|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Spark Unlimited||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Gamecock||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Q2 08||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: TBA||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
January 16, 2008 - Classical mythology has always been a fascinating subject, especially in the world of video gaming. And no discussion about Greco-Roman lore is complete without mention of the fabled box of the first female-- Pandora. This box held all of the evils of the world, and those who open it would meet a terrible fate. The fabled Pandora's Box has been used in videogames before, both in House of the Dead 4 and most recently in the first God of War title. But no game has focused entirely on this fabled object. That is, of course, until now.
Legendary: The Box is the newest title from publisher Gamecock, and many people have high expectations for it. The game begins in modern-day New York, with thief-for-hire Charles Deckard just doing his job. His task: stealing a very ornate box from the local museum. Deckard isn't usually a curious fellow, but he can't help looking inside this beautiful box. And as you might predict, that is where the trouble begins.
The box contains a portal which houses an entire cast of mythical beasts that includes (but is certainly not limited to) larger-than-life gryphons, angry minotaurs, and, of course, everyone's favorite, hairy, scary werewolves. All these creatures spew forth out of this portal and begin to destroy New York City in the space of a few minutes. And all the while you have control of Deckard, and you have no weapon.
After the race to escape the beasts that you've unwittingly unleashed is over, the real gameplay begins. Apparently a secret organization called the Black Order set you up to open Pandora's Box, and was expecting you to die in the process. But as heroes often do, you survived, and now the planet's survival also rests on you. So now it's you vs. the Black Order, and if you lose, the world ends. No pressure, right?
In addition to the promising story, Legendary: The Box also looks to incorporate some pretty cool battle elements. Early on in the game, when Deckard first opens the box, he is branded with a symbol. This symbol allows him to suck the life-force out of the beasts from the box that he has killed. So in order to survive in this game, you'll have to do a lot of killing. And of course the Black Order goons don't count as beasts, so you may find yourself seeking out the monsters before you confront your human foes. Either that or you could let the beasts kill the Black Order members, as they seem to hate all humans and don't typically bother asking what organization you belong to before they kill you.
So you've essentially got the beasts who kill everyone, the Black Order who want to kill you, and then you want to off both the Black Order and the beasts. But in order to do said killing, some weaponry is in order. And while Legendary: The Box will offer you most of the FPS staples (assault rifle and handgun, for example), the game will also feature some original weaponry that looks pretty cool. Chief among this original weaponry is the SAW, which is essentially a machinegun that has been put on steroids. This big behemoth shoots some stunningly powerful bullets, but it is pretty slow when it comes to rate of fire. So even though it is a pretty awesome gun to behold, you might want to keep the assault rifle handy just in case.
In addition to the single player story mode, Legendary: The Box will also have some pretty cool multiplayer options that take advantage of the game's unique character-types. The main online mode will feature resistance and Black Order teams that will engage in battle while fending off beasts. The beasts will be non-playable, and will be more of an environmental force than an actual opponent. This will serve as the core framework for the online modes, and while details about different ways to play are not yet available, I'm sure there will be ways to tweak the online gameplay and customize the experience.
Legendary: The Box looks like a great game that incorporates a fantastic gameplay with some pretty solid FPS-style action. The story is intriguing to say the least, and the gameplay looks like it will be a lot of fun for those who enjoy both supernatural games and the FPS genre. And the fact that the whole thing is based on the ancient story of Pandora's box gives it a pretty strong "cool" factor. This is definitely a title to look out for later this year!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer