One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a Musou-style Action game developed by Koei Tecmo and Omega Force and is published by Bandai Namco. Is this game worth it? I’m going to set sail and find out in our One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 review!
Reviewed on Base PS4 – 60 FPS
Graphics, Performance & Sound
This game looks really great, with the cel-shaded and very detailed manga-style aesthetic that the Pirate Warriors spin-off series is known for. Performance-wise, the game runs at 60FPS on Playstation 4 which feels pretty smooth. Sound-wise, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing like the other games, with a vibe that feels inspired by the anime series itself. The voice acting which is only in Japanese is also really top notch!
Story & Game Modes
The story for the game’s Dramatic Log mode is a very abridged retelling of the One Piece storyline, that in a weird move, glosses over some arcs in a summary and goes from the Alabasta arc up to the Whole Cake Island Arc and a game-original version of the Wano Country Arc since the anime is still airing it. The presentation of the story mode is really well done between CGI Cutscenes and scenes where you have dialogue boxes between the missions – which can be set on Autoplay.
You also have Free Log, where you can replay the stages from the Dramatic Log mode with any of the base game’s 43 playable characters (there is also a Season Pass with 9 more characters coming down the line), and Treasure Log mode where you can unlock various characters and go through episodes in which the mission condition can be different every time you retry these episodes, and depending on how many you clear, these episodes can get harder. It’s worth noting these modes can be played online with a co-op partner. There is a good amount of replay value here!
In terms of gameplay, this game follows the admittedly simple, but fun, Musou game formula, albeit with some very interesting and experimental twists. Of course like most Musou/Warriors style games it’s your job to give your enemies a huge beating with a lot of enemies on screen. Most of the characters in the cast have their own quirks and abilities that make them stand out from each other in their own ways.
The new thing in Pirate Warriors 4 is the ability to perform Air Combos with the addition of particular aerial attacks that you can do by pushing X during a combo. Each character comes with 4 special techniques that are tied to the R1 and face buttons and all of them can learn more of these by spending the coins that you collect by completing episodes in any of the game modes. Berries can be used to upgrade your character and you can pick and choose which of these special techniques you take into these missions. It took me some time to get used to the changes but I can say that I love beating up the enemies with various ground and air combos and incorporating the various techniques in these combos. The Special Techniques need to recharge while you fight the enemies so you cannot spam them over and over.
In addition to these changes the Circle button on it’s own is now a dash of sorts that can also work as a homing dash when locked on to Bosses and Leader-type enemies which takes stamina that charges back up when not attacking. Characters can get buffs or even transform into their different forms with their Full-Force Bursts which you can also equip in one of the Special Technique slots, and generally they last a certain amount of time. Characters are grouped into different styles such as Power, Sky, Stamina and even Giant Characters like Big Mom and Kaido are playable in the Giant style category.
I enjoyed the gameplay and I really appreciate the changes they made to the formula, which makes for a lot more combo potential and takes the Warriors game formula in the right direction while keeping the core Warriors gameplay style intact. It may not be the deepest combat system ever but it is functional and it’s a leap forward for the series.
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GlennShiraishi is a freelance writer for Rice Digital and a YouTuber who enjoys games, anime and manga.
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 Review Verdict
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 is a really fun adventure through and through, and even has things that I would love to see in mainline Warriors title. It offers a good amount of replay value and hours of fun for One Piece fans – though the lack of certain arcs being playable in the game is definitely a baffling decision. But despite that flaw, I definitely recommend this game to fans of One Piece who have enjoyed the prior entries, and fans of Musou games and action games like me will get a definite kick out of it!
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