Samurai Warriors 5
Series gets new coat of paint but same formulaic gameplay.
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Samurai Warriors 5
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Samurai Warriors 5 is a hack-and-slash action/adventure game available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. This is the latest title in the Samurai Warriors franchise. The game is loosely based on historical events and people from Japan in the mid- to late 16th century. While there's little in the way of graphic violence, it makes up for that in terms of sheer quantity. The bulk of the gameplay involves taking one character through waves of enemy soldiers, hundreds at a time. There are some cutscenes that show some more intense scenes of violence, but the game still shies away from explicit blood or gore. Parents should also note that a few of the female characters are portrayed in a sexualized manner, and there's some mild profanity in the dialogue.
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What’s It About?
The fan-favorite franchise gets reimagined in SAMURAI WARRIORS 5. Players will hack and slash their way through Japanese history during the Sengoku period as they follow the rise of the daimyo, Nobunaga Oda, to his death at the hands of his trusted general, Mitsuhide Akechi. They'll get to take part in romanticized versions of the battles that brought Japan together under Oda's rule while earning him the infamous moniker of "The Demon King." Players will gain access to other characters, 27 in all, as the game progresses. Choose your warrior and charge into battle against hundreds of enemy soldiers, using new Hyper Attacks and Ultimate Skills to cut your way through waves of opponents with ease, building up insane combos and equally insane body counts. It's up to you to prove your mettle on the battlefield and carve out your legacy in the pages of history.
Is It Any Good?
People like to say that "Everything old is new again," which is usually meant to point out that something meant to be fresh and trendy has oftentimes been done before. That also seems to be the rationale behind Samurai Warriors 5, which has been promoted as a new reboot of the long-running hack-and-slash game series. As far as changes go, the most obvious is in the game's artistic style. Using a type of cel-shaded technique, the game's visuals are designed to have a similar look to that of a Japanese painting. In motion, things are almost as smooth as silk, with the exception of certain special effects that don't look so great.
Samurai Warriors 5 may have gotten a fresh new coat of paint, but calling it a "reboot," a "reimagining," or anything in that vein is a huge overstatement. While the Hyper Attacks and Ultimate Skills add a couple of new trick arrows to the game's quiver, these are both basically just flashy new ways to wipe out waves of enemies while breaking up the monotony of the button mashing. In fact, the cast of playable characters is actually substantially smaller than the previous game's, with most of them unlocked slowly as the story progresses. The only upside to this is the newly bankable experience, which can be used to raise up newly acquired characters once they're added to the team or to invest in one or two favorites, making them overpowered beasts in combat. Still, this feels like just about every other Samurai Warriors game that has come before. For fans, that may not necessarily be a bad thing, but there's nothing here that stands out from the pack.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Samurai Warriors 5 affected by the lack of blood and gore shown? Would the impact be intensified if the violence was more graphic, especially given the number of enemies that you eliminate in battle? Does a game with fewer graphic portrayals of violence but a higher body count have more or less of an impact than a game with fewer deaths but much more explicit scenes of blood and gore?
Do games that are based even loosely on actual historical events encourage kids to learn more about those events? What are some ways parents or teachers can use these games to motivate kids in their education?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Koei Tecmo
- Release date: July 27, 2021
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, History
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Language
- Last updated: December 15, 2021
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