Black Myth: Wukong – Everything You Need To Know

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Black Myth: Wukong – Everything You Need To Know

Game Science, the development studio behind the creation of Black Myth: Wukong, has released an exclusive demo of the game for the Chinese market. As a result, in the past few hours, a lot of information has emerged about the soulslike inspired by the Chinese legend of Wukong. For several years now, the developers have decided to tickle the imagination of fans of the genre with new videos, but this time, thanks to the release of a real demo, we have more information about it that could further increase the hype from fans.

In this published demo, 45 minutes long, fans were able to touch entire levels, main and non-main bosses, many activities, and a great focus on what are the real game mechanics. For this reason, we have decided to create this summary article in which we detail all the things that have emerged on the net in the past few hours about Black Myth: Wukong.

What is Black Myth: Wukong?

The origins of Black Myth: Wukong start from far away and have their roots in something completely different. Many years ago, in fact, Tencent decided to put in the pipeline the idea of wanting to develop an MMORPG inspired by Journey to the West, a famous novel dedicated to the mythological figure of Sun Wukong. Despite the good promises, the title turned out to be a failure, but some developers, in 2014, decided to create their own small studio, Game Science, and continue on their path.

After the release of the first two games, the developers decided to raise the bar and create a AAA game, taking inspiration from Monster Hunter: World, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and God of War. From this methodical study of these three titles, the developers had the idea of designing a soulslike inspired by Journey to the West and featuring the legendary Sun Wukong. It is in that period, in fact, that the entire imaginary of Black Myth: Wukong took shape.

The game is now in an advanced stage of its development and will be available for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S next summer. From what we have seen so far, it seems to be a very valid project that exploits the potential offered by Unreal Engine 5. Obviously, to give more detailed judgments we will have to wait for its official release.

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How's Black Myth: Wukong?

Black Myth: Wukong will be a soulslike to all intents and purposes, set in semi-open maps where there are lethal enemies, NPCs to talk to, different types of environmental interactions, and, of course, like any self-respecting soulslike, fearsome bosses to face. At the moment, the only area that has been shown to us in full is that of Purple Cloud Mountain, very similar to the settings that we can also find in Sekiro. Another similarity to FromSoftware's game is that it has a default character, the anthropomorphic monkey Wukong.

As for the role-playing part of the game, it seems that the development team wanted to give a solid emphasis to this aspect. The character will be able to wear different armor with different stats, as well as have a level-up system (which, however, was not possible to see in the demo due to timing issues).

For the moment we have seen the Purple Cloud Mountain area which is littered with five different types of basic enemies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that the player will have to discover. Some of them are able to kill you even in a single move. Furthermore, it is also possible to meet an NPC who represents a snake voiced by a female voice, which will then be visible in semi-human form later in the adventure. Finally, following a hidden path, it is possible to get to face an optional boss. This scorpion man, named Poisonous King, however, becomes hostile only if the player destroys all the carafes of wine in his area, otherwise, it is not possible to engage in this fight.

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Black Myth: Wukong gameplay

In this demo we were able to assist four boss fights against the bosses Centipede Guay, Macaque Chief, Tiger Vanguard, and Poisonous King, without considering two other boss fights that we have been able to see in other published videos. Each of these boss fights has managed to give us important details regarding the gameplay, game mechanics, and combat system. But let's proceed step by step and start from the beginning.

If you already know the game and have seen some of its videos, you will already know that in Black Myth: Wukong the weapon with which you can engage in combat is the Ryuji Jingu Bang stick. This weapon allows you to chain together different types of attacks, between light and heavy, in order to create long combos that will put your enemies in difficulty and, consequently, make your life easier. Light hits allow you to accumulate Focus Points, which are displayed in the lower right corner of the screen, while heavy hits consume these points. Obviously, it is useless to specify that being able to chain the right attacks can create devastating combos that can guarantee you immunity to rebounds and, in some circumstances, also to any type of damage suffered.

Furthermore, as is the case in the Nioh games, for example, it is also possible to switch between different fighting postures. In Black Myth: Wukong there are three of them and they are the Pillar Form which allows you to lengthen the stick, the Thrust Form which allows you to launch devastating lunges and the Smash Form which allows you to stun enemies.

