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Warriors: Legends of Troy
Score: 84%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Tecmo KOEI America
Developer: Tecmo KOEI Canada
Media: Blu-ray/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:
I have loved the Warriors games for years now. The Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors, and Warriors Orochi series are my favorite hack n' slashes. I've spent countless hours playing them, so I was really happy to see a new one coming out, Warriors: Legends of Troy. Legends of Troy takes the series out of Asia and over to ancient Greece and the surrounding areas.

The graphics in Legend of Troy are quite amazing. The cutscenes make you feel like you're watching a movie instead of playing a videogame. I'm really glad that the industry has gotten to the point that they can create realistic looking characters without making them look like zombies (unless they're supposed to be zombies). The main characters in Legends of Troy are very detailed and well done. Just at a glance, you can tell one character from another and they all look pretty much like their historical counterparts are described as looking. The only problem I had with the characters is with the minor enemies. The problem is that since you're continually switching which side you're playing as from level to level, it can be difficult to keep up with who your enemies are until they hit you. I miss the health bar above their heads that you find in some of the other Warriors games. You do get health bars for the harder enemies and bosses though.

I really liked the choices they made in voice acting. For each cutscene, you have an announcer that basically tells you what is going on both before and after and a lot of times during the levels. You'll learn a whole lot of history if you pay attention to the cutscenes. The character's voices all match them as well. You'll hear them talk during the levels based on what is going on. The story continues running throughout the levels.


Gameplay:
When you first start up Warriors: Legends of Troy, you'll be given the option to install it to your hard drive. You don't have to choose the 2.2 GB install to your drive, but it makes the loading time a LOT quicker! The install does take a bit of time though, so set it running and go do something else for 10 minutes or so. After the install is done, there is very little lag even when you're starting a new level.

You'll notice a few options to choose from when you start. First thing, you'll probably want to start a New Story. After you've already started one, you'll choose Resume Story to continue playing. Story really is an appropriate name for it as this game is really a bit of action in between lots of story. Sometimes I felt that if I moved fast in the game, the story parts were longer than my playing. But you can skip the story if you really just don't want to see it. When you start a new story, you'll start on the first chapter and first hero. Each chapter must be played in order and each chapter has a specific hero. You can go back and replay previous chapters by selecting Chapter Select from the Main Menu. Each chapter, you'll learn more about the history surrounding that character and their role in the Trojan War. Each character has a very different skill set. They've all got their advantages and weak point, so you're going to have to work to figure out how to play as each character. I hated Paris! You have to learn to run and shoot with his bow and it's a pain. But then once you get used to it, you find that he might take a bit longer to clear things, but he's less likely to die because you can shoot from a distance. I like Ajax, but I hate having to defend other things, like the ram. It makes it so that checkpoints are more or less useless because if you restart at the last one, your ram still has that low health that you just failed from, so you'll probably fail again. I think that Penthesilea is my favorite though. I always love the characters with huge axes and she can really clear a crowd!

In the Challenges Mode, you'll find Arena and Rampage. Only the characters that you have unlocked in Story will be available for you to play as here. In the Arena, you are battling your chosen character against the other heroes of Greece and Troy. In Rampage, you'll be trying to fight through giant masses of enemies that surround you. Both of these challenges aren't easy for sure. There is no difficulty level on them, but you can equip your items. While going through both Story and Challenges, you earn kleos and these serve as your money in the game. You can use them to buy all sorts of items that do everything from increase your health to boost your allies' attack power. Be careful because you can only wear a certain number of items at once. If you fail a chapter though, it will give you the option to change your items before you try it again.


Difficulty:
Warriors: Legends of Troy provides three different difficulty levels for you: Easy, Normal, and Hard. To change between them in the Story Mode, you will have to start a new Story. I have noticed that if you fail a specific level quite a number of times in Story Mode, then it will give you an option to change the difficulty if you want. You can choose to play any chapter you've previously beaten on any difficulty level, however.

There are quite a few things I found that made the game frustratingly difficult when it really shouldn't have been. First, sometimes you'll notice that you're about to run out of time, but you have no clue when the timer appeared. If you're going to add something like that in there, make it obviously known! Then there's the fact that enemies will just pop up behind you from the middle of nowhere. I could understand if there was a building or something that you knew about, but you'll be clearing in front of you and all of a sudden they're behind you. It's a bit unrealistic and quite annoying. Then there's the requirement to hit certain buttons at certain times in Quick Time Events. This shouldn't be a rhythm game, so there's no real need for that other than to make it so that you can't pay attention to the cutscene since you're too busy watching what button to press. Now that I've broken one controller throwing it on the floor when I got pissed off, I have to recommend that you figure out how to tie the controller to your hand because this game is probably going to anger you at some point.


Game Mechanics:
While there are a lot of buttons to remember in Warriors: Legends of Troy, you'll get used to most of them quickly. The only problem will come in if you've played the previous Warriors games since they are a bit different. The main one I kept doing was pressing (R1) to re-center the camera, which will cause you to block in Legends of Troy. There are some really fun things too. Fair warning, Legends of Troy is a bloody game. When you have an enemy on the ground or running away, you can press (Triangle) when it pops up on the screen to perform a finishing move. These vary by the character and the situation and are a bit bloody. To really make things bloody though, try out your Fury. You'll see the Fury Bar filling up on the top left corner. You can use it when it's half-full or more. This will put you into a pure Rage Mode where every hit slashes blood out everywhere. Plus it does more damage to the enemies, so there is a real use other than seeing blood.

One other thing that is probably going to frustrate you is that this isn't really a hack 'n slash anymore. Instead, you are expected to perform perfectly timed attacks if you want to do the most damage possible. Personally, I hate this. Yes it's not too hard to get into a rhythm and keep the perfect attacks going for a bit, but it's quite a bit annoying to have to get that rhythm down just to kill targets. I much prefer chaining attacks at your own pace instead.

As I said before, I love the Warriors games. I can't say that I am in love with Warriors: Legends of Troy quite yet, but I see some real potential in the game. Given that there are so many characters in that period of history, I would have liked to have had more than the 8 characters available, not to mention it would be interesting to see the gods every now and then. There are lots of other minor things that annoyed me along the way, but still I'm looking forward to a sequel to see where they take this new series as Warriors: Legends of Troy is a pretty good start.


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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