Warriors Orochi 4 Interview -- Producer Discusses Greek Mythology, Nintendo Switch, and More
Warriors Orochi 4 Producer Masaki Furusawa talks about many aspects of the development of the new Musou game for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.
While Dynasty Warriors 9 attempted to bring the long-running Musou series in a brand new direction earlier this year to mixed results, the next Musou title from Omega Force and Koei Tecmo, Warriors Orochi 4, seems to be approaching things from a more standard angle. That being said, it is still looking to inject its own unique flair with the addition of both magic attacks and Greek mythology.
This year at E3, I met up with Omega Force Producer Masaki Furusawa and tried out an early build of Warriors Orochi 4. This gave me a good taste of the new magic attacks, the powerful character Zeus, and the game’s fun cooperative mode. Afterward, I sat down with Furusawa-san to discuss Warriors Orochi 4, what Omega Force has learned from the mixed reception of previous games, the Nintendo Switch version of the title, and more.
Tomas: When you are developing a game like Warriors Orochi 4 that has around 170 playable characters, how tough is it to make sure each one feels fleshed out and fun to use?
Masaki Furusawa: To bring out each character’s personality, we used the new magic to cover any weaknesses of that character as well as increase whatever strengths they previously had in their own titles. Since they already had their own personality in previous games, we think the magic attacks unique to each character will help bring out their personality a lot more.
T: Is it challenging to port a game that displays so many characters on screen to Nintendo Switch, and could you explain the difference between the resolution and frame rate of the different versions?
MF: In docked mode, we are aiming for 1080p, and 720p in handheld mode. As for frame rate, we are aiming for 60 frames per second. Regarding your question about what the challenges were, because of the lower specs of the Switch, our biggest challenge is keeping the frame rate stable.
We want to keep the action as smooth as possible without impacting the game. Of course, those lower specs also lower the graphics of the game.
T: What elements or lessons from the development of recently released games like Warriors All-Stars, which you worked on, and Dynasty Warriors 9 did you learn from and apply to Warriors Orochi 4?
MF: Regarding Warriors All-Stars, what we learned was the difficulty in bringing out the personalities of characters from different IPs. Each IP had their own personality, so for this title, we focused mostly on Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors. We hope that this can fulfill most fans’ desires.
With Dynasty Warriors 9, we tried to challenge ourselves with an open world. That was something new for us, so it was quite a difficult challenge. With this new title, we are hoping to bring things back to the standard Warriors-style of gameplay. That’s a more stable and complete kind of game.
T: How did the development team come upon the idea to incorporate Greek Mythology into Warriors Orochi 4?
MF: The previous Warriors Orochi took place in a world featuring an eastern taste because of Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, the underlying bases of this series, are derived from Chinese and Japanese history. We introduced western Mythologies, which are totally different from the ones of the east, as a motif so that players would be surprised and feel the new original aspect of this game. Western Mythologies are very well known and we are excited to bring about an unprecedented chemical reaction, so we decided to take the plunge.
T: How are you trying to keep things fresh in the fourth entry of such a long-running series?
MF: Warriors Orochi 4’s keyword is fantasy, and following this we made its story and in-game actions new. We asked Mr. Yoshitaka Murayama, an active developer of video games and skilled at writing ensemble cast stories, to draft and supervise the story that deeply portrays the allure of the characters.
In terms of action, you can not only use characters in the same way as the previous Warriors Orochi games but also enjoy the totally new ‘Magic’ skills which, although was a challenge to implement, broadens the range of actions. We are sure that Warriors Orochi series fans will definitely feel the new changes.
T: The Dynasty Warriors formula has been around for a long time. What are your ideas on how to innovate it?
MF: I can’t be specific but we should keep innovating it, based on the series concept of “the exhilaration of one versus thousand.”
T: Will Warriors Orochi 4 feature PS4 Pro and Xbox One X enhancements? If so, could go into the specifics of the enhancements?
MF: We don’t have plans for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X enhancements outside of supporting 4K.
T: Is there anything else you would like DualShockers’ readers to know about the game?
MF: In addition to the 5 completely new characters, there are just under 30 characters that are new to the Orochi series from Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors. Each of the 170 characters has their own unique action sets so we want you to find your favorite character.
Warriors Orochi 4 will release on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 16, and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.