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Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition – Review

It’s always a good time to be a fan of the Musou genre, it always feels like a new experience with these games is just around the corner. This time, though, we have a remaster of a fan favorite experience on our plates. Originally released in 2011 and seeing its Ultimate version released in 2014, Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition aims to once again revitalize this classic entry in the long-running Musou lineup. 

Carving Your Warpath

As is the standard for Musou, Warriors Orochi 3 has you going through a multitude of 1 vs. 1000 battles that will see you cutting your way through hordes of enemies. By assembling a team of characters, some of which are rooted in Asian history and mythology, you’ll be tasked with strategically making your way through enemy armies. By combating the leaders of strongholds peppered throughout each map, you’ll take the strongholds for your own to bolster your army.

Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition - Level Up

Character movesets start off simple, with each having basic light and heavy attacks that create different attacks depending on when you time a heavy attack after a light one. As you level up your characters, more attacks will become accessible and your stats will additionally increase. For some of the later maps, keeping within the level curve becomes essential to winning the game’s encounters. 

A character’s attributes will also prove key to how you build your teams for different maps. Some maps can be more focused on combat, wherein characters with high strength and huge, sweeping moves become essential. Other maps will have targets and objectives constantly changing, meaning you’ll need characters with high mobility to get across the battlefield as quickly as possible. Throughout the game, I was left regularly impressed by how much the game pushed me to build teams to take on multiple objectives. It never felt like the game was instantly solved just because I made a few strong team members and called it a day.

Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition - Battle

Another thing that left me quite shocked was the overall difficulty of the game. Warriors games often save their hardest challenges for bonus content or endgame, but Warriors Orochi 3 is tough from the very start. Even on Normal difficulty, I found myself failing entire missions for making what I felt were small mistakes. Using a character with low defense against a hard-hitting enemy general or not prioritizing the main objective usually had me meeting a swift end at the unforgiving hands of the game. While I was at first frustrated by its brutal nature, I ultimately found that this approach to difficulty made the game a lot more exciting, forcing me to use every element of combat and teambuilding to eke out victories. 

Back in Time

Warriors Orochi 3’s story is a surprisingly in-depth look at mankind coming together to take down a force greater than themselves. Sometime in the distant past, humanity was brought to its knees by a monster called Hydra and its demon forces. After a botched final attempt at taking down the demon army, the last remnants of the world’s warriors are whisked back in time by a divine entity named Kaguya. With the power to travel through time, the main characters set out to right history’s wrongs and create an army capable of standing up to Hydra’s might.

As each main character must go through previous battles wherein they had failed to save their comrades, there’s an immediate emotional hook towards them. There’s a sense of struggle as each character tries to correct their past failings in their own unique ways. I wouldn’t say the story is earth-shattering, but for what it is, it’s entertaining and gives the game’s major battles a solid emotional throughline.

Helping things is the game’s ludicrously large ensemble cast. Characters are coming and going so fast that you never really get a chance to get bored with someone, since no one risks being on screen for too long. This setup also means that you’re constantly recruiting new allies to fight for the main characters’ cause. All in all, the story and characters won’t blow you away, but I think you gain more by not skipping over what they have to say.

Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition - Story

Fresh Beats on the Battlefield

Another signature of Musou titles is their hard-hitting, rip-roaring soundtracks. Naturally, Warriors Orochi 3 is no exception to this. In fact, it might have one of my favorite soundtracks from the Musou titles I’ve played. Even something as basic as the level select music never got old to listen to, no matter how many times I’d get booted back to that familiar screen. There’s a good variety of genres here, such as prog rock, drum and bass, power metal, and symphonic rock. By using Asian instruments such as the shamisen and shakuhachi, the music is given a unique blend to help it stand out as Musou music tends to.

Helping things along is the game’s great sound design. Everything is given that appropriate amount of ‘oomph’ here thanks to how good it feels to hack away at my enemies. This is thanks to how nice it feels just to hear my attacks connect and hearing some of the sounds enemies make as they’re beaten, some of which wind up being kind of hilarious. All told, this game is euphoria on the ears.

Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition - Select Battlefield

The Definitive Package

What gives the game its “Definitive Edition” label when stacked up to previous versions is the coalescence of all old content into one solid version. All bonus missions, costumes, and characters are available from the start. It’s worth saving the bonus content until after you clear the story mode, as the bonus missions are amongst some of the hardest in the game. Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition is one of those games that feel like they’re practically never-ending in terms of stuff to do. 

As far as remastering goes, the game is similarly solid here. While it’s a somewhat old game that shows its age in terms of visuals, I had a perfectly smooth ride in terms of load times and performance. Even when testing out the game’s multiplayer mode, I never once ran into any unforeseen issues on the technical front. Although there are a few glitches that had me confused, such as when I accidentally knocked an enemy general out of bounds or into the water, where they stayed for the remainder of the fight. These issues are rare, though, as the game is otherwise delightfully smooth and flexible.


Warriors Orochi 3: Ultimate Definitive Edition is a strong remastering effort of what is one of the Musou franchise’s best entries. I was overwhelmed by the addictive and plentiful amounts of content on offer, as well as some frantic and varied gameplay. The few cracks that display the game’s age are small potatoes when stacked up to how much of a blast it all is. If you want a quintessential Musou game that is practically never-ending, you’ve come to the right place.


Platforms: PC (Steam)

If you enjoy Hack’N’Slash games, then perhaps you’d like our review of Samurai Warriors 5 or Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate.

Many thanks go to Koei Tecmo for a PC review code for this title.

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