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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Vs Nioh

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What happens when one developer works on two games of the same genre? Which of the two games will turn out better than the other? Well, from past experience, the game that succeeds the other often has the upper hand, thanks to learning from past mistakes while also supercharging the gameplay elements that prove to work well. If the succeeding game is a stand-alone entry, though, things can get a little tricky, and even more so if it's the first of an entirely new series. In the case of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, Koei Tecmo's Team Ninja decided to depart from Nioh, the spiritual forefather. So, even though the two games were created by Team Ninja and share the same Soulslike DNA, they still differ significantly enough to create two distinct gameplay experiences. 

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty and Nioh both have similar gameplay, so much so that fans of Nioh feel right at home in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. However, they have distinct settings, with Nioh‘s events taking place during feudal Japan and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty taking place during China's Three Kingdoms era. Wondering in what other ways Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty sets itself apart from Nioh? How do the two stack up? Or, if any of the two games stands on its own two feet, whether in terms of weapons, character progression, or difficulty? Well, be sure to stay tuned till the end of today's Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty vs Nioh article to find out.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s Combat is More Sekiro Than Nioh

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Vs Nioh

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s combat differs a tad too much in many ways compared to Nioh. First, it’s a lot more stripped down, which is highly welcomed given the severe brutality Nioh is known for. The weapon movesets are much more simplified, there’s no stamina management, and you don’t have a universal meter tracking your progress. 

Instead, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty adopts a more Sekiro-like system, where combat is much speedier, more aggressive, and heavily relies on a Spirit Gauge. It’s quite interesting actually, the way the Spirit Gauge not only applies to you, but to your enemies as well. This allows you to focus on what matters most, rather than the more Dark Souls’ route that Nioh has more semblance to.

That said, veteran players may appreciate the more in-depth combat system, from stances to stamina (or ki) management to weapon skill trees, and more gameplay mechanics found in Nioh. Pretty much as originally prescribed by Dark Souls

The Most Approachable Soulslike

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, instead, chooses to drop all of that, tending to focus, first and foremost, on Chinese martial arts and attempting to inject more fun into the game. 

So, ultimately, the sole focus in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty becomes a zippier rhythm of combat, such that your single purpose is to build your Spirit and drain that of your opponent, which results in a more free-flowing and elegant feel.

There’s a lot more technicality involved, of course, like timing parries, managing your Spirit gauge, and optimizing your stats with more critical strikes. In the long run, it becomes a tug-of-war between you and the enemy, with the winner being whoever is quick to master the game’s mechanics. 

Such a simplified combat system is what has inspired the community to crown Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty “the most approachable Soulslike game,” a fact I couldn’t agree more with. 


Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Vs Nioh

In the same vein, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty sweetens the “loot and craft” deal slightly better more than Nioh, thanks to a bigger variety of buying and upgrading options at the blacksmith. 

Comparatively, Nioh lags behind, likely as a way of adhering to the “intense difficulty” of Soulslike games. Though I have to say that Nioh 2’s loot system is pretty solid, just maybe a few inches away from Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s streamlined system.

When it comes to difficulty Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty goes easier on you than Nioh. It allows room for a few mistakes, which for a Soulslike game is a welcome surprise. Nioh, on the other hand, almost always demands perfect timing. It’s rather harsh, making sure the high difficulty brand of Soulslike games remains upheld. 

Consequently, you’ll find it easier to deflect in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty than Nioh. So long as you pay attention to the enemy’s attack sequences, and look out for that flash red signal of an incoming fatal attack, you’ll be good to go.

The Nioh series follows a similar mission-based progression system. However, the developers took a different approach in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty to include a more open mission structure. This allows players to explore the stages they’re in freely, receiving rewards for their trouble. 

To further encourage exploration, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty allows players to jump across more layered environments with an emphasis on verticality, and, generally, much more open environments. 

Character Creation

To tightly knit the Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty package is the freedom to create your desired character as opposed to William Adams. Though, worth noting, the idea for player-created characters came from Nioh 2’s own create-a-character mode, which featured famous warlords and commanders of Japanese history.


Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty has more than once been referred to as the most approachable Soulslike to date. This is actually an intended outcome from the developers, who wanted the game to have a bigger pickup and play appeal. So, essentially, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is more linient compared to Nioh, offering an easier deflection technique to master, a more simplified combat system, a freer mission structure, and an even more streamlined loot system. 

For these reasons, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty takes the win here. It’s a much more welcoming entry for gamers who feel Nioh may have been a little too punishing. However, Soulslike veteran players may hold a different view, especially if the punishing aspect of Soulslike games happens to be your driving force for choosing which Soulslike game to play. 

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty vs Nioh verdict? Which of the two games do you prefer? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.


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.