Team Ninja's burlyman 'masocore' slash-em-up releases early next year

martial artist dual wielding swords squaring off with a large ogre type enemy
(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, the mythological and locust-ridden next project from Team Ninja, has gotten a release date. Players will be able to cut a swathe through Wo Long's Han dynasty China on March 3, 2023 "via Windows and Steam," per an announcement on the game's Twitter page.

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Developed alongside Dynasty Warriors creator Koei Tecmo, Wo Long bills itself as a "dark fantasy Three Kingdoms masocore game," and we got our first glimpse of it during Microsoft's summer showcase in June this year. It looks, well, like a pretty unpleasant time to be alive: locusts skitter across corpses, smoke rises from burning villages, and everywhere you look burly men are swinging polearms at each other. In other words, it looks quite a bit like Nioh with a dash of Dynasty Warriors-style bombast, which makes sense.

We've been intrigued by what we've seen of Wo Long so far, with August's gameplay trailer in particular whetting our wuxia whistle with its beautiful environments and abundant inventory of historical Chinese weapons.

The game got a limited-time demo (now sadly concluded) in September, and responses to it were generally positive. The demo didn't do much to show off the game's story—it dumped you into its game world with little more than a big sword and a dream—but did give everyone a taste of its combat. It was fairly Souls-y: you'll need to play smartly and watch your enemies for openings, but it also asks you to balance caution and aggression to manage your spirit bar, which functions a little like Sekiro's posture metre.

Even if you didn't get a chance to try the demo, it's not like you have long to wait. March is a mere 4(ish) months away, at which point you too will get a chance to "overcome the odds by awakening the true power from within," which I honestly feel like I try to do most days anyway. To keep track of updates, you can keep an eye on the game's Steam page and Twitter account.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.