Hands On Review: One Piece Pirate Warriors 4

Let me start off by wishing everyone a Happy New year! Hope everyone has had a great start to the New Year and ended 2019 nicely. I was fortunate enough end my con season at Anime NYC. This year’s Anime NYC was definitely a step up from last year’s. It definitely got bigger in terms of size, audience, guests, panels, and booths. Anime NYC is growing in the best way possible and definitely has everyone looking forward to next year. During 2019’s Anime NYC I got an opportunity to tryout the upcoming One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 demo. If you are fan of the Dynasty Warriors series, Hyrule Warriors, or just a One Piece fan in general, then this is a game that should already be on your radar or you already put in your pre-order.

For those unfamiliar with One Piece, you have a lot to catch up on and I mean a lot! The manga itself is reaching up to the 100s and the anime has hit almost 900 episodes to date. For American fans it was thanks in part to cartoons blocks like Toonami and Adult Swim that we were able to get introduced to such a great anime. And thanks to Bandai Namco & Omega Force/Koei Tecmo we now have some great games for those of us that can’t get enough of the Luffy’s adventures.

As the title suggests this is the 4th installment in the Pirate Warriors series, but the story for this game takes place at the beginning of the Straw Hats story. While the story will be at the start of their adventures, you can be most certain that there be more story added to this game to not only keep fresh for current fans but for new fans as well. The major story arcs that have said to be included in the game so far are:
  • Alabasta Arc
  • Enies Lobby Arc
  • Marineford Arc
  • Dressrosa Arc
  • Whole Cake Island Arc
  • Wano Country Arc

In the PS4 demo that I played at Anime NYC one of the locations you were able to play was Whole Cake Island. The playable characters available were Luffy, Zoro, and Germa 66 Commander Ichiji. Each brought a very unique play style that made you want to play the game more often. During my game play I played as the Captain of the Straw Hats Monkey D. Luffy. Getting to use Luffy’s abilities in game like this was just a lot of fun. It’s almost how Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic 4 should play in any game. I had been playing Warriors of Orochi 4 prior to this and the 2 games are just day and night. The vibrant colors of Pirate Warriors 4 are amazing and really help to bring the world to life. The game play is a ton smoother than WO4 but that’s only because we’re talking about a game that is based on an animation and not made to look like real human beings. Each character has 4 different special attacks that can be used in the middle of battle when you are feeling overwhelmed or need to clear the field. The minions that you have to fight felt boring in terms of their look, but for some reason it works better in a game like Warriors Orochi 4 possibly because of the art style. 

The camera never bothered me once during my game play, but I have no clue how a 2 player screen will look. Hopefully the camera won’t be a pain to while playing 2 players like it is in Warriors Orochi. Almost all the environments are breakable in Pirate Warriors 4, so sending enemies flying or being sent flying by enemies is somewhat more satisfying. One of the coolest things in PW4 are the giant enemies and bosses that appear in the game. As I said I think the art style lends itself to do crazy things like giant enemies/bosses and they feel part of the game and attacking them doesn’t feel boring. It definitely adds a new level of excitement that will keep gamers coming back for more. Objectives in the game were clear and easy to follow and reading the map was a lot easier than expected especially for how big the stage was.

Overall the game was fun to play, and definitely makes it worth any gamers while. Fans will enjoy seeing the story arcs unfold and playing through them. This game checks off as something for everyone. The game releases in March: 26th in Japan, 27th in the US, and 28th in Europe and for all systems including Steam at a price tag of $59.99. Of course with a game like this there will be a special pre-order bonus and a collector’s edition. The pre-order bonus is the Germa 66 Commanders and 2 costumes. The collector’s edition includes the pre-order bonus plus an exclusive 30cm LED diorama and a collector’s box.