Also on: PC, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Koei Tecmo
While most Warriors games run together for me, there?s one franchise within the musou series that I?ll always make time for: the One Piece: Pirate Warriors games.
This isn?t because I have some love for the anime. I?ve never seen it, and literally the only thing I could tell you about One Piece is that there?s a character named Luffy. Everything I could tell you about the series comes from what I?ve gleaned from the Pirate Warriors games — which, obviously, isn?t all that much.
Rather, I love the Pirate Warriors games because they embrace the ridiculousness that is the Warriors franchise. One person, taking on thousands of enemies and wiping them out with single slashes of the sword? It?s absurd, and it seems even more so when you factor in the deathly serious, po-faced way most Warriors games approach their subject matter.
But with One Piece, it all seems to fit together. The characters — or at least, to the limited extent I understand them — seem vaguely like superheroes, and they have abilities that go far beyond the typical Warriors attacks of 1) hack and 2) slash. You get literal flurries of punches, and seismic waves that send enemies flying over buildings, and all kinds of other attacks that would seem totally out of place in, say, Samurai Warriors, but that seem totally at home here.
What?s more, in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, you can level some buildings. The act of destruction is more like Earth Defense Force than it is Just Cause or Red Faction: Redemption, but it?s still awfully satisfying to punch enemies into buildings, and to watch those structures collapse around them.
I?ll admit, of course, that I wouldn?t be able to tell you the first thing about what happened here, plot-wise. There were betrayals, and crying, and giant women, and I didn?t retain a lick of any of it — not that it really mattered all that much. Going in knowing who the characters were certainly might have helped me to understand why one group of pirates was betraying another group, or why there was a woman the size of King Kong trying to attack them all, or, really, anything at all, but I can?t say that any of that mattered when I was pummeling wave after wave of enemy pirates and leaving them bawling on the ground in front of me.
Needless to say, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is just as fun as the first three games in the series. It doesn?t break any new ground, but it doesn?t have to. If you want a game where you can take over a map by punching your enemies through buildings, you?ll get precisely that right here, and that couldn?t make me happier.
Bandai Namco provided us with a One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 PS4 code for review purposes.