Untold Legends: The Warrior\’s Code

By on September 26, 2006

The Warrior’s Code is a significant improvement over its predecessor, but as a game in itself, it doesn’t offer much.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

The first Untold Legends was a pleasant surprise, but ultimately disappointing. It was a good hack and slash game, though it had its drawbacks. In fact the drawbacks were many, and so Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has made a good effort this time round to fix them. However, even though The Warrior’s Code is a significant improvement over its predecessor, but as a game in itself, it doesn’t offer much.

First of all the biggest improvement this time around is the story mode. The last time the story was just an excuse to keep on hacking and slashing monsters after monsters. This time however, instead of continuing with the story from the first game, SOE came up with this: “Evil warlord takes over a thriving city. Everything goes into chaos. Many succumbed to him but not us. We, with our sense of justice and heroism will overthrow the evil warlord.” Pretty much you bog standard stuff, but it’s at least an effort compared to the last one. All of this comes with your standard set FMVs and voice acting that’s average at best.

Starting off the game you are given a choice between 5 character classes, three male and two female. This lack of options for choosing the sex is made up by the character customisation of skin tone, hair style and hair colour. Anything else beyond this is unnecessary, as you won’t be able to notice the small details in-game anyways.

Moving onto the gameplay, you can practically get through the entire game just by frantically pressing X. Here in come the multiple special moves and you can execute them in different and flashy ways to defeat the enemies. A cool move is ‘Attack of Opportunity’ where by if an enemy is stunned you can pull of different combos. This would have been great had it not been for the unresponsive controls and the fact that you have to get up close to the enemy to execute the attack. Truly a good opportunity missed (pun not intended). Another special move is turning into a ‘beast’ which results in your character executing more powerful physical attacks, for short periods of time, without any damage onto ourselves. Sadly with no ability to use magical attacks and equipping with more powerful weapons later on in the game, this technique is rendered useless.

Besides these quirks the combat system is very well implemented. Using up to six buttons and other combos (L + O etc.) will allow you to make powerful and varied moves, mixing in physical and magical attacks, thereby avoiding the monotony of simple hack and slash to a certain extent. Levelling up and item management is also better presented, making for easier comparisons between equipments and their attributes.

The game is underscored by orchestral music typical in such RPG games. But that’s certainly not a bad thing at all. In fact, sound cues from items, guttural monster voices and the voice acting of NPCs make for a better than average aural experience, especially on headphones. The same can be said about the level design as well. With a small map indicating what areas remain unexplored, and enemy soldiers up ahead allowing a little room for planning. It’s fun to explore the levels now, with a few puzzles here and there and improved loading times (over the last game).

The biggest improvement however is the multiplayer aspect of the game. New game modes include Deathmatch and good old Capture the Flag, along with a better online co-op mode, where you can play the main quest with a friend.  Different levels of players does mean newbies get owned easily, thankfully the lobby shows the player levels before entering the game. But no solid way to communicate (onscreen chat or VOIP) leaves a lot to be desired, however there’s only so much SOE can do with a quick sequel.

In the end Untold Legends: The Warriors Code is better than the first game, as all sequels should be. However this is not a game that you will find engaging. Its fun hacking and slashing, but even then you don’t get the satisfaction that you might have expected. It’s the kind of game you will want to come back to after a month, only to play it for another hour and get bored of it quickly. Multiplayer helps but ultimately it’s not that refreshing either. Here’s hoping the next one will be more epic, more interesting and more fun.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
7
Good controls providing a variety of moves, but sometimes clunky and useless
GRAPHICS
7
Crisp graphics with detailed character animation and special effects
SOUND
7
Nothing really special, but it gets the job done nicely
VALUE
7
Single player mission is very linear, but multiplayer makes up for it
FUN FACTOR
6
Ultimately it feels lacking
OVERALL
6.8
Even though The Warrior’s Code is a significant improvement over its predecessor, but as a game in itself, it doesn’t offer much.

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