Monkey D Luffy and the rest of the quirky characters from One Piece come together again for more Dynasty Warriors style action.
Omega Force have once again mixed up their Warriors style action game with the strange and colourful world of the One Piece anime and manga series. With Pirate Warriors 3, the game makes its way onto the PS4, taking advantage of the console’s increased capabilities to ensure the action is even more chaotic than the previous titles.
One Piece, with its huge number of strange and wonderful characters and extensive story arcs, may well seem overwhelming for anyone who isn’t already a fan. However, Pirate Warriors 3 will ease in the newcomers as well as the long time fans with its brilliant story mode.
Playing the story mode in Pirate Warriors 3, players will be slowly introduced to all of the characters as they play through each of the series’ story arcs from the beginning. Players will be able to follow Monkey D Luffy, the elastic main character, as he starts his adventure to become king of the pirates and find the fabled treasure One Piece, through joining up with all manner of well known characters and facing off against epic enemies. The story is told through an abundance of cut-scenes in between the massive battles that make up the gameplay. Pirate Warriors 3 really is the best place to start for any newcomer, and the most complete story for anyone who is a fan.
For those who want a quick overview of the setting, One Piece tells the tale of an ever-increasing band of pirates as they search for a fabled treasure. The main character is Monkey D Luffy, a straw hat wearing lad who happens to have eaten a mystical fruit that gives his body a rubber-like consistency, allowing it to stretch and contort in a myriad of ways. Along the way, Luffy meets up with other like minded souls who join his crew, and they face off against all manner of other colourful characters, many of which have also eaten the mystical fruit and have different powers. It’s pretty damn good, and the fact that it has been running for so long shows how popular One Piece is.
But that is just the story, and while the story mode is quite complete (although it should be noted that it does rush through many things, presumably to squeeze everything in), the main draw of Pirate Warriors 3 comes from the established gameplay.
Each of the story arcs in the One Piece series are represented in Pirate Warriors 3 and, once the cut-scenes have done setting the scene, create the setting for the next big battle. These typically follow the same formula with a map made up of interconnected areas, jam packed full of whichever flavour of enemies the story requires. Players will find themselves smashing through hundreds of grunts before fighting commanders to open up new areas, then having to face off against a boss.
It’s not all about just smashing through hundreds of enemies (well it is really). Occasionally the player will find themselves having to rapidly get from one side of the map to the other to find some object or character, escort and protect, or pick up optional objectives to unlock further rewards.
The joy of the combat in Pirate Warriors 3 is that it is a button mashers paradise. The combat is quick, fluid and incredibly impressive, allowing even a newcomer to the game to jump into the action and take out hundreds of enemies with relative ease. It really is very easy. Increasing the difficulty will make things harder, but only in that the enemies become tougher and take longer to defeat.
The different attacks available to the player, whichever character they choose to play as, are a lot of fun to discover. Before long, the player will be able to unlock special attacks that will bring in an ally to fight alongside them, which is especially useful for the more involved boss battles.
But it is the cast of characters that are the real star of the show. With some forty odd characters to unlock and play as, discovering how they fight will alleviate the repetition that comes from the games core gameplay. Players will gather all manner of currency during their playthrough to improve their characters and build up their crew, giving ample reason to keep coming back for more.
Both online and couch co-op are available through the story mode, meaning you get to enjoy all this chaotic action with a friend or a stranger. The online co-op is perhaps not the easiest to enjoy, with each new stage involving joining or being joined again, but it works.
Visually, Pirate Warriors 3 really is a joy for fans and newcomers alike. Although not perhaps a huge jump from the previous title in the series, the different characters are so colourful and unique, the frame rate is so smooth, and the sheer number of enemies on the screen make this a step up in quality.
Pirate Warriors 3 is an easy game for any player to slip into for some button mashing action. It takes a while to get used to the map and where to go, and the repetitive nature of smashing hundreds of enemies does suggest playing in small bursts, but it really is great fun. As an introduction to the series, the game is perfect. Whether you are a One Piece newcomer or a member of the crew, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is well worth checking out.