Samurai Warriors 4

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Samurai Warriors 4 Game Poster Image
Action game has few new features, very repetitive play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Although messages of bravery, teamwork are enforced, overall message is predominantly about war, its inevitable violence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players assume the roles of brave warriors who fight because they believe it will restore justice to their country. Individual protagonists shown as worthy heroes, though they constantly fight for their cause.

Ease of Play

Requires relentless focus, attention. Game concept, controls not inherently difficult, but players need to grasp performing various attacks, switching between two characters in battle.

Violence

Players attack hordes of soldiers, frequently knocking out more than a dozen with the swipe of the sword. These soldiers disappear in a burst of light, no gore shown.

Sex

Some female characters wear tight-fitting, revealing outfits (with, for example, exposed cleavage).

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character drinks alcohol, another smokes a pipe during cut scenes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Samurai Warriors 4 is a hack-and-slash action game where players mercilessly engage in ground combat against hundreds of enemy soldiers. Loosely based on the real-life period of unrest in Japan known as the Sengoku period, players use swords as well as fantastical larger-than-life attacks to take out dozens of enemies at a time. The enemy soldiers simply disappear when defeated; there's no blood shown. Female warriors also engage in combat, and some have revealing outfits that don't make sense in the midst of a battlefield. Outside the main gameplay are a couple scenes that depict characters drinking and smoking. Players also will need to pay attention due to the constant action erupting around them in combat; though the controls are easy to learn, knowing which attacks to use and when are important to success.

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What's it about?

SAMURAI WARRIORS 4 is loosely based on the historical Sengoku period in Japan, a 140-year span of social unrest, warfare, and conflict. Players fight as members of the clan that wants to bring Japan to a state of peace and social justice. Though the story line and other aspects of the game (for example, female warriors engaging in combat) aren't historically accurate, players are given the opportunity to select from 55 warriors to bring one into combat, fighting through a sizable number of soldiers to accomplish objectives. Players gain the option to perform Hyper Attacks, new powerful moves that clear enemies away from their warrior, as well as use Rage mode, which makes players invincible for a short amount of time. Players also can create a warrior to insert their own heroes into battles.

Is it any good?

Samurai Warriors 4 is full of repetitive play, which is a typical feature for a hack-and-slash game. Gameplay is packed with continual warfare, with cut scenes between missions to advance the story. With action like this, there needs to be a number of factors to help break the monotony of play, such as a compelling tale, a varied set of attacks, and a large cast of characters. Samurai Warriors 4 just manages to meet these requirements. The highlight of the "rinse/repeat" fights are a series of larger-than-life "lightning moves," which triggers a customized animation that provides instant gratification as your hero cuts a swath through enemy forces. But even features such as the new Hyper Attacks and Rage mode don't vary the action enough to keep the attention of anyone but fans of historic Japanese conflicts or nonstop button-mashing action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in this game and wars in general. Why do countries go to war? How have past wars helped mold today's society?

  • Do you think conflicts in the world today are different from what they were in medieval times? How?

  • Are all soldiers heroes if they believe they're fighting for the right cause?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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