Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty combat, difficulty explained

How Hard is Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – Difficulty Explained

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a fast-paced expansion on the soulslike formula by Team Ninja. While the game borrows mechanics from the Dark Souls series, its gameplay and difficulty is much closer to that of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Getting your head around Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s difficulty is a matter of nailing your deflect timings, getting familiar with attack patterns, and feeling the flow to become the wuxia hero you were destined to be. But just how difficult is Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty? Here we break down Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s difficulty curve.

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How Difficult is Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Compared to Other Games of the Genre, Like Elden Ring?

First of all, it needs to be said: Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty has no difficulty options. There is the default difficulty and that’s it. Difficulty does scale with new game+ cycles, but there are no difficulty modes.

If you’re not a newcomer to the souslike genre, we have some good news for you: Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is generally not as hard as FromSoftware games, like Elden Ring. While its first boss, Zhang Liang, General of Man, is a pretty gnarly challenge, it serves as a tutorial for the rest of the game. From there things ease up considerably for a few reasons.

First off, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty often pairs you up with an NPC companion or two. While they can go down and eventually die, the timer to resurrect them is pretty forgiving: simply walk up and use the interact button to bring them back into the fray (by default, this is R2 on the PS4/5 controller, RT on an Xbox controller, and E on mouse and keyboard). This means that you always have a damage sponge to share aggro and help soak up the punishment for you. Several times my companion would even split off from me to charge down an archer, and they’re often capable of killing enemies themselves.

Secondly, the morale system offers a way to get a leg up on your enemies. Morale is a stage-specific temporary leveling system that is a straight buff to your power. We offer a full explanation of the morale system in our handy list of beginner tricks. Simply put, if you explore a level thoroughly, you shouldn’t be too outdone by your foes. 

Thirdly, the game’s “bonfires” — called Battle Flags and Marker Flags — are a lot closer to each other than other games in the genre, which is both due to placement and due to how quickly your character can traverse the map. Battle Flags serve as checkpoints, but Marker Flags also ease the pain of exploration by recharging your health (and increasing your minimum morale). As a bonus, the first time you place a Battle Flag, you get a full refresh of your healing item (the Dragon Cure Pot) without respawning any enemies, meaning you can keep exploring without missing a beat. 

Lastly, the game’s deflect mechanic is pretty forgiving when compared with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. You can deflect every attack, you can deflect while guarding, and the window for doing so is fairly relaxed. Contrast this to Sekrio: Shadows Die Twice where you often had to input specific commands to deal with specific attacks; in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, one button’s all you need. If you master the deflect system, there’s little the game can do to surprise you.

That’s not to say that the game is a cakewalk. If you’re new to the genre, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will still offer a considerable, but approachable, challenge. If you’re a soulslike veteran though, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty can feel like a breath of fresh air, offering far more of the “action” in “action RPG.”

And that’s a rundown of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s difficulty. If you’re finding the game a bit tough, here’s how to scale up your weapon damage. 

Related: Should you Choose Resolution or Performance in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty on Gamepur


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Harvey Randall
Harvey Randall works as a Freelance Contributor for the Escapist. While he's been writing about games for less than a year, he's been working with words his entire professional life and has previous experience in the advertising industry. He's a great fan of roguelikes, tough action games, and MMORPGS, and he also has a mild obsession with Final Fantasy XIV. He has completed a bachelor's and a master's degree in Creative & Critical Writing and has written op-eds, guides and news for PC Gamer, The Gamer, TechRadar, Dicebreaker, Overlode, Into the Spine, and Gfinity Esports.