The musou genre may seem inflated after the various Dynasty and Samurai Warriors, but if your desire is to send thousands of enemies flying into the stratosphere, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is almost a daydream.
And the enemies thrown at Luffy and his crew are really funny for the paroxysmal levels reached by their number; the screen is literally packed with soldiers and dominated by utter chaos. However, it is useless to add that this wonderful group of opponents are opposed by forces of devastating power: in the front row the iconic protagonist of the series by Eiichiro Oda, but not only. The roster of characters exceeds sixty units, over forty of these are controllable by the player, to be unlocked in the main campaign and can also be used in other modes. Each fighter has his own particular style and represents a joy for manga lovers, a festival where no one is really missing, from Rob Lucci to Smoker, from Zoro to Nami, passing from Usopp, Sanji and Tashigi. In addition to this, Omega Force's product relies on a new system called Kizuna Rush. Basically, after filling a special bar, you have the opportunity to unleash a technique in combination with other characters, capable of causing a truly sensational amount of damage. As if that weren't enough, the joining of forces can generate a terrible special shot that can greatly break through the thousand kill count. Each character under direct control has a personal special shot, which he can also use in this case by filling a gauge. In short, it cannot really be said that adrenaline does not flow freely!
If you love chaos, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is a daydream
The birth of the Straw Hat
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the first chapter of the franchise to also be released on PlayStation 4, the version in question, an opportunity that has stimulated Omega Force to give an almost encyclopedic character to its production. In this perspective it is explained not only the high number of controllable characters, but also that the main mode is practically linked to the beginning of the manga, or when Luffy receives the mythological straw hat from Shanks the Red.
The first mission sees our rubber hero busy freeing Zoro from the clutches of the Navy and Captain Morgan, in effect the creation of the Straw Hat pirate crew. From here on we live the most significant episodes of the manga up to the Dressrosa saga, told not only by the events in the game, but above all by a curious mix of cut scenes and illustrations that often and willingly interrupt the action. Despite the good intentions of making the narrative understandable even to those who are not accustomed to Oda's work, it remains difficult for new followers to understand the events and relationships, also due to the great choral character that characterizes it. It is always a production with a high rate of fan service, designed especially for fans. In this perspective it is difficult to be disappointed, especially reliving crucial scenes such as the clash between Roronoa Zoro and Mihawk, just to name one. The presence of audio in Japanese and subtitles in Spanish helps to immerse yourself even more in the game universe. The levels always follow the well-established musou structure: large-scale clashes structured in missions, which require a pinch of strategy. The characters move in a dynamic map / maze with variable objectives, but which always culminates in a spectacular final confrontation with the boss on duty. However, these can also reveal themselves during some mission, so it is necessary to carefully follow the instructions on the screen to understand the current objective and understand exactly where to go, not to mention that some timed sessions can lead to instant game over. To fight, Luffy and his associates rely on a series of combos that can be activated through specific key combinations, as in the best tradition of fighting games. The characters of the saga move between opposing factions, so it may happen that some tasks require you to free an opposing territory, a prisoner, carry out supplies or defend allies from some assault. This feature gives a certain variety and makes the clashes even more spectacular, but unfortunately also extremely chaotic. It is clear that we are not dealing with particularly technical action mechanics, also because artificial intelligence oscillates between the non-existent and the mediocre, while the clashes with the bosses actually represent a separate matter, requiring a more reasoned approach.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 features two gold, ten silver, twenty three bronze and three hidden trophies. To earn your first ten trophies, you won't have to struggle too much, just play the main mode for a few hours to make them yours. Others, however, are more challenging, such as those that require an S-type completion rank, obtainable only at the highest difficulty levels. In the case of the gold ones, be prepared to sweat profusely, as they require the collection of each object and 100% completion in legendary mode.
I'll give you the musou
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 also presents some slight role-playing elements, such as a system of coins, assigned at the end of a level, functional to the increase of the characters' abilities. Similarly, as you advance in the adventure you earn an internal currency, the Berry, which allows you to win various items to unlock in the gallery, but also to help the progression of the skill level. As you progress through the various chapters, the player has the possibility to choose between a predefined set of characters, while in a special fantasy mode, called Diary of Dreams, the choice becomes much wider. In this case, the protagonist - freely chosen by the crews - must conquer a set of islands, facing increasingly stronger opponents who, once defeated, join the group of playable characters.
There is also the ability to replay any chapter at will once completed. The main mode offers around 15 hours of gameplay across the various chapters. Technically, the title uses a functional and coherent cel shading realization with the manga style, which makes you turn a blind eye to the not very detailed scenarios. Instead, the frame rate at sixty frames per second leaves favorably surprised, which suffers some drop in moments when the screen is invaded by enemies, but never to distract too much attention. On the other hand, we have already anticipated that the chaos set up on video is often overwhelming, so much so that it is even difficult to locate the key characters. The structure is, as mentioned, that of the classic musou, without particular distortions, but it is in the strings of Oda's work and it is undoubtedly fun to massacre enemy soldiers by discovering the various techniques of our heroes, despite an inevitable underlying monotony. Absolutely wonderful the sound accompaniment, with a sparkling jazz-funk soundtrack absolutely adequate and that gives the right charge. Some pieces really wowed us. Among the less successful sides are the relative lack of introduction to the commands, useful to help newbies to get used to the mechanics, and some sporadic uncertainty in assigning the objectives of the missions that can lead to frustrating game over, especially considering that missions are on average long and must be restarted from the beginning in case of defeat.
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Resources4Gaming.com
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the best incarnation of the series and an excellent debut on PlayStation 4. The proposed contents are really many and Omega Force has refined as much as possible the formula of the musou genre, without particular upheavals but with a highly spectacular result that makes justice to the spirit of the manga. Technically, perhaps more could have been done and it is impossible to escape a certain underlying monotony. On the other hand, the Kizuna Rush system works and it is a real pleasure to see our favorites join forces, while the encyclopedic character of the work, between the exaggerated number of characters and the events that recover the events from the beginning, represents a true party for hardcore fans. Perhaps this is also the most relevant limitation of the game: those who are not interested in Oda's work and perhaps hate the various Dynasty Warriors, will hardly change their mind with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3.
- An exaggerated amount of characters
- Many modalities and beautiful long campaign
- The number of enemies on the screen often leaves you speechless ...
- But action is not always understandable
- Technically rather essential
- In the long run repetitive