Review: Samurai Warriors 5 – Fast And Flashy Musou On Switch

Musou People Gonna Die?

Koei Tecmo’s Samurai Warriors finally returns after a seven year hiatus with a soft reboot that takes the long-running saga back to its roots, focusing on a brash young Nobunaga Oda’s unwavering determination to unify Japan whilst zeroing in on his relationship with Mitsuhide Akechi. Samurai Warriors 5 is a slick and stylish addition to the long-running Musou series that tells its tale well, introduces a beautiful new art style, makes a bunch of smart additions to the franchise’s standard hack and slash action and, perhaps most importantly for Switch fans, manages all of this whilst delivering impressively solid performance on Nintendo’s console.

Starting off with that new art style; the rather bland, po-faced visual direction of older entries in the Samurai Warriors series has now been replaced with a fresh and colourful look that’s been heavily inspired by traditional Japanese ink paintings. From the moment you boot this one up it’s a real feast for the eyeballs and even on Switch, where the graphics have absolutely been pared back in comparison to other versions of the game, things still look really slick. In battle there’s a surprising amount of vibrant and flashy particle effects on screen as you slice and dice your way through the thousands of enemies that stand in your way; the narrative cutscenes that book-end missions now look uniformly superb. Yes the draw-distance still stinks a little – a problem not unique to this Switch port – but overall this is one tasty looking addition to the franchise.

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