Another aspect of fundamental importance in a game like this is the dodge and parry system. The former are built classically and take advantage of a perfect timing system and take some cues from the Bayonetta series. When a perfect dodge is performed, time is slowed down for a few seconds and a sort of aura is released in the place where our character was to signal our previous position. While, as regards the basic dodge, it will consume energy and several of them can also be linked to access a more extensive variant of it.

As for the parry, however, it is also an important element as it seems that in some cases they are also able to unbalance the enemies, opening up a significant attack window for us to make our moves. Also for the parry, there are similarities with Sekiro as it will be necessary to become familiar with the management of the rhythm, very similar to the one present in the FromSoftware game. It is, therefore, a very fast and dynamic system that aims to put all its emphasis on technique, in which the difference between a well-done shot and one cannot make the difference between life and death.

To heal yourself in case you are in danger, healing flasks are provided. The peculiarity of this element compared to other games lies in the fact that they are not represented numerically, but with a graphic system. In the lower-left corner you can see the drawing of the flask and how much liquid is in it: the fuller it is, the more chances you will have of healing yourself.

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Finally, Black Myth: Wukong offers eight special skills that can be used in combat and that can be equipped simultaneously. During the demo, we have seen the demonstration of these skills with the character who has transformed into a rock, into a flaming wolf, the enemies paralyzed following a precise blow, invisibility, and many other martial and magical techniques. So, although, at least for the moment, the presence of a single weapon has been confirmed, the game still has several elements in its favor that manage to make the gaming experience more varied.

As for the opponents, however, each of them is equipped with a different and extremely technical set of moves. It is already possible to see how the hitboxes have been handled in a masterly way and how the stick is able to give excellent feedback. In general, the entire combat system seems to be very solid, although it is still early to make judgments. However, we could still already see that Game Science has decided to go very big and has studied other games extensively before creating this project.

Black Myth: Wukong technical side and game design

On the other hand, what amazed the players above all other elements in this Black Myth: Wukong demo was the technical side willing to go beyond the rough aesthetic rendering. In the fight against the Macaque Chief, the blanket of snow that characterizes the battlefield responds to the movements of the protagonist and the boss, constantly altering following each blow that is launched, moving the dust in perfect synergy with the consequences of the individual moves. Similarly, the duel with the Tiger Vanguard takes place in a small blood fountain placed in the middle of a temple courtyard, and even in that specific case the reddish surface seems to respond actively to any interaction between the pair of challengers.

Ultimately, Black Myth: Wukong seems to be very solid from a technical point of view, at least as far as we have seen up to now. Obviously, there are some uncertainties, and remember that the game is still in development, so the team has plenty of time to devote to correcting those inaccuracies that have emerged in the last things shown.

The designers seem to have perfectly grasped the importance of the dark fantasy trait of Hidetaka Miyazaki's works, applying it to Chinese mythology to design creatures and characters that would absolutely look good within the confines of a much more noble production. As for the soundtrack, the studio obtained from the CCTV television network the rights to exploit part of the original compositions of the 1986 TV series Journey to the West, which has become a cult in the country, before enriching it with classic “guoyue” songs, that is, specially composed for Chinese musical instruments.

Future plans: DLCs and microtransactions

Furthermore, the Game Science team has revealed that in the future it could decide to support the game with DLCs and introduce microtransactions. On this last point, the team ensures that in any case Black Myth: Wukong is not and will never be a pay-to-win game. The studio is so sure of its statement that it invites players to save a screenshot of the FAQ as proof, in case they decide to change their minds in the future.

“The game will follow the traditional one-time purchase model. In the future, we may introduce DLC and in-game purchases, but rest assured that the game will never become pay-to-win. This is our commitment and we invite everyone to make one screenshot of this response to remind us if you feel we have strayed from this model.”

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Black Myth: Wukong – Everything You Need To Know
Diana D'Estefano
Diana has been a huge fan of video games since she was a child. She started her "career" with Nintendo and then moved on to other platforms as well. She is a computer engineering student. She is passionate about everything related to the gaming industry and writes for various websites in the sector. Although she is a big fan of horror games, she plays almost all genres fearlessly.