[Interview] Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate dev on Ryu’s inclusion, Switch version, more
A little while back, we were able to speak with Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate producer and director Tomohiko Sho. Sho discussed why Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa has been added to the expanded version of the action game, improvements planned for the Switch version, and more.
Here’s our full discussion:
How did Ryu from Ninja Gaiden specifically end up in this game?
So actually Ryu was in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, but in Warriors Orochi 4 he was not in it. We heard a lot of user feedback – especially from the west – that they really wanted to see Ryu again. So we heard those voices and thought, “We better add him in.”
How much testing has to go into balancing all of the characters and making sure each of them feels distinct rather than reskinned?
Even with Warriors Orochi 4, we had a lot of characters there so it was a big challenge to balance all of them. And now we’ve added more characters, so that has also been a challenge. And with existing characters, it wasn’t just adding new characters – we also sort of reviewed and looked over pre-existing characters and made adjustments there as well. We’re still in development, so it continues to be a challenge.
To give you one specific example, with Zeus, we received a lot of player feedback that he was kind of weak given the fact that he’s Zeus. So we made adjustments so that he’s much stronger. We made adjustments so that the roster matches their actual character, so we continue to adjust the entire balance.
Can you tell us what fans can look forward to in terms of the new story content?
In Warriors Orochi 4, the story ended by defeating Odin. And in this story, it turns out he survived. The real Odin appears in the game, so in order to defeat him, we need the power of additional characters to assist. In that, Gai and Hades have decided to join together in the fight. In Warriors Orochi 4 you did defeat Odin and now it kind of sounds like you need to defeat Odin again, but we do have additional elements to the story that will unfold as you play the game.
What can you share about the new Infinity Mode and the Promotion system?
Infinity Mode is added as a replayability element that players can enjoy the game even more. There is a little bit of a different story added specifically for the Infinity Mode, so it gives players something to enjoy as they go through various challenges.
Infinity Mode uses the twelve zodiac signs, and each of them has a challenge for the player to complete. Each of these zodiacs or stages have their own challenges that need to be overcome. For example, within a set amount of time, you need to defeat so many enemies. Aside from the replayability elements, one of the key points of the Infinity Mode is that it also allows you to grow and level up your characters as well.
… what’s separate from the regular mode is that your partner characters will be on screen with you. Because you have the other characters on screen, you can also give each of them commands.
The Promotion System was in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate. When your character reaches level 100, you can reset it back to 1, and make it even more powerful. As you do that, you can also unlock certain items that will also make your character more powerful. You can do this up to ten times, and then at that point, you’ll make it so that character becomes like the ultimate, strongest version.
When you hear ten times, you’ve got to reset it and level up to 100 again, it sounds arduous, but one of the reasons we’ve also added Infinity Mode is because it’ll make it a lot easier to level up the characters and get them through the promotion.
How has the Switch version in particular been improved?
The game is coming out on PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and Steam. We’re not doing something separate for each of them. Everything will have the same improvements in it.
But if we’re talking specifically about Switch, probably the way it looks. Specifically for the Switch we’re really improving – since we’re still in development – working on that area. With the Switch, we’re working on improving the frame rate as well as the number of characters that can show up on screen at once. We’ve kind of been limited to how many, so we’re working on that – we’re improving that. And sometimes there are some characters sort of fading in and out, popping in and out. So those are the areas that we’re currently working on.
Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate launches for Switch on February 14, 2020.