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A General Idea
> Warriors: Legends of Troy
11/3/2011 2:09 PM EST
Warriors: Legends of Troy
GP User: Shirogetsune
Holy Prestige, Batman!
As promised, here's my experience with KoeiCanada's latest title.
Warriors: Legends of Troy takes the core Dynasty Warrior system away from ancient China and instead puts us in the shoes of both Trojan and Greek soldiers during the decade long conflict. You'll find a fair amount of playable characters here, such as Achilles, Odysseus and Ajax for the Greeks while the Trojans have Hector, Paris, and Penthesilea. There are two bonus characters, Patroclus and Aeneas... but these are essentially clones of Achilles and Hector. They also only have one mission each, whereas the rest feel more fleshed out.
The tale is told with a solid mix of realism and fantasy thrown together, with the gods occasionally interfering (More on this later.) Thus, there isn't any magic save what the gods throw at you.. it's all martial combat. The storymode is one campaign, letting you play as different characters between each chapter. When a character's turn comes up to die in the tale of old, the game follows dutifully. That being said, I hope you don't get used to playing as anyone that Achilles kills (or even Achilles himself), as they might exit stage left before the game is even close to over. The storytelling is done in two methods.. beautifully drawn cut scenes between missions that use a mix of the ancient Greek art style, earth tones and basic animation to set up the mission, then ingame cutscenes that show off KoeiCanada's abilities to use the engine for more than just gameplay. It works as a whole, but due to favorite characters not being around for the duration of the game, I did find myself losing interest as the story came to a close.
The gameplay is very Dynasty Warriors, though slower with more emphasis played into tactics and timed button mashing. Square is your quick attack and Triangle acts as a Focused attack, much like Dynasty Warrior's charge system. Blocking is done with R1 and can result in a parry if timed correctly, throwing the opponent off guard. R2 is the dodge roll, useful in duels. X is a stun attack, often a shield bash. Mashing this twice can often bring a grunt's shield down and open them up for a quick kill. Circle is your "Rage" button, effectively doing a Diablo 2 Barbarian warcry that knocks everyone back and results in your attacks cleaving through their shields. Useful when surrounded by large groups. Lastly, L2 acts a weapon pickup. Most anyone that you kill will drop their sword or spear, allowing you to pick it up and use it instead of your own blade or throw it, which I found infinitely more useful. A final note: When an opponet is knocked off guard or caught off guard, the "Triangle of Death" appears. Pressing Triangle, your character performs an instant kill. These are well animated and brutal, but also have the added benefit of when used on a captain or officer, the grunts are feared and knocked off guard. This lets you chain Triangle kills. Very fun.
The core gameplay is slogging your way through hordes of grunts and much like Dynasty Warriors, the combat system is ideal for this. I had a blast throwing spears at advancing or retreating troops, busting through someone's shield and quick killing them, or pressing my Rage button and turning the screen red with blood. Occasionally, the game will shift gears and throw you into a duel or god battle. Duels are much like the core engine, except the enemy troops surround you and a general. It's often a cat and mouse game of stabbing and perfect blocking or rolling, trying to get him to bring down his guard or catching him off balance. These are fun, often hard, one on one fights.
God battles... god battles are clearly inspired by the God of War franchise. You whittle down a god or beast's health until it depletes, then do a series of quick time events. They can be frustrating, but also satisfying. Taking down the Avatar of Apollo, Lyssa, the Cyclops or a Griffin felt fantastic. Repeating the "whittle down the health bar" stage after accidentally messing up a single key press.. not so much. These god battles are often thrown in the middle or at the end of a mission and thankfully have a checkpoint beforehand, so in case you die.. it's not a case of starting all over.
There isn't leveling up, but instead, an item grid. You earn money during and at the end of a fight, which is then used to purchase moveset upgrades and health/damage boosts, combat traits, etc. You place these items on a grid of limited space and that's how you advance a character. A single play through on easy allows me to upgrade the grid's space once and fill it up. These items do make a heck of a difference and thankfully, are carried between characters.
Lastly, the cast. They all play the same, though in different ways. You'll find Achilles and Hector play alike (Patroclus and Aeneas go without saying), Paris and Odysseus are similar, as are Ajax and Penthesilea. Achilles and Hector are your shock troops. Hard hitting, quick moving, machines of death. Paris and Odysseus are more comfortable at range, Paris with his bow and Odysseus with throwing knives. Penthesilea has a huge axe and small shield, Ajax has a huge shield and small fist weapon. They are both the slow moving heavy hitters, often ignoring an enemies shield with throws or strikes. Though they specialize in different areas, the difference isn't as drastic as the different characters in Dynasty Warriors. It often feels like you're playing the same guy, with a different model and animation set. It's not horrible, but noticeable as the game draws to a close.
All in all, it was a good experience. I still think I prefer the Samurai Warrior's 3 engine to this and, at times, Dynasty Warriors 7. But Troy gives us a different setting, interesting characters and a classic tale told in a modern way. I highly recommend it for any Koei fan, as it's hard to top playing as the beast that Achilles is. It's far from perfect, but I've played far, far, far worse.
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