VIDEOGAMES-TO-FLIX is a JoBlo.com column showcasing reviews of videogame translations of Hollywood films (or games soon-to-become Hollywood movies). With both industries getting closer and closer, and videogames, in general, getting so much more popular, you knew it was just a matter of time before we hit that stuff!
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Systems: Xbox, PS2
INTRODUCTION:When one thinks of a game based off of a movie, images of talking cartoon animals, or horrendous platforming experiences tend to spring to mind. A genre usually reserved for the hottest children’s flick on the market, it was a breath of fresh air when Rockstar originally announced their newest project wasn’t a new Grand Theft Auto, but rather a licensed product. The game? A beat-em up title based on the 1979 flick The Warriors. For those not versed with this cult classic, the general plot revolved around one gangs plight (The Warriors) as they made their way through the means streets of New York City with thousands of other gang members out for their blood. With the talented team of Rockstar at its helm, is The Warriors a title this movie-to-games genre needs to earn some street cred?
GAMEPLAY:There are several components to the gameplay of The Warriors, but one of the main ingredients is the combat in the game. The control layout makes things feel relatively simple as players get into scraps with other gangs, but there is a surprisingly large amount of moves of the bat that can be pulled off. Players will have basic action attacks at hand, ranging from light, strong, and up to heavy. Other moves include grabs, attacking foes while on the ground, reversals, as well as moves that can be used with the help of your fellow Warriors. Combos can also be performed, which mix up heavy and strong attacks, but the most interesting combat element is the commands players can issued to their other gang members. Things such as finding and attacking enemies, smashing up everything in sight, defending a particular area, or simply to follow the player can all be issue during gameplay. Although not deep, this does make the gang unit feel tighter in battle.
Adding to the mix, there are weapons scattered out in each level, all of which can be picked up and used at any time. While a new title, this experience screams back to the beat-em up days of the NES and SNES, and while a fun retro feel of gaming long past, the experience feels rather repetitive by the end. The moves are rather shallow and don’t progress that much as the game moves along, but they still provide an enjoyable experience. It would have been nice to see more attacks involving multiple characters, as the single player moves are much more effective in actual battle, but both sides offer up something unique. Two players can play through the game together, (unfortunately not four), which does add some shelf life to the combat aspect of the game.
The most enjoyable part of this game for fans, as well as a surprising inclusion for a game of this genre, is how the package goes beyond the events of the film. As The Warriors are a gang, they will need to go about everyday tasks in order to survive. During the time when they aren’t being hunted down, players will need to earn money on the streets. This can be accomplished by beating down gang members and pedestrians, or by stealing car radios. Once supplied with the appropriate funds, players can then go on to buy weapons or spray paint, which can then be used to tag various spots around the game. The depth in which players are involved in the gang’s lives is a welcome addition to the otherwise short lived combat.
The combat is fun and enjoyable at first, but doesn’t expand enough as the game develops to stay fresh through the end. The everyday tasks that the gang take part in add some nice variety though.
Sticking with the typical Rockstar trend, the visual world of The Warriors isn’t as solid as the gameplay. While character designs are nicely varied from gang to gang, particularly with the spot-on look to the movie designs, the actual details that count are extremely lacking. The same blocky and rough around the edges look can also be seen in a large portion of the locations players will fight in as well. The overall color palette is rather drab, and being developed for a multi-console release couldn’t have helped either. On the plus side, the look and feel of the movie was translated over, so fans will find the atmosphere up to par with the flick.
Characters and environments could use a coat of polish (or two), and the overall look of the game is comprised of some drab browns and blacks. Still, the insane gang designs and “feel” of the movie are present, and count for something.
AUDIO:When it comes to the audio offerings of The Warriors, there is plenty to enjoy. Although rather standard issue, the sound effects get the job done in an effective way, making every punch and face smash come across with gusto. The soundtrack is the highlight, featuring tunes straight from the 70s era of the flick, and accompanying the in-game action nicely. Character voice acting varies from good to mediocre; but never crosses over into the land of the horrid.
The soundtrack from the movie's time tops the list of what this package offers sound wise, but solid sound effects and decent dialogue round out the package.
FINAL VERDICT:In the end, The Warriors is a great companion for fans clutching their dusty old VHS copy of the movie by the same name. The game becomes repetitive by the end, and isn’t the prettiest package to grace the Xbox or PS2, which perhaps leaves this as a rental for casual gamers looking for an action fix. However, for fans of the movie, as well as gamers yearning for a solid beat-em up title, this game fits the bill. This title not only expands on the events from the film, as well as includes the main moments to the letter, it doesn’t try for something radically new or bizarre like so many other movie-to-game conversions. Whether it was the solid development team, or perhaps the source material, this title stands out amongst the rest of Hollywood’s games.
OVERALL SCORE: 8.4/10
|Source:||JoBlo.com's Cool Columns|