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30Sep 12At it's heart, Warriors: Legends of Troy is another simple Hack and Slash that we've seen copied over and over again in the past. The few perks the game does present however, create a satisfying play through all the way to the game's conclusion.
Developed by KOEI Canada, Warriors: Legends of Troy brings us a satisfying experience, but not one that we haven't seen before. Only the second game the developer has put out on the console market, it seems to be yet another low budgeted "copycat" game that only mimics what else is out there on the market. They took what was successful before, and threw it into the midst of an amazing story that seemed to serve as the backbone of the game.
With all that in mind, the hack and slash style of the game is what makes it so fun and makes me wonder why it hasn't ever been done before for this kind of setting. If they had only enhanced a few things and possibly came up with a few neat innovations for the game that could differ itself from other entries in the genre, Legends of Troy could have been much greater than it is. KOEI delivered a game that could have transformed the genre with open world environments, a lavish story, and fresh gameplay, yet they lacked the innovation and went down the safe route.
The game follows the story of one of history's most marveled pieces of literature, the Illiad by Homer, which is the tragic account of the Fall of Troy. The war and chaos that unfolds is all started because of Paris, one of the many princes of Troy. Hector and Paris travel to Sparta in an attempt to bring eternal peace between the two factions. During the negotiations, Paris falls in love with Helon, the wife of Menelaus, and takes her back to Troy. Menelaus is outraged and asks his brother, Agamemnon king of the Greeks, to invade Troy to have his revenge. Thus unfolds the war that killed kings and princes, that felled entire nations, all for the prize of one girl, Helon.
How the game tells the story is interesting. It will flip flop back and forth to the opposite side of the war, The Greeks and Trojans, in an attempt to tell the story from both perspectives. While I like this idea, the story often went off topic and seemed to go off on what reminded me of side quests that I had no interest in at all. The meat of the Illiad is the obvious battle between Troy and Greece, but probably the most notable characters of the story are Hector and Achilles. Too often was I playing the character of someone I didn't care about and being forced to delve into their entire back story. I just want to fight the war playing my favorite characters, Achilles and Hector **BRAAAHHHH**!
The gameplay is where I begin to get mixed thoughts that span many faults. However, because I'm a good person, I'll tell you the good stuff before I get to the bad. The game feels great. There is no other way to put it! It just does. The entire emphasis of the game not placed on the story is the killing aspect. You will constantly be fighting your way through hordes of enemies, mercilessly cutting them down at will. If they run away, you get the chance to pull of some sweet cinematic kills such as chopping off their heads or throwing a spear across the battlefield to have it end up sprawled through a mans torso. Yes, it looks cool and yes there is blood. Not a sloppy overwhelming amount of blood that just looks like the developer over did it, but the satisfying kind that puts that cruel, twisted smile on your face. I had one on almost all the time. If there were pictures, I'd look like I have some sort of mental deviation!
One factor that was kind of a disappointment however, was that the AI was severely handicapped. Asides from the boss fights, the hordes of men you fight on the battlefield will practically line up and wait for you to kill them. They don't fight back! They cower behind there shields and remain immobile while you cut of each and every one of their limbs and take it like mere scratches. Though I can see how this is one of the factors that makes the game a gritty and fun experience, I just felt a bit too overpowered and wished that I would have met some type of resistance.
The AI for the boss fights is somewhat of a different story. Boss fights occur on an average of once per level throughout the game that can breath new life into the somewhat dull, boring experience preceding it. There are two types. Challenge fights, where you'll often fight a key member of the story, thus killing him off. They're simple fights though that require little to know thinking at all. It's just your average joe soldier you've fought before with a boosted health bar. While they do fight back, all you have to do is simple roll away or fend of the blow with your shield and continue the slaughter on the poor man's body. The boss fights are a tad different. Both sides in the game have defied the gods in some way, therefore they're trying to kill you in an act of revenge. They're massive creatures taken out of mythical accounts that clearly never pop up in the Illiad, just added for mere fun. Each god has one basic attack move that can be easy to avoid if you roll out of the way, or in some cases block with your shield, but if you are hit with these moves, your health bar with be harmed grimly. In order to kill a god, you not only have to empty out their health bar, but you must complete a scripted cinematic type scene where your character will perform a series of actions if you hit the correct buttons (triangle, x, square, circle, etc,). Fail to do so and the boss resets at 25% health and you go through the events again.
The jist of what I'm trying to portray here is the fact the common foe is very stale and boss fights are uneventful. They offer a mix in the hackneyed styled gameplay, but are nothing we haven't seen before and gradually get ever more boring as they just copy and paste the fights.
The graphics is one of the few upsides the game has, but there are some parts that just seem unfinished. KOEI obviously wanted to try and do something big here. They created a lush, visceral landscape that is very pretty. The downside is that parts of the countryside just seem missing. The had the opportunity here to make the game like a sandbox type, open world game. Instead, they closed off half of the content with a random fence or mountain they sets you off on a very linear path! Another thing that popped up in my head while I ran down through these paths is how pathetic camps and villages looked like. An army camp would be a few random tents just thrown into the middle of nowhere that somehow harbored 50-100 soldiers. Villages were the same story. A few huts thrown into the mix that no one would care about, yet half the Greek Army would. It clearly rang out in my mind that KOEI didn't take the extra time to create these aspects of the countryside a bit more believable. After seeing such a beautifully detailed environment, I was a bit distracted to really notice any of these flaws, it's just a minor change I think could have really been beneficial in the end.
Something I can say nothing but good things about for Legends of Troy is the sound. The game is full orchestrated by a stellar soundtrack that I found myself humming along too at various different points. They're a key factor as well to some moments in the game that my have seemed stupid, but were pushed on to feel epic thinks to the music playing in the background. There is even a feature in the game's menu to go and listen to all of the music in the game if you'd like to hear one of the many great tunes again. The other factor that sound played a heavy role in was the voice acting and battle chatter. The voice acting in the game was exceptional. Unfortunately, the characters mouths often couldn't keep up with the person speaking, which threw me off quite a bit. The battle chatter was nothing better than the standard we've come to expect, men screaming in pain, swords dinging off shields, and arrows flying over your head. The sound KOEI intertwined into the game was breath-taking and possibly could have been the ruin of what the game had actually accomplished if it weren't there.
All in all, Warriors Legends of Troy was a game that had potential, but failed in the end to achieve it. They had the opportunity to work off of a great story, yet failed to capture its splendor. Poisoned by an AI that refused to fight and littered by bosses with only half a brain, the action never seemed worth to actually fight in, and left me inattentive. The game just simply didn't feel finished, as if it was rushed out onto the market to make some quick money. The game could have been fun, yet it lacked any innovation at all and suffered from multiple major flaws.
Replay Value: Low
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