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Black Myth Wukong is a new RPG project from the Chinese scene that is gaining traction ahead of its release which is a few months away. Now, what do Chinese game developers and mythical figures have in common? Maybe a game about the titular Taoist monkey king who goes on an odyssey and fights against powerful creatures based on the classic novel from the 16th century, Journey to the West. And yes, this one is a Souls-like.

I think some of us saw the fancy in-game rendered trailer years ago and got anxious to see this become an actual thing. For years, that speculation stayed on since Black Myth Wukong wasn’t giving as much update outside the full gameplay trailer released a year after that. But few things were confirmed, one being the game is under development with a slated release date, and that it’s using Unreal Engine 5.

Circa 2023 and seems like that release date is only a couple of seasons close to release. I wanted to unpack what Game Science has been working on. Because recently they’ve been showing a lot more, game previews from various journalists, and glimpses into how they are proceeding with its story. Black Myth Wukong has been garnering interest from across the globe and has taken place in the most anticipated RPG titles of 2024 alongside – Rise of the Ronin.

Black Myth Wukong – Official Trailer

Monkey King Mythology

Wukong is a king of monkeys born from stone and possesses both powers of strength and magic. His story is told through The Legends of the Monkey King about his journey to India, to retrieve holy Buddhist books(sutras) and bring them to China. So yeah, his tale is somewhat an extension of the teachings of Buddha, as much as a great fable of its own.

Yet, in contrast to those teachings, he is known for being strong, agile, and having other unique abilities involving shapeshifting in a few different ways and leaving decoys if you’ve played him in League of Legends. Wukong has battled all kinds of threats in his journey, leaving him a very formidable fighter.

Not everybody has read Journey to the West, but it’s considered one of China’s best literary works in history for all good reasons. So, we’re expecting epic clashes against monsters and beasts entirely based on both the books and more from known Chinese mythology in the upcoming Black Myth Wukong.

Black Myth Wukong - Visual - Deshi Geek
Black Myth Wukong – Visual – Deshi Geek

Playing The Fighter

Game Science has been working on Black Myth Wukong for a long time now, so before the first trailer, it has probably been in development for around 6 years now, and this wouldn’t be their first foray into getting a game out to the international market. Before that, they worked on a mobile title 100 Heroes, and a strategy game released for PC, and Mac called Red Tides.

It’s a wonder how the game managed to amass so much buzz, but looking at that trailer now, it seems like a lot of it could have been marketing gimmicks. Those kinds of doubts have been somehow squashed after journalists recently got their hands on the demo and have quite a lot of net positive impressions of Black Myth Wukong, all regarding its boss battles, and gameplay design.

The first boss fight in Black Myth Wukong, one of the few first shown in earlier demos has the caves changed up to evoke more dread, as it is filled to the brim with skeletons and lets its poisonous attacks create some distress since any attack can poison Wukong, meaning players will have to treat it constantly.

One that comes afterwards is a giant Macaque monkey, wielding a large sword, landing furious attacks while bits of snow fill up the air. The physics system is involved in creating some fluid environmental effects that change dynamically based on how the monkey moves and attacks. After his health drops to a certain point, he ascends to his second form, where he grows wings, and unleashes more carnage.

There are myriads of challenging encounters in Black Myth Wukong, including from average grunts that he’ll fight, as they land killing blows, easily taking Wukong down if he isn’t careful. Unlike certain souls-likes that must thread between this subgenre, and being an action adventure, Wukong fully embraces that all the way.

He has only one weapon but can change into various stances that create different alternating attacks. As well as forms, and spells. It was mentioned earlier that he can also shift-shape as well, that coupled with his abilities, can create various strong combo of attacks. It’s all about keeping with the rhythm but making sure to balance it with defense as well. Since he will have to dodge and block attacks often.

Black Myth Wukong – Official 13 Minutes Gameplay Trailer

Summing Up Black Myth Wukong

If Black Myth Wukong can pull off being a great release in the sea of other Souls clones and such next year, then it’ll be because the developers utilized their creativity well and reap what they could from his legends. There’s a big potential to be a great game, probably even pushing the standards for other hardcore Souls fans.

And, the other thing is how they’ll utilize Unreal Engine 5 to showcase not only amazing visual effects with higher fidelity but also make more use of its rendering and physics engine for gameplay purposes. UE5 uses nano-tech based rendering to achieve such feats.

Also indicating that it’ll use every power it can extract from both the consoles and gaming PCs. Seeing the ceaseless nature of such spectacles from Black Myth Wukong, I am leaning on to believe it’ll be worth experiencing through. There’s no exact release date slated, but the game studio hints largely at a summer 2024 release. Heck, maybe it’ll do one better than From Software’s own catalog.

However, it’s been said that putting too much faith into something without enough assurances can often lead to some disappointment when the end product is in hand (am looking at you Wu Long: Fallen Dynasty).


Video games aficionado, movie geek, and a bit of fictional reading at times keeps me quite distracted, not even if the end of the world is near will I stop.

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