stub Sengoku Dynasty Review (PC) - Is It Worth Buying?
Connect with us

Sengoku Dynasty Review (PC)

Avatar photo



Sengoku Dynasty Review

Travel with me to feudal Japan, a time when power rested in the hands of the shoguns, and commoners were left living off table scraps. Thanks to you, though, the village communities living during this time period won’t have to suffer any longer. You’ll gather resources in a beautiful medieval world. You’ll craft, hunt, build, and farm your way to survival. Tough enemies may threaten your upcoming little dynasty, yet thanks to your leadership capabilities, you’ll be ready to defend your people from harm. Consider it a challenge worth embracing.

Sengoku Dynasty offers a chance for history lovers to experience what life must have been like in medieval Japan. By choosing to play as a leader, a craftsman, a warrior, or a monk, you can cultivate specialized experiences that draw insight and maybe even apply certain instincts to real life. The game promises an epic journey, one that infuses a blend of the survival, exploration, action-adventure, city-building, and role-playing genres. You’ll explore a diverse world, crafting tools, weapons, meals, and medicine as needed. You’ll also farm and protect your people using spears, bows, katanas, and more. 

In the end, it’s up to you to nurture and rule a flourishing village that will be your dynasty for generations to come. Sounds like your cup of tea? Well, you’ll be happy to know that the early access version is out on Steam now. We’ve done a little digging on our own to help you decide whether grabbing a copy for yourself is worthwhile. So, hitch a ride with us on our Sengoku Dynasty Review that explores the good, bad, and ugly, if any, finally closing with our final verdict.

I’m a Survivor

Set in war-torn Sengoku-era feudal Japan, the game casts you as a lowly peasant attempting to escape from a ship, but it crashes and leaves you stranded on a deserted island. It’s up to you to build a life here while helping out your fellow escapees. It’ll take some time since you need to build village after village, but soon, your efforts will pay off when the place thrives and a new dynasty is born.

Well, that’s pretty much the story here. It’s very fast-forward and straight to the point, which is great since all I was looking forward to was getting my hands dirty. Worth noting is that Sengoku Dynasty plays a lot like another game you may be familiar with called Medieval Dynasty. The only difference is the change from the European medieval setting to the Sengoku era, where inner conflict and political turmoil thrived.

Look and Feel

Sengoku Dynasty

The first thing that is adamantly clear from the get-go is the sheer amount of beauty and historical accuracy staring you in the face. The game looks tantalizing to explore, like the perfect place to immerse yourself in. It’s clear developer Superkami didn’t leave anything to chance with the authentic and accurate representation of feudal Japan, down to the finest detail.

Thanks to Unreal Engine 5, Sengoku Dynasty is the perfect visual for open-world realism. And the environments vary, too, to great lengths, with forests and hot springs. There’s an opening cutscene at the beginning that puts you in the right headspace, thanks to a great presentation of animated illustrations with background music. The voicing is in Japanese, too, which is also well-acted. 

It’s a little disappointing that the mood set in the opening cutscene gets lost in the game. Sure, you do get choices when interacting with NPCs, which are more like talking points. But for the most part, there isn’t any voice acting in the game itself. In a game where you spend most of your time building houses in the middle of nowhere, having an authentic spoken language, preferably Japanese, can go a long way toward cultivating further immersion. 

Because the alternative is running around, setting up random camps, with the occasional sound effects of wood cutting and chopping them into planks to ease your mind. Without the sound effects, though, it’s just plain silence, which seems to me like a huge loss of potential. On the bright side, though, Medieval Dynasty didn’t have voices either on early access day one. Ha!

Brick by Brick

Like in the Medieval Dynasty, you’ll need to build a new village, house by house, brick by brick. Then furnish it, and assign it to another peasant/village member with a job type like a hunter or woodcutter. The overall idea is to build as many houses as possible for your fellow peasant escapees and allow them to go out into the world and gather resources for you.

Managing your villages uses a surprisingly simple gameplay system, despite the plenty of tasks at hand. Ideally, the more houses you build, the faster you progress toward building more sophisticated buildings. “Ideally,” because the current skill tree is a little too on-the-surface. And there isn’t enough information on unlocking or progression either.

There are a wide variety of resources you can gather. The most basic is chopping down a tree and converting it into a useful resource like logs, wood planks, or firewood. Each has its own unique function, like construction or survival in harsh weather. As you proceed, you’ll need to gather plenty more resources, like food and medicine. Some resources will require you to hunt them down, go fishing, or farm pieces of land.

Fitting with the times, you may encounter interference from the ongoing conflict outside of your little haven. Bandits may threaten your village’s safety. Or simply dangerous animals from nearby forests. I’m sure there are plenty more things you can do; it’s all still a work in progress.

Gameplay Issues

Medieval Dynasty review

There are gameplay issues that I feel derail the experience a bit. Take, for example, the inability to free-build. You may notice that all the houses you put up are the same, fixed size. It’s quite limiting if you want to unleash your inner architect. Like in Valheim, where you can even build a mighty ship if you like. 

Also, the first few hours of putting up structures without the help of the villagers are pretty tiring. You need a lot of resources to put up a building, and you essentially have to go out into the world to get each piece. Mind you, getting the resources is manual, from chopping down a tree to get logs, cutting them to get planks, and finally bringing them over to the construction site.

Then, there’s the issue of villagers being “inactive.” It would have been great to have villagers always on the move. So, they gather resources for you in real-time, or at least on a daily basis. Instead, villages only gather resources each season.

Buddy Up

Medieval Dynasty

On the bright side, you can at least team up with up to four players in co-op mode. Or solo if you prefer it that way. For now, the Early Access version offers a good, roughly seven-hour session, which means the final game will spill over into the double digits, probably 40+. We’ll see.

Performance Issues

It’s crucial to keep in mind that Sengoku Dynasty is still in early access, and therefore, the game having performance issues is something that I can expect to see. So far, the UI is a bit clunky, taking some precious time to get used to. Load times are a pain, too, with it seeming like a lifetime before the actual game finally felt worthy of my presence. Still, these aren’t game-breaking and can definitely receive an easy fix.

The only other major issue is the unstable frame rates, which drop drastically for no reason at all. While I played the game on the medium setting and didn’t experience any drastic drops in frame rates, a reviewer on Steam reports theirs tanked from 60 down to 14. That’s pretty concerning; I hope any frame rate issues receive patch fixes by launch day.


Medieval Dynasty review

For a game still in early access, Sengoku Dynasty has pretty much outdone itself. It kicks off with a compelling story that sets the mood for what’s to come. And wastes no time sending you off into a massive, feudal Japan open-world setting to explore. From the minute you step foot into the world, you feel immersed in the environment, architecture, and overall atmosphere.

While you spend most of your time chopping down trees to build A LOT of buildings, it never gets boring because of the simplified nature of the gameplay. Grabbing resources off the ground is easy, and crafting is just the same, albeit slower than I would have liked. Ultimately, it’s a pretty fun concept to combine survival and city-building into one. 

Now, the story and gameplay are definitely unfinished. These are both in desperate need of fleshing out. The same goes for performance issues that have the potential to derail the overall experience. Even with the cons, though, Sengoku Dynasty still remains a solid game, which makes the wait for the final game that much more exciting.

Sengoku Dynasty Review (PC)

From Scratch, in Feudal Japan

Looking to scratch the itch for the Medieval Dynasty? Well, Sengoku Dynasty is the perfect game to take for a spin. Although currently in Early Access via Steam, it still offers a pretty decent trailer experience of what’s to come. 

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.