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Warriors: Legends of Troy preview: Changing the dynasty


It seems that nearly every Koei game, in some shape or form, is related to Dynasty Warriors. Legends of Troy is no different, giving you control over a lone warrior slaughtering hundreds of generic enemies. While it's bound to fall victim to the curse of repetition, Warriors: Legends of Troy makes some significant advancements to Koei's familiar formula: improved visuals and deeper combat.

That said, the TGS demo I played wasn't polished enough to keep me captivated.

Gallery: Warriors: Legends of Troy (TGS) | 13 Photos

While it may not push the same number of on-screen enemies that a Dynasty Warriors game does, Legends of Troy looks far more detailed. Enemies look a bit more complete, as they seem to be constructed with more polygons. The lighting and special effects make the game look more like something you'd expect in the current generation of graphics. However, while Koei's tech has taken some clear steps forward, it still has some obvious weak points. Textures are bland, and animation isn't particularly striking. There's also an overall lack of detail to the world. The focus on blood and gore may hurt the game's presentation more than help it: the thick gooey blood that spurts out of enemies looks like silly string.

The slower pace of combat makes the game's battles a bit more involved than a typical button masher. You'll actually want to hold your shield up, and figure out ways to work around an enemy. In addition to the usual light, heavy and special attacks, you can block, roll and even attempt to knock an enemy off balance. Fighting a group of shielded enemies involves a bit of patience, waiting for the right moment to attack. It's rather satisfying when earn a lethal finishing move, too -- a quick hit of the Triangle button unleashes a gory display of violence that usually terrifies the rest of your enemies into retreat.

While showing a bit more finesse than its spiritual predecessors, Legends of Troy still doesn't have the polish that defines a real blockbuster action game. That's not to say I wasn't entertained at times during the demo, but the shortcomings Troy's gameplay became evident during the boss battle. As I continued to slash away at a giant reanimated statue, I couldn't help but want more to the showdown. A QTE that can only be described as lazy finished the boss encounter. The static camera angles, the uninspired animation and the lack of cohesion between the button input and the action on screen made for an overall pedestrian experience.

Warriors: Legends of Troy
is one of the most interesting Dynasty Warriors-style games I've seen in a long time. The new setting, coupled with the brutal presentation, certainly demands attention. With some improvements and another coat of polish, this game can be more than noteworthy, it can be good.

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