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PS3 Fanboy hands-on: Legendary

Majed Athab

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Legendary is a modern day first person shooter with a slight twist. The twist being that you're not just firing at the usual soldier clad in army gear, but you'll also be spitting bullets at mythical creatures of yore. That's right, go toe-to-toe with griffins, werewolves, and minotaurs (oh my!). Now how did those beasts arrive in the modern world? That's the fault of our protagonist, Deckard, who reluctantly opened up Pandora's Box and, well, doomed us all.

Luckily for us, we were prepared for the apocalypse and braved the first several hours of Legendary. The game kicks off in New York City with Deckard trying to steal "the box" from a museum, but he ends up activating it. The box imbues a seal onto his hand, granting him magical powers which are not only for story purposes but is also a very useful weapon and healing tool. Gameplay-wise, Deckard's magic ability adds a layer of strategy on top of the standard shooter experience. When you take down any of the creatures of legend, they'll leave traces of energy which Deckard can absorb and use to replenish his magic power or his health. To replenish one's health, you'll need to hold down the triangle button which actively drains from his magic pool. What's good about this is that you can control how much health you want to restore and not waste a drop. It's a small thing, but noteworthy in the long run and in the more difficult settings. You can carry four weapons on you at any one time. Two of the four are reserved for molotovs and grenades while the other two allow you to switch around with various firearms. Select your currently equipped weapon with the d-pad.

One of the things that sticks out about Legendary the most is the design and strategy you'll need to utilize in defeating different types of enemies. For example, some of the first creatures you'll meet are the firedrakes. You can take these things down with bullets but they will continuously respawn. To take them out completely you'll need to douse them with water; to do this you'll need to use environmental objects, like say, finding a valve and turning on the sprinklers or shooting a fire hydrant wide open.


To take down creatures like werewolves and alpha werewolves, you'll need to blow their heads off before they can regenerate. The flying Nari are faerie-like creatures; they glow bluish-white and, while in this form, cannot be harmed by your weapons. To take them out, you'll need to use your magic to stun them. Doing so makes them tangible and in turn susceptible to your hail of bullets. Going back to the werewolves, an interesting thing about them is that they can grab objects like barrels and just start hurling them towards you. Be careful, those barrels can explode. If you're really good, you could shoot the barrel while it's holding it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what would happen then.

Coming off of environment interactivity, enemies can also manipulate the stage by breaking through walls. When we fought a minotaur for the first time in an English courtyard (yeah, you head to England later on), we noticed that it was literally taking the walls apart and ramming into objects and just destroying them. This is used as an element of surprise as well; seemingly safe corridors may suddenly turn into hot spots as their walls get torn down by werewolves.

With that high interactivity with the environment, the aesthetic value and graphics suffer. Environmental models and textures don't look at polished as some other current gen games. In fact, I'd say that the graphics look on par with Resistance: Fall of Man -- a PS3 launch title. With that said, it is interesting to note that probably part of that is attributed to the large scale of the environments and the fact that there is always something happening on screen. Take the New York level for example; staring out of a hollowed out office building, you'll see a massive golem romping around while people on the street are fleeing around in terror. There is a strong atmospheric presence.

Lastly, I want to mention that there is a three-way battle going on. You'll of course be fighting the creatures, but you'll also be fighting other humans that belong to a group called the Black Order. We won't talk much about the story but let's just say these guys are bad. Anyway, these guys will be fighting the creatures, too. You can use this to your advantage by sitting back and letting them tear each other apart, or by instigating a fight between them. A good example of this is in the England level, where several werewolves are being kept in cages. You can release them from their bonds and they'll go into a killing frenzy, taking care of your enemies for you. Of course, when they're done with them ... they'll turn on you.

So, that was our experience with Legendary. It seems to be a rather decent title with a lot going for it. Hopefully there will be a demo so you all can give it a try for yourselves. Keep your eye on this one; it'll be released sometime this September.

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