Samurai Warriors 4 DX Review

Samurai Warriors 4 DX Koei Tecmo

Koei Tecmo just released an updated port of Samurai Warriors 4 on Steam without much fanfare, and hey, we’re not complaining, more PC ports are always welcome.

It’s become rare for companies to even remember their PS2/PS3-era titles that have been stuck on consoles, but that’s not the case with Koei Tecmo, as the company has been putting in a lot of work to bring some of their most iconic titles to modern platforms.

KT’s ports may not always be the best, but just having the option to play some of these games without going through the hassle of buying older hardware or setting up emulation is already quite nice. One question remains, though: Can Samurai Warriors 4 withstand the test of time? Find out in our full review for Samurai Warriors 4 DX.

Samurai Warriors 4 DX
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: March 14, 2019 (Japan) May 14, 2024 (Global)
Players: 1
Price: $49.99

Originally released in Japan as a PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch exclusive, Samurai Warriors 4 DX is an updated version of the 2014 Samurai Warriors 4, including all of its staggering 150+ pieces of DLC, as well as featuring minor graphical and resolution upgrades.

The game covers Japanese history’s Sengoku period, divided between the point of view of multiple clans, which converge into the Legend of a Land United final story scenario. The period of history covered in all Samurai Warriors games is roughly the same, but its fourth entry is considered one of the best ones by fans, thanks to its solid gameplay and variety of story perspectives.

As far as its plot goes, Samurai Warriors 4 walks a pretty interesting line between absurdity and historical accuracy, making for an entertaining and somewhat didactical experience for those interested in Japanese history. Most of the events with surviving records are followed pretty closely by the game, but are reenacted by these exaggerated depictions of historical figures.

The majority of the game’s characters have been transformed into inflated representations of themselves, which is an already challenging task given how most historical figures from this era are already seen as these larger-than-life entities.

For example, Oda Nobunaga goes from someone who sees himself as a necessary evil to unify the lands of Japan into someone who may genuinely be a demon, as shown by his ability to unleash waves of dark energy and his maniacal laugh directed towards anything slightly amusing.

It becomes a really fun game to pick apart what aspects of these historical figures have been greatly exaggerated, and what line of thinking led Koei Tecmo’s designers and writers to such colorful interpretations of these characters.

Samurai Warriors 4 aims to create a spectacle, and while the exaggerated depictions of these historical figures may not be entirely accurate to history, they happen to be really charming and are a big part of why the game’s story manages to be so entertaining.

There are quite a few unique dialogue cutscenes prior to each mission depending on which characters the player selects, and these story tidbits do a good job filling in the gaps between missions. These side chats are not only plot-relevant, but also help flesh out the game’s cast, usually giving the player some insight into character relationships and motives.

These small details add a great deal to the game’s character development and demonstrate the amount of work that went into the story mode, particularly when you take into account that most missions offer a selection of six to eight characters, each with unique dialogue based on your team’s composition.

When it comes to gameplay, Samurai Warriors 4 manages to strike a good balance between its more complex systems and the button-mashing, dopamine-fueled gameplay. It’s surprising how often the player is thrown into disadvantageous scenarios, where quick thinking and smart positioning are required to turn the tides in your favor.

New moves are unlocked constantly by leveling up, and while most of the cast shares a similar base set of moves, they are all assigned different types which give them certain advantages. Each character also possesses a signature skill that synergizes with the rest of their moves as well as a unique musou attack.

Memorizing what combos lead into stuns or guard breaks is definitely something the player will have to do, because even though most regular grunt enemies won’t be of any trouble to the player, the enemy officers can put up a good fight, especially when backed up by other officers or buff units like the flag bearers.

As far as Koei Tecmo’s ports go, Samurai Warriors 4 DX is pretty solid, even if a bit bare-bones. The port doesn’t feature many graphical options, ultrawide resolutions, or support for frame rates higher than 60, but it does include 2K and 4K support, and manages to deliver a solid performance at all times, which is impressive considering just how many enemies are fit into the screen.

Samurai Warriors 4 DX is mostly free of the issues that previous PC ports of the Warriors series had, like heavy artifacting when playing at 144hz, but some players have reported a softlock at the end of Oda Nobunaga’s campaign, which has stopped them from being able to progress through the rest of the story.

Graphically, the game looks mostly as it did on the PlayStation 4, featuring the post-processing and increased graphics that were not present on the PlayStation 3. The game has aged quite well both in graphics and gameplay, and the FMVs still look impressive even 10 years later.

When it comes to content, Samurai Warriors 4 DX is 1:1 with the base game from 2014, including all previously available DLC without removing or adding anything. The game still comes bundled with its Chronicles mode, which allows players to create their own character and experience a unique story where they document the lives of notorious warriors in the battlefield.

The co-op feature, both for local and online multiplayer has also been included with the DX release of the game, although both modes of co-operation have their fair share of problems.

Local split screen multiplayer is locked at 30FPS with no option to increase it to 60FPS, which is something that was put in place for the original console release and has unfortunately not been removed, while online multiplayer is basically unplayable due to crashes, lag, and objectives constantly breaking.

It’s relatively difficult to believe that Samurai Warriors 4 DX is a 10-year-old game with very minor touch-ups, as its character models remain very detailed and expressive, and even its FMVs are still gorgeous to watch. Samurai Warriors 4 also has the added bonus of being one of the best games in the franchise, making it a no-brainer if you enjoy the Musou genre.

The bite-sized Chronicles mode missions are bound to give players a lot to do even after they finish the story mode, and things like the hidden weapons and secret objectives will also please completionists and achievement hunters.

As its own game, Samurai Warriors 4 is a really fun experience filled with absurd characters, impractical weapons, and lots of button mashing, but as an updated port, Samurai Warriors 4 DX is simply “fine”, which may not be enough to justify its price tag. It really is one of the better Koei Tecmo ports in recent memory, but then again the bar is not incredibly high.

Samurai Warriors 4 DX was reviewed on Microsoft Windows using a game code provided by Koei Tecmo. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Samurai Warriors 4 DX is available in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, and globally on Microsoft Windows (through Steam).
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The Verdict: 7.5

The Good

  • Samurai Warriors 4 is one of the best games in the franchise, and having and having an updated port that is playable on modern hardware is a treat
  • The inclusion of all DLC without the need for separate purchases is quite nice, although it's the least to be expected when considering the game's price tag

The Bad

  • The bar is somewhat low for Koei Tecmo's PC endeavors, and even though Samurai Warriors 4 DX is better than other ports made by the company, it still falls short in many aspects
  • The game's online multiplayer is the least polished part of this updated release, and the 30FPS lock in local multiplayer is completely unnecessary nowadays
  • Samurai Warriors 4 DX is quite expensive for such a middle-of-the-road port, lacking basic features and graphical settings


Fan of skeletons, plays too many video games, MMO addict, soul-like and character action enthusiast.

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