I can vivdly remember when I was younger sitting in my middle school english class thinking about new ideas for video games and being nagged by one persistent question: why hasn’t anyone made a Trojan War game yet? After all, it seemed the perfect setting: massive battles, great characters, enthralling story, yet for some reason no one had taken the idea and run with it. Well, Tecmo Koei has finally acted upon my thirteen year old thoughts and is coming out with its take on the Trojan War with Warriors: Legends of Troy, which we got a chance to demo at this year’s E3.
The demo that we played put us in the shoes of Achilles as he attempted to rid the countryside of Trojan soldiers. Initially, the lighting of the level was impressive, although the character models left something to be desired. This is somewhat understandable, as the game plays out very much like the Dynasty Warriors series its. If you haven’t played the ancient Chinese hack n’ slash title, that essentially means that large groups of people run at you and attempt to overhwhelm you with their numbers rather than and individual enemies skill. This results in a sizable number of enemies on screen at a time, which causes a deterioration of individual character model quality as well as occasional slowdown.
The demo that we got our hands on consisted of Achilles running from one group of enemies to the next, dispatching all of them as he went along in order to advance to the next group. All attacks are mapped to the face buttons, with roll and block mapped to the right shoulder buttons on the PS3. Gameplay unfolds in classic button masher style, with your thumbs furiously pounding on the attack buttons in order to dispatch all of the enemies. Each enemy dispatched builds up a fury meter, which, once activated, unleashes your, well, fury, on the surrounding soldiers; each kill also helps your health regenerate a little bit. Combos can be strung together in order to increase the boosts to both of these, although it is often just as effective to wail away on the face buttons and you will string together a combo which wreaks havoc on your enemies. Combos have the additional bonus of giving you a slow motion view of your destructive power as well as sometimes stunning your enemies, which opens them up for a finishing move. These are executed by well timed single button presses a la God of War; successfully time this move and the game launch you into cinematic finishing moves which splatter the screen with a satisfying mist of blood. This type of well timed button matching was also used to finish off the boss of the level that we played. Level design was quite linear, although the ability to change up weapons by picking them up from downed enemies and sporadic mini-boss fights helped to keep it from getting overly repetitive.
Only Achilles was available in our demo, although multiple other famous characters from the Trojan War, like Odysseus and Hector, are promised, each with their own unique fighting style. There will also be unique campaigns for the Trojans and Greeks, each with their own storyline. 4 player co-op and versus has also been promised and will be available online. So, if you have been dying for another Dynasty Warriors like title, be sure to check out Warriors when it drops November 2010.