|System: PS3, Xbox 360|
|Release: March 15, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Josh Wirtanen
The Trojan War seems like the perfect fit for a video game. It's extremely violent, the lack of modern weaponry requires a much different type of strategy than today's wars, and people back then actually believed enough in crazy mythological creatures to legitimize the appearance of such monstrosities. The Warriors series decides to capitalize on all this with its newest title, Warriors: Legends of Troy.
Players are plopped into the shoes of various Greek and Trojan heroes and must complete various missions to help give their side the edge in battle. These missions have players do things like ransack granaries, dismantle clifftop defenses, protect civilians, and capture enemy strongholds. The gameplay involves a lot of hacking and slashing with swords and axes, with a little bit of shield action thrown in for good measure.
To make it easier to hit targets on the 3D landscape, there is a lock-on feature that allows players to focus on a single target. Sadly, this feature is so poorly implemented that it's pretty much only useful during one-on-one combat. In large battles, the target that gets locked-onto feels completely random. I've had instances where I've had a fair amount of enemy soldiers directly in front of me, yet hitting the lock-on button sent my focus to a soldier who was off in the distance somewhere. And if you pan the camera in front of the character to lock onto an enemy behind you, your character will still throw items straight ahead rather than at the locked target. This can be extremely frustrating for players comfortable with the much superior lock-on systems found in games like Red Dead Redemption.
While swinging your weapon wildly is generally effective, there are a few strategic elements that must be used in order to survive these battles. For example, the opening scene has you hold your shield up over your head every time a volley of arrows is launched. Yet this mechanic is drastically overused within the first fifteen minutes of the game as it becomes painfully awkward to watch an entire battlefield of soldiers simultaneously stop fighting to hold up their shields.
Groups of soldiers will often include a captain or commander of some sort with a lot more health than the average fighter. Killing this commander will cause nearby soldiers to lose their cool and often make really dumb mistakes like dropping their shields. Sometimes these freaked-out warriors will even flee the battle completely.
Legends of Troy also allows players to pick up the weapons of fallen enemies and either use them in combat or throw them. This is especially fun when you've already taken down an enormous pile of enemies and get to hurl projectiles at those who are trying to flee. This concept, by far, provides for the most entertaining moments of the game. Yet even this great feature has a major flaw: whenever a cutscene loads, any weapons a player has picked up will disappear. Getting your hands on a really great weapon (like a spear) is so much less rewarding when you know that the item will disappear as soon as you hit the next plot point.
At various points in the story, players will swap between characters, all of which are powerful heroes of either Greece or Troy. Each has his or her own playstyle and default weapon loadout. My favorite of these is Penthesilea, the Amazonian queen with a gigantic axe that will slice through anyone who comes even remotely close to her, while my least favorite character is definitely Ajax, whose strength is offset by his lack of weapons.