10 Jul, 2006

Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code Review

PSP Review | Living up to its name?
After the success of Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade it was inevitable that a sequel would be developed. Untold Legends will even be making an appearance on the PlayStation 3 in Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, so it’s clear that this is only the beginning for the Untold Legends franchise. Untold Legends may have been an okay game, but it certainly left room for improvement, and less than a year later SOE have delivered The Warrior’s Code. The game fixes a lot of problems that it’s predecessor had, but with the core gameplay remaining relatively unchanged this isn’t going to convert anyone who didn’t like the first title.

The storyline in Brotherhood of the Blade wasn’t exactly all that enticing, in fact it was dull enough that even if you completed the game you still wouldn’t know exactly what the story was about. Thus, The Warrior’s Code starts again. The story is about a kingdom that has been overruled by a warlord. The warlord uses his army to become the emperor. Not everybody is happy about this; there are people who challenge the rule of power and you are one of them. The storyline is certainly a lot better, but you’ll still be hard pressed to actually care about any of the characters. The game also includes better cinematics and FMV, so I personally found it to be a lot more enjoyable.

Attacks of opportunity just aren't as effective as they could have been.

Attacks of opportunity just aren't as effective as they could have been.
Once again there are five different character classes to choose from when you begin the game. The game does let you customize your character a little, but it doesn’t make much difference. The customisation is a lot less detailed than in other games. As soon as you begin the game you’ll realize that everything is a lot smoother and less repetitive. In the first game you were basically just hacking and slashing your way through each fetch quest but The Warrior’s Code does try to break the gameplay up a little bit better.

One of the new additions to the moveset is the attack of opportunity move. If the enemy is stalled or stunned you can perform a more powerful attack on them. There are three different attacks of opportunity and this depends on how fast you are at reacting to being able to attack. It means that you can’t just keep pressing X during gameplay, because you need to stay tuned in. The attack of opportunity had a lot of potential but unfortunately it isn’t fully realised. You need to be really well positioned to perform an attack and it’s a lot harder to execute than it should be.

The second new addition to the game is the changeling form that your character can assume. It’s possible to turn into a beast and this makes you a lot more powerful. However, as you progress through the game you’ll use this move less and less because it slowly becomes outclassed by other attacks you can purchase. You can also perform a charge attack by holding down the X button and rather than a few small attacks you’ll perform one larger attack. However, whilst there are a few new additions to the game none of them actually fundamentally change the core gameplay all that much, which is a little disappointing. Sure, there are charge attacks, attacks of opportunity and the ability to transform into a beast but a lot of the time you will still just be pressing the X button repetitively.

Looks a bit familiar?

Looks a bit familiar?
The single player may not be anything revolutionary but the multiplayer is really where the title shines. The game includes Ad-Hoc support so you can play through the main quest with a friend, but the infrastructure mode is where you’ll spend a lot of multiplayer time. There are a decent amount of game types which include capture the flag, deathmatch and survival so it should keep anyone who plays the game online occupied for a lengthy amount of time. There are already a few high leveled people online, but the game does let you see the skill level of who you’re about to play with or against which is certainly a bonus. Online the game only includes basic commands and it doesn’t support the PSP’s microphone (we really don’t understand this considering this is a title developed by SOE) so there can be some confusing times in multiplayer if you’re a little lost. The inclusion of microphone support would have negated this problem.

The game doesn’t include any randomly generated environments this time around, which is a lot better. It certainly looks better than it’s predecessor but a lot of good looking games have come out since Brotherhood of the Blade. The environments can still look rather dull at times but the spell effects do look impressive. Thankfully the game doesn’t include as much slowdown as it’s predecessor but things did start to chug along when there were several people in multiplayer. Your player is actually silent throughout the game, but there is some decent voice acting by some of the characters you will meet. The background noise is atmospheric and suits the style and tone of the game.

With no random dungeons, there is seemingly no real reason to play through The Warrior’s Code a second time. The single player adventure is lengthy, but overall it ends up feeling like a rather linear and simple experience. Your character becomes quite strong rather quickly and the real challenge lies online. The online play is addictive though and this is shaping up to be a game that is going to remain quite popular online.

Attacks of opportunity just aren't as effective as they could have been.

Attacks of opportunity just aren't as effective as they could have been.
When Brotherhood of the Blade was released there wasn’t much competition, since then we’ve seen a lot of good PSP games and The Warrior’s Code isn’t one of the best. The developers did add a few things to the gameplay but a lot of the time you’re just hacking and slashing your way through the adventure. Whilst I found the storyline a little better the game never really becomes interesting. The legend best remains untold.
The Score
Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code isn't as much of an improvement upon it's predecessor as it could and should have been. It still feels like a launch title. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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