I can see the vision behind this game. Take the baddest warriors from the baddest nations and put them in one game to see who really was the baddest of the baddest of the bad. Of course the only logical conclusion was that the baddest of the baddass warriors could only come from the 'Three Kingdoms' era of China and the 'Sengoku' period in Japan. By some freak coincidence – I couldn't believe it myself how lucky we are of this – KOEI already published games containing warriors from both periods. All that they had to do was put them in the same game. That was all, but developers Omega Force knew that it just wouldn't be believable without a plot, so they created the character of 'Orochi', a supernatural being who decides to transport all the warriors to his own dimension to have them all fight… Perfect.
For the story mode you pick a group of three warriors and then take to the field in a series of battles created by Orochi's bidding. You can swap between the warriors at any time in the fight, and as you progress through the story you will unlock additional characters that you can swap your starting characters out for. Of course the genre defining controls of the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors series of game is largely unaltered, and you can chain together strings of normal attacks, ended by a charge attack, a magical 'musou' attack or a special power attack. You mostly stick to tapping the one attack button, which means that God of War or Ninja Gaiden fans may find this a little intimidating. And ye-es, that was sarcasm, but with a game this derivative it’s difficult to be anything but. That seemed to go quite well, so like the developers let's carry on with some more of the same...
Thanks to the power of the Emotion Engine in the PS2 you can see literally ten separate soldiers on screen at once while battling. In addition, the game authentically models the battlefields of a demonic dimension by leaving them largely devoid of vegetation or any detail. Sadly because of this graphical prowess something had to go – and in this case it's the anti-aliasing – there's a lot of jagged lines on screen.
In short, Warriors Orochi on the PS2 offers a lot to anyone that hasn't played a previous Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors game. Or indeed God of War, The Warriors or any of the Lord of the Rings adventure games. Of course, you may want to pick up one of those games first to help prepare you for the experience you will receive.