As much as we love captivating, edge of your seat gaming experiences, there comes a time when every gamer want to play something without their brain getting involved. There’s only so much you can focus on something like Dark Soul sor Destiny without needing some gaming junk food, and it's fair to say that Omega Force is pretty much the McDonalds of this industry. Smack some buttons, level up a bunch, find some neat weapons and laugh as thousands of enemies fall to your heroic mastery of the X button it’s the same story with every new Warriors game but somehow, there’s always a time and a place for it. And simple and stupid as it may be, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is, as its boasting suffix suggests, one of the best versions of the brain dead man smacker yet.

While the Dynasty and Samurai flavours mess around with the history books to portray versions of China’s Three Kingdoms period and Japan’s Sengoku era respectively, Orochi is basically Koei Tecmo chance to ignore daft inconveniences like historical accuracy in order to take full creative control. Generals from both those eras are drafted in for this bizarre crossover, along with original characters and some familiar faces from other Koei Tecmo franchises it’sa veritable Warriors
‘who’s who’ and the mammoth cast is one of the game’s primary selling points.

Which makes us wonder why the team elected to only offer three playable characters from the off, but then hardcore series fans will probably quite enjoy the thrill of wondering who’s next on the unlock list. It’sa shame that Dynasty Warriors 8 XL never made it to Xbox, since a lot of the improvements there are oddly absent here  believe it or not, this is a simplified Warriors experience.

So while you may not be able to kit your heroes out with selectable custom weapons that alter their move sets on the fly, there are at least a handful of cool features that weren’t in the main series. Chief among these is the ability to go into battle as a team of three, switching between generals as you would weapons in DW8XL to mix things up as you see fit.

Awful AI means these guys tend to just mill around while you’re not in direct control but then again, if they were all wailing on their virtualX buttons as hard as you on your very real one, there probably wouldn't be a lot left for players to kill. The new universal RBattack is also useful, offering a special hit (at the cost ofa little Musou gauge) that can break enemy combos. It can bea real lifesaver if you can escape the usual Warriors habit of just throwing out your Musou attacks as soon as the bar fills.

“It’s literally just a case of run in, kill a bunch of things and find the exit”
You’ve gota decent host of modes in which to smack people, too, starting out basic with the suitably ludicrous Story mode before branching out into a bunch of different options. Gauntlet is the main addition over vanilla WO3,a string of fogged dungeons akin to Diablo III’s Rifts where you take a team of five warriors through battlefields that get harder the longer your massacre lasts. This makes balancing speed, greed and need crucial to success, as you can easily lose track of time and
allow Miasma levels to build up to the point where regular grunts can one-shot your legendary heroes. It’s an interesting mode but one that lacks all of the strategy, subtlety (yes, really) and nuance that makes the best Warriors games so good it’s literally justa case of run in, kill things, and find the exit. Duel mode is even worse for this and although the idea of setting up special card-based attacks for three-hero teams for showdown with AI and online players sounds neat, the mechanics simply aren’t up to competitive encounters like this.

 But it’s Musou Battlegrounds that provides the greatest disappointment, an edit mode designed to allow for custom maps to be created and shared but one lacking the versatility to create anything more than fan faction versions of the battles already presented. Evena rudimentary map or mission editor would make all the difference here altering dialogue and character roles is neat, as are the various modifiers, but none really allow for more than a slight variation from the mission and
map chosen as the basis for your custom creation.

Purely through its extensive cast and solid core modes, however, Orochi 3 Ultimate is still the best Warriors experience on Xbox One right now. You can’t argue with the amount of raw content you get for your money and with progress shared across all game modes, you’re free to dive into whatever brand of X button abuse you fancy safe in the knowledge that your levelled heroes will remain that way. Turn off your brain and have a nice, stupid time.

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