One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the craziest One Piece game yet


Quad-character supers

Omega Force isn’t always known for innovation, but occasionally, it’ll surprise just about anyone. As the developer of countless Warriorssubfranchises, this group knows a thing or two about beat-’em-ups, and the One Piece: Pirate Warriorsseries is great. One of the best things about it is the sheer ridiculousness of controlling Luffy and his crew, which lends itself perfectly to beating up hundreds of dudes at once.

Pirate Warriors 3is no exception.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3(PC, PS3, PS4 [tested], Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: August 2015

This time around, Pirate Warriors 3 will cover One Piece from the beginning of the manga, featuring 37 total playable characters. In case you were worried, two player co-op is reconfirmed on the PS3 and PS4, both offline and online — the Vita version will feature ad hoc and Wi-Fi support. On PC, however, offline co-op is a go, but online “might be skipped” according to Tecmo Koei’sHisashi Koinuma. Despite that fact, Omega Force was “very pleased with Dynasty Warriorssales on PC,” so it will continue to support the platform. Anything is possible.

Koinuma states that the biggest change is the visual style. I asked him what the advantages are for the PS4 platform, to which he replied, “the PS4 toon shading system makes it look close to the original manga or anime, which is best on PS4. Also, the PS4 can host 200 enemies on-screen while the PS3 can only do 100.” It gets insane with that many foes at once, since characters can now do quad-ally supers that involve your entire team. Playing through the demo myself, I was able to kill nearly 200 people at once with said ultimates, and it was quite a rush.

Pirate Warriors 3is par for the course in that sense, with all of the same repetition issues in tow. After killing 500 people, a familiar calm started to set in, which is actually pretty soothing for me, but may be all too similar for people who have already spent hundreds of hours with the first two titles. Like the new Narutothough, the enhanced visual style drew me back in if I ever had inklings of boredom. When pressed about what made this sequel unique in terms of new content,Koinuma circled around again to the visuals, so the jury is out on whether or not the series will iterate enough to be worth another purchase.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 will launch in August 2015 in the US. It will be the first ever iteration to get a physical release in the states, but only on PS4. Europe however has had physical versions since the first game, and when asked, a Bandai Namco rep stated that the European market has far more One Piecefans than the states, hence the extra production effort. Sadly, that means the US will not get the special edition that was recently announced.