Samurai Warriors 5’s New Visuals Mixes Pop Art With Ancient Ink Paintings

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Samurai Warriors 5 is out in a few months, and much like every other game in the series that began in 2004 on the PS2, the trademark action of a lone soldier facing hordes of enemies is intact. What’s different this time though is the art direction, as Samurai Warriors 5 features a more visually dynamic art direction that incorporates aspects of Japanese ink paintings into its aesthetics.

“We had a lot of inspiration from Japanese ink paintings, one of the major styles of ink wash paintings, along with Japanese pop art which has received a lot of praise from around the world. We also took inspiration from a number of different games as well,” Samurai Warriors producer and Koei Tecmo president Hisashi Koinuma, explained in a PS Blog post.

Now Playing: Samurai Warriors 5 – Official Character Gameplay Trailer

“The first Samurai Warriors game was released on PS2, so having access to shading technology, which was becoming popularized at that time, was a big change for the visual style of the game. As a result, the photo-realistic style became more prevalent, along with more detailed cel-shading technology, along with 2D art styles which have become popularized in smartphone apps. Thanks to all of these tools and technological advances, we were able to take these styles into account when creating Samurai Warriors 5, and we decided to pursue a visual style that could only be done in this title.”

Samurai Warriors 5
Samurai Warriors 5

Samurai Warriors 5 still uses the Dynasty Warriors series as a base, and layers the new art style on top of that to create a more visually distinct approach. First announced during February’s Nintendo Direct presentation, developer Koei Tecmo calls this newest chapter a “fresh re-imagining” of the franchise.

One of the new features inside of the game are Hyper Attacks, which allows players to close gaps more quickly while attacking opponents. Ultimate Skills can be used to further augment these Hyper Attacks, as they can continue combos, regenerate a player’s Musou Gauge, and deal even heavier attacks.

Samurai Warriors will be out on July 27 for Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam, PS4, and Xbox One, as well as PS5 and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility. It’ll be facing a monumental benchmark set by Koei Tecmo’s crossover with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is currently the best-selling Musou-genre game of all time, having sold more than 3.5 million units since it was released last year.

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