of whom are fighting each other for dominance over the land. But the game also leans heavily into traditional Chinese mythology, with several creatures and beasts from Chinese lore serving as your companions.
We don’t know a ton of specific story details yet; Team Ninja is keeping the actual plot fairly under wraps so far. However, from the brief glimpses we have, it looks like a dark and intense story indeed.
Swords and spirits in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
You can probably guess the basics of the gameplay just based on the words “fantasy action RPG.” In Wo Long, you control your nameless protagonist as a warrior in the divided lands of China, traveling through the realm to ward off monsters and demons.
Of course, you’ve got plenty of weapons and powers by your side. Your character has access to plenty of melee weapons, including swords, daggers, and spears — which each have their own combat style. With a mixture of attacks and blocking, you can gain the upper edge over the monsters that roam the lands.
Magic spells are also at your disposal. You can deploy a number of elemental attacks to gain an advantage, or apply a defensive boost to yourself. These spells help change up the combat, so using them in addition to your regular attacks is crucial for winning the day.
You’ll create your character at the beginning of the game, with five classes (or “phases”) determining your skill set. These phases influence what magic you can learn, and it doesn’t appear that you can change them once you’ve begun the game — so choose wisely.
Battle through the Three Kingdoms
Fighting is the name of the game in Wo Long, and you’ll be doing plenty of it. Hordes of demonic enemies are roaming around, and with the Morale system, fighting them is no joke. Your Morale determines how effective you are in combat: the higher it is, the better you do. However, dying resets your Morale back a few stages, and you’ll have to fight to reclaim it. Enemies have Morale as well, so they’ll get a boost if you die too many times.
By breaking enemy Spirit gauges, however, you can turn the tide against them. This Spirit gauge is built up by deflecting attack, and is used as fuel for your strongest attacks. It’s a great way to prevent spamming while also encouraging you to learn proper timing for defense.
Wo Long is primarily designed as a single-player game, but there apparently will be some form of multiplayer as well. The game is reported to be a forty-hour adventure, with mostly linear levels in the style of Nioh. However, in addition to an asynchronous Vengeance feature that lets you avenge fallen players, you can also team up with friends online to tackle the story — or play against them.
When can you play Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is developed by Team Ninja and published by Koei Tecmo. It will be available on March 3, 2023 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC via Steam. It will also be available on day one on Xbox and PC Game Pass.
Pre-orders for the physical and digital editions, priced at $59.99 USD, are available now. You can pick them up via our affiliate links below!
PlayStation 4 | PlayStation 5 | Xbox Series X
Early pre-orders get the Baihu Armor pack, with digital versions getting exclusive Zhuque armor as well. There’s also the SteelBook launch edition (pictured below) for $79.99 USD. This includes a SteelBook case and two bonus crowns for your character. Finally, the Digital Deluxe edition gives you the above-mentioned armor packs (plus an exclusive Qinglong armor). It also contains a digital artbook and sampler soundtrack, and the Season Pass for $99.99 USD. It looks like three DLCs are planned for the Season Pass, but no details on those yet.
Are you looking forward to Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty? Let us know!