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Deadliest Warrior Legends Review

Deadliest Warrior Legends Review
Game Name: Deadliest Warrior Legends
Platforms: Xbox 360 Arcade
Publisher(s): 345 Games
Developer(s): Pipeworks Software, Inc.
Genre(s): Fighting
Release Date: July 6, 2011
ESRB Rating: M

Deadliest Warrior: Legends is the sequel to the previous game in the DW series and is directly linked to the Deadliest Warrior TV series from where it all started. To those of you who may not be familiar with the TV show, it is based upon bringing two historical icons (individual or a faction) back to the battlefield and put them face to face to duke it out to the end, hence “Deadliest Warrior”.

The game in a nutshell is an XBLA fighter, developed by 345 Studios and is available for 800 MS, which, just like the show itself, pits two people against each other in a battle to the death. The game offers you 9 new iconic characters to choose from: Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Hannibal, Hernán Cortés, Shaka Zulu, Sun Tzu, Vald the Impaler and finally, William Wallace. All of the characters start out with the base weapons (short, mid and ranged) as well as the base armor type. You can unlock more items for their kits by playing through the first game type.

Arcade Mode is where you will most likely begin the game (newcomers make sure you play the tutorial first though!) and in this game type, you simply pick one of the 9 characters, and face all the others (including a different version of your own character). By successfully completing each of the stages, you sometimes unlock secondary gear for your character and every now and then, you are faced with a challenge where you must fight a mini boss. This challenge has only one round and it usually gives you another item to unlock. This game type isn’t too long either, it should only take about 30 minutes to play through it with any character on the normal or hard difficulty and so the arcade mode isn’t a lengthy one. You just need to repeat the mode with a new character each time and win all the battles to unlock all of their basic gear. Another thing – you unlock special variants of weapons for all your characters if you’ve played the first game.

Next, you have the newly added RTS mode to the series called Generals mode. In this mode, you once again pick a character but instead, you play as the commander of your forces in an RTS style game play of conquering territories, zones and castles. Every time you try and take a castle from your opponent, you must duel the general and if you win, you take control of it but, if you fail, you lose your troops. The mode also has more to offer to besides just the conquering aspect. You can also pick between three different attribute and skill boosting upgrades and there are also special character abilities that take place randomly on the field. This game type adds a great level of depth to the series and is a welcome addition to the series. The Generals mode however does also contain local 1 on 1 battles that you can play with a buddy. One tweak we’re looking forward to would be the addition of online ranked matches. This would lengthen the game and also make it more accessible to all players at any time.

The other game types in the SP portion of the game are the Challenge mode. You can unlock this by playing and beating arcade mode using every character in the game. It contains mutations such as Slice mode (every contact hit causes dismemberment) and others including Survival variants of them. Here, you are faced with waves of enemies (one at a time) and you must try and kill as many as you can. This game type is also the one with which you can get the hidden “quirky” weapons. Some of these include the wooden spoon, a flute, fishing rod and a dead fish. These weapons are really funny and go on to add humor to the game but that’s bad news for “completionists” though. One of the achievements requires you to complete Arcade mode using Genghis Khan and his dead fish on Deadliest difficulty and since this weapon is basically useless, it will take true dedication to get it done and a whole lot of time and redo’s. Just be prepared for a lot of frustration…

The final two SP modes available are the Practice and Battle modes. Battle mode let’s you pick your character and gear and another to fight against and just have a go at it. This mode becomes obsolete however when you go to Practice mode. In this game type, you can do whatever you choose with any settings you wish but the only drawback is that it does not contain arenas, but instead, you play in the TV show’s virtual testing facility.

Moving on to the MP aspect of the game, you are offered a few basic options. You can play a player match, a ranked match that adds to your Battle Score (or takes away if you lose), and a tourney mode. There is also a XBL party mode but it’s essentially the same as a player match where you can set up whatever you wish and go crazy if you like (Zombie + Slice = Fun). In Ranked Match however, you’re automatically paired with someone of your Battle Rank / skill level and you play a simple duel to the win. There is also a Tournament mode that is like a long, drawn out version of a duel and you can pick several characters.

The game play of Deadliest Warrior: Legends is solid fun with great gore scenes and the ability to hack every bit of your enemy off makes it even better. It is a great, gruesome game with some good combo lists unique to each player and although it may not be as varied as a retail brawler, that is not what the game is trying to be. It is a realistic experience between two warriors and although rounds may last seconds sometimes, the game is a perfect recipe in terms of game play for an XBLA title.

As we move over to the graphics and other aesthetics, the game sort of starts to fall apart. The player intros are so repetitive that you can predict them every time as there is usually only one animation and the same is the case with most taunts. There are also some other glitches or just imperfections such as the lip syncing. The characters almost always speak out of sync and out of speech even, with the voices. Other things to point out are certain things like floating shields or weapons and minor “rag doll” glitches.

One thing we noticed and other people too seem to have taken note of is the online freezing glitch. Sometimes and on rare occasions at that, when you look for a ranked match and do happen to connect, the game freezes on the loading screen and freezes the console with it too. It has only happened twice out of a good two dozen games so it’s not entirely game breaking right now. Hopefully, 345 address this issue soon and include some other fixes like random and unexpected lag.

Apart from these seemingly comical but minor imperfections, the game has plentiful value for 800 MS and is a must buy if you like XBLA brawlers. Give it a try and have a go at it, look past its visual imperfections and you’ll love it!

Game 2 Gamer’s Final Score 4.5 / 5

One Comment

  1. Really fun game guys, definitely check it out, at least the demo!!