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Warriors:Legends of Troy Review

From Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2‘s duplication of The Rock‘s shower room shootout to Shank‘s homage to Desperado‘s south-of-the-border bloodshed, games intermittently draw inspiration from the cinema. With throngs of lunging hoplites and Phalanx blade-swinging Trojans, Warriors: Legends of Troy undoubtedly culls from the sword-and-sandal epics such as Troy and 300. Yet where Infinity Ward and Klei’s titles have offered scorching recreations of action sequences, Koei Canada’s action perpetually simmers. Much like Oliver Stone’s Alexander, the title’s ambitions never quite congeal, leaving gamers with the feeling that each subsequent stage will deliver the goods.

As the game’s moniker suggests, Legends of Troy is a recontextualization of Omega Force’s long-running Dynasty Warriors series. Following Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War, Gundam and Samurai Wars‘ shift away from ancient China’s three kingdoms, the game transports players to the rock-strewn knolls of 1400 B.C. Troy. Despite a number of promising tweaks to reoccurring musou mechanics, the game’s combat rarely rises above middling due to several design deficiencies.

Repetition is a common criticism of the Dynasty Warriors franchise. Here, the developers have attempted to offset tedium by alternating both protagonists and perspectives of the Trojan War. One moment, players will take control of the Greek hero Achilles- then on the next stage they’ll be directing Hector, the Trojan prince. While each combatant has a distinct appearance and advanced move set, rudimentary strikes can feel remarkably similar due to the period’s restrained arsenal. Gamers won’t get any weapons as curious as Xu Zhu’s massive mace or Ling Tong’s lightning-fast nunchaku.

The concept of finishing moves on the battlefield is certainly intriguing, with stunned enemies sporadically displaying a triangle as a symbol of lethal opportunity. However, slight movement can instantly cancel the opening, causing players to inadvertently issue a vertical slash. Worse- I found myself being able to constantly exploit the strike. While circling around a skirmishing pack of preoccupied foes, I could slit a succession of throats with little reaction from nearby enemies. Who knew that Ajax the Great was so damn dishonorable?

Each stage delivers a winding map for players to traverse, with the occasional requirement to save civilians or assist allies in jeopardy. Periodically, the usual skirmish will halt, a circle of soldier will form, and players will be pitted against a mini-boss. Successful attacks reward players with Kleos- in-game currency which can be used to augment the abilities of your character.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, in Troy– the spear might be even more formidable than a poison ink marker. Shielded opponents who defect blade attacks easily fall to a spinning spear, while retreating rivals can be impaled with devilish precision. Resourcefully, the title allows players to salvage discarded weapons with a press of the L2 button- all of which can be thrown for devastating results. Fortunately, most characters are equipped with shields as well, allowing players to absorb an inbound quiver of arrows with a press of the block button. Intermittently, Warrior’s combat is elevated by visceral elements.  From tracking shots which follow the trajectory of a hurled spear into the back of a fleeting foe to cringe-inducing cranial impalements, the game’s offers short satisfying bursts of bloodletting.

Visually, Warriors recreation of ancient Troy is impressive. From the arid Anatolian pathways flanked by pockets of hearty foliage to imposing stone castles, the game’s environments are consistently well modeled. Even more impressive are the title’s characters, who aren’t just equipped with authentic armor and glistening blades- they move with the authenticity of Deadliest Warrior episode. Seeing a hoplite leap passionately toward a fearful foe is consistently pleasing. With cinematics recalling the aesthetics of a Greek hydria and a dedication to the Homeric epics, it’s clear that someone at Koei Canada did their research.

Unlike Achilles who had a single, conceding weakness, Warriors: Legends of Troy succumbs to an assortment of small, nagging wounds. While quandaries with the combat engine and simplistic AI are detrimental by themselves, collectively, they prohibit the gamers from reaching hack and slash nirvana. Hopefully, the developers can regroup, remedy the game’s blemishes, and offer a depiction of the Bronze Age that players truly deserve.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

29 comments

  1. Everytime they make another Dynasty Warrior game god kills a kitten.

    Im just saying. Don’t hate the messenger.

  2. I get the feeling Deagle want to slash some throats with a purple haired man/girl character.

  3. Dynasty Warriors in Greece. Seems like it could have worked. It’s too bad it didn’t.

  4. How many characters are there all together?

    When you flip the main character around all the time doesn’t that confuse you? One minutes youre supposed to be killing Trojans, the next time Greeks?

  5. “Ling Tong’s lightning-fast nunchaku”

    that sounds dirty…real dirty.

  6. If this is any worse than the Clash of the Titan game you have permission to sleep with my Mom.

    ..and my stepdad if you’re into that 😉

  7. GalaxyHunter2311

    blah.

  8. Responsible Gamer

    Sounds liek Deagle gets a chub when we watches Deadliest Warrior. One of those 😉

    beyond that- good review. Maybe I’ll rent or wait for a good sale.

  9. Who are the people that blindly buy each new DW game when it comes out? Do they buy all 10 every year? Will they move out of their parent basement?

  10. I always joke that my brother is the least Deadliest Warrior. The guy could cut himself on a pillow. And he spend 6 years in the Army. Go figure.

  11. The game is

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  12. Good review, as always my man.

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  14. Ascii Art fail. Please delete.

  15. Im gonna delete your family, fool

  16. looks like it might me ok, I like the DW games.

  17. KillerWhiteRabbit

    Any kind of demo of PSN? I could go for some sword to the head action.

  18. full priced game?

  19. Yep, looks like Troy for sure. Ever since I saw the first trailer.

  20. Same morons who buy Madden and NHL every year when it’s the same damn game.

  21. Hey, I like the DW games- they do add content and change things around. Dont try to tell me DW1 is the same as 6.

  22. Review seemed fair enough, sounds like there are a few problems with the game. As for the AI being not so smart- hey isn’t that a ‘feature’ with these types of games?

  23. Wait- are there still musou attack? They cant take those away!

  24. Crazed Cyclepath

    I’ll probably give it a try, just not at $60.

  25. This is one of those games that looks really good in the video, but plays so-so.

    Those are almost worse that just an all-around bad-looking game.

  26. “Exterminate!!!!!”

    Ok, I’ll my inner geek feels better.

  27. Added on my Gamefly list, because I don’t miss a brawler of any time.

  28. I haven’t seen this in store yet. When does it come out (in the US)?