One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Review — I Would Punch 500 Guys

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is not only one of the best One Piece games but possibly one of the best Musou games around.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a Musou game. We all know how Musou games go. You, as whichever flavor of badass you're playing as, run around a map beating the ever-living hell out of any and everything that your fist/sword/foot can make contact with. It's a simple but intensely fun formula that is always at it's best when there's a little bit of innovation. 

These innovations, at least recently, have best been implemented in crossover games like the Dynasty Warriors series, which I like an awful lot. I legitimately have a deep personal connection with it because it's one of the reasons me and the best man at my wedding met. However, Hyrule Warriors is probably the best entry in the series so far thanks to all of the innovations that the game brought with it.

Thankfully, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 does a lot of things right. 

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Review — I Would Punch 500 Guys

Hell, it might even be the new reigning champ of the Musou battle royale that I assume someone is keeping track of. It manages this thanks to an incredibly faithful retelling of the obscenely-long One Piece story and a few really cool mechanics. 

It is, for the most part, still the game series you know and love. You punch some dudes, you use some heavy attacks, you take over areas, and you kill bosses. On top of that, though, it has meaningful reasons to use your dodge move, special giant bosses that need specific tactics to beat, equippable special skills, awesome jumping air-attacks, and some incredibly long skill trees too.

The boss battles really show off a lot of these mechanics. They have super armor that you need to break through, but you can only do so as they're attacking, forcing you to time your dodges to take advantage of these openings before going all out and taking the enemies down. 

It squeezes a lot of tasty anime juice (not a phrase I will ever use again) out of the orange that represents the Musou genre, and it's an incredibly fun experience as a result. These games are always about being a giant power trip, and the Straw Hat Pirates all embody that to their core anyway, making them a fantastic fit. 

And I Would Punch 500 More

The story is told through a mix of narration, still images, and wonderfully animated cutscenes. It does an incredibly good job of condensing the 900 episode-strong series into around 14 hours of campaign, though it's worth making sure you've watched the series if you're worried about spoilers.

It's split into multiple missions, some of which force you to choose a single character and others that offer up a selection of characters. They're always relevant to the plot, though, and you'll have the chance to play as a lot of different heroes and villains as you make your way through the game. 

Even if you aren't a fan, though, the completely absurd action and story will pull you through and maybe even convert you to the cause. Beyond the campaign itself, you can always play through the Treasure Log Mode, which serves as extra missions apart from the story, or Free Play, which is the ability to replay the story missions with whatever character you want.

All of the modes allow for multiplayer, which is usually limited to just two people, but it occasionally allows for four-player online play, too, which is spectacularly good fun.

That is, good fun if you like the Warriors formula. For many people, the combat is dull and repetitive, and while the additions here help, you'll likely still have that complaint if the genre's never won you over before.

There are some technical issues, too: I found myself staring at the inside of a wall more often than I'd like thanks to the weird camera tracking, and the loading times on the Switch gave me (nearly) enough time to watch episodes of the anime while I waited. 

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Huge cast of characters
  • Deep skill customization and unlock system 
  • Loads of content to play through

Cons

  • Occasionally dodgy camera 
  • Long loading times on the Nintendo Switch

When you throw in the ability to grind out your skill trees and chase ever more impressive kill counts, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a game with an incredible level of replayability. It's sure to be exactly the kind of escape you need, and the sheer joy you feel when stomping through endless hordes of enemies while shouting "Gum-Gum Gatling Gun" at people is something that only this game can provide.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a must-play for fans of both the game series and the show itself, and it might just be the best Musou game ever made. 

[Note: A copy of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 was provided by Bandai Namco for the purpose of this review.] 

Our Rating
8
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is not only one of the best One Piece games but possibly one of the best Musou games around.
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Contributor

Jason likes the gym, roguelikes, and FromSoftware. There is a pattern there for sure, but try not to read too much into it. He's also a freelance games journalist who is slowly trying to take over the world. Not in a menacing way though, he'd probably just make everyone get pets or something.

Published Apr. 8th 2020

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