We had an interview with Team Ninja team to tell us all about their upcoming Chinese dark fantasy game.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty was present at Gamescom 2022, where in addition to a new trailer we also learned that the release is still scheduled for early 2023. But we at Gamereactor wanted to go a little further and decided to do an interview with Team Ninja by sitting down with Fumihiko Yasuda and Masaaki Yamagiwa (who was also producer of Bloodborne), producers of Wo Long and its predecessors Nioh.
Aside from questions around the new aesthetic and approach to the title, one of the things we were most interested to know is what elements they would be taking from Nioh and introducing into Wo Long, and what new elements would make the game shine on its own and set it apart from the traditional Japanese title.
Team Ninja wanted to focus on the fact that the change of location from Japan to China also meant profound changes in the controls of the action, swapping a samurai fighting style for the fluid movement of Chinese martial arts. This will not only be conveyed by the design of the weapons, but will permeate all the action.
“In the beginning, with the Nioh series in general, we’re seeing samurai fighting, samurai-based action, right? And this time we want to focus on Chinese martial arts, right? So that’s the big focus here, and so the action, specifically the action is what’s going to be the biggest differentiating factor.”
Certainly the experience and similarities in certain aspects to the Nioh titles is assumed, but equally here the role of Chinese mythology and all the superstitions in terms of spirits will be present, but not as our own combat.
“Unlike the Nioh series, in Wo Long you won’t transform into a Yokai or a demon or anything like that. That’s not the focus here, but you’re going to have divine beasts that you can use and summon in the game, right? So that’s going to be one of the aspects, not of transformation, but of summoning, that brings another element of fantasy to the game.”
So in Wo Long we won’t be transforming as we did in Nioh 2 into Yokai, but summoning spirits to fight alongside us (something we’ve also seen this year in Elden Ring). It’s a game-changing title that will define the studio itself, and also in the action/RPG and Soulslike genre.