Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an Absolute Blast…With Friends

As much as I love Elden Ring and games featuring difficult boss fights, I’ve never really been so into difficult fights that I’ve been willing to take on the stuff Team Ninja makes. That studio tends to take things a bit too far as far as I’m concerned. So, I wasn’t really planning on picking up Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. However, a friend of mine absolutely loves its spiritual predecessors: Nioh and Nioh 2, and talking me into picking it up and playing through it with him. As expected, the game was brutally difficult, but then something unexpected happened: I started to have fun.

Video from YouTube channel: IGN

As I expected, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty has not at all been easy to learn. Its mechanics are simple in concept, but the most important ones hinge greatly upon precise timing. In particular, the game’s parry, parry-counter, and critical strike moves. There are normal attacks, special attacks, blocking, magic and so on just like in Dark Souls and Elden Ring, but they are nowhere near as important.

Imagine playing Elden Ring, but needing to constantly parry/parry-counter rather than just landing one every so often. Now imagine doing it against enemies that much more powerful and quick than the average Elden Ring enemy. Imagine that times at least 10 for bosses and you’ve got a fairly good idea of what playing Wo Long is like. It can be brutal, the first major boss in particular. If I were playing this game solo, I probably would have given up on it pretty quickly.

Fortunately though, I had my buddy to uh, “encourage” (shame) me into getting past that first boss so that we could play it together online. Like it is with so many other games, co-op in Wo Long is a literal game-changer. Not having to confront the hordes of enemies solo, having to restart on getting downed and having someone to collaborate and trade notes with has taken the learning process of this game and transformed it from frustrating to actual fun. Losing is a chance to joke rather than rage, and even the toughest fights are exercises in determination rather than frustration.

I wouldn’t (and don’t) consider myself bad at games by any stretch, but I’ve often hated taking on “tough” games/series because of the steep learning curve involved. Sure, they’re great fun eventually, but getting to that point has often been more trouble than it’s worth as far as I’m concerned. If those past games had offered co-op though, maybe my feelings towards them would have been different. I played Elden Ring, my first soulsborne-type game, because of co-op, and that led me to jump into Bloodborne too. If neither game had co-op, I probably never would have gotten to enjoy them.

All this is to say that “hard” games like Elden Ring, Nioh, and now Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty are much more accessible than you might think. They’re all still difficult games to learn and master, but co-op makes it so that the road to mastery is fun rather than controller-breakingly hard.

Better yet, there are online communities full of players ready to jump in and play with newbies, so you don’t necessarily have to have friends who are into these games in order to enjoy their co-op experiences. So seriously, don’t be afraid to try a “tough” game if it has co-op, and definitely give Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty a try if it looks at all interesting to you. It’s definitely doable and a ton of fun to boot if you’ve got someone to play with.

Have you played Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty yet? What’s your take on it? Would you try more difficult games if there was a co-op option?

Image from the Wo Long Steam page

Add to the Discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.