Tag Archive: 345 games

Who is deadliest?

For three seasons, Deadliest Warrior on Spike took some of history’s greatest combatants and threw them into a fictional “What if?” scenario. Torn Banner Studios’ Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a best-selling PC title best described as a first-person slasher where feudal knights clash in multiplayer combat in order to achieve a variety of objectives.

When the two meet, you get Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior, a Chivalry expansion pack coming this fall via Steam. It might sound simple, but after going hands-on with the game, there’s a lot more going on than you might initially expect.

Sure, the first major aspect is obvious: the six warrior classes. The Knight will be familiar to longtime Chivalry players, but the Ninja, Samurai, Pirate, Viking, and Spartan are new—and each brings their own brand of mayhem to the proceedings. In true Deadliest Warrior fashion, all combatants have a choice of weapons, so a Samurai-versus-Spartan showdown could theoretically play out quite differently each time.

The game also includes projectile weapons—much like the main Chivalry experiencethat fit the needs of each character. For example, a Spartan can throw his spear, while a Pirate can fire his flintlock pistol. The Pirate and Ninja weren’t available in the demo, but I did get a chance to try out the Spartan; tossing his spear felt excellent, especially when it hit and impaled an opponent for a killing blow.

Speaking of weapons, fans of Deadliest Warrior know how heavily these bouts rely on statistics. But don’t these matchups wreak havoc on weapon and armor balancing?

“For us, we’re trying to keep the personality of the weapons,” says lead game designer Steve Piggott. “We’re not going to use the exact stats. If Spartans are using bronze weapons and armor, that would never cut through the steel armored plates of a knight. But we’re not going to represent that in the game, because that would be the least fun thing ever. So, we’re trying to maintain the character and personality of those weapons without losing the fun factor of wielding them. And then, from there, it’s just constant iteration to make sure it’s a fun experience.”

Aside from a variety of authentic weapons, each class also has its own unique arena with different traps or features that could change the way you think of combat. I was able to try out the Samurai’s arena, where I was able to run on the rooftops and get the drop on enemies from above. At one point, a Knight tried dropping down on mebut all that heavy armor didn’t make for a sound strategy, and it was an easy kill for my Viking warrior. I also tried the Spartan’s arena, which has a 300-style pit into which you can kick careless foes. Of course, if you’re like me and mash the kick button near that pit, you also leave yourself open for an easy gutting.

The biggest change, however, comes in the form of multiteam matches, where up to six teams of 10 players clash in a single arena. There’s also Mixed Team Deathmatch, which allows for a hodgepodge of classes on a given team; Faction Battle, where 32 from one class go against 32 from another; a traditional Capture the Flag mode; or 1-on-1 duels akin more to a traditional Deadliest Warrior scenario.

Meanwhile, Deadliest Warrior fans will be thrilled that comprehensive stats will be kept on globally ranked leaderboards to help fan the flames of that eternal debate: “Who is deadliest?” Players can also monitor their personal stats, including kills and their most effective weapons. Honestly, there’s a lot of potential here. I only got a chance to see the 1-on-1 duelswhich were certainly exciting in their own rightbut this is a mode that fans of both the Deadliest Warrior games and TV show will embrace.

But it’s the idea of expanding that into multiple teams and factions versus factions that really got me excited. Who wouldn’t love to see 32 Spartans up against 32 Ninjas? Or see 10 Spartans, 10 Ninjas, 10 Samurai, 10 Vikings, 10 Knights, and 10 Pirates duke it out? The potential for mayhem is awesome, and that’s what will really draw players into this $15 expansion.

Back from the Grave

Fans of the hit Spike TV show Deadliest Warrior are more than familiar with its concept. A pair of history’s greatest factions or individual warriors are pitted against each other in a computer simulated battle after using real-life statistical input by modern experts on their techniques and practices. Using this data, not only does Spike TV put on an entertaining hour long show with three seasons (and hopefully more soon) under its belt, but they’ve put out a pair of games based on some of their most epic match-ups that are meant to relive the highest highs of the show.  And conveniently now, they have compiled both of those downloadable games into one disc, including all the DLC, a bonus arena, and six episodes from Season Three of the show for the price of $29.99.

So, on paper, this is worth it because if you didn’t get these games the first time around, you’re basically getting everything you could’ve bought online via XBLA or PSN, plus half a season of Season Three of the show. But compared to a lot of the other fighting games out there, unfortunately, these games really have trouble stacking up. Although definitely different, fighting fans that aren’t familiar with the show will have a lot of trouble getting into these games, especially with the lack of a life-bar in Legends and the one-hit kills in both games. And since technically Legends is better as a lot of the collision issues from the first game were fixed, the fighting game veterans whose curiosity get the better of them might even pass over the first game altogether.

What really holds these games back though is the depth and replay value because there just aren’t a lot of fighting fans that have stuck with these games so there is little online community to be found to fight against. And the CPU, even with varying difficulty levels, can only offer so much resistance. And if you really were a fan of the series and bought these games the first time around, there is no reason to buy these games again as the only real difference is the TV episodes and a single arena.

So, when all is said and done, Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat is a great bang for your buck if you’re a fan of the franchise, can look past the technical shortcomings, and didn’t get these games online already, but if you’re just a diehard fighting fan or already have these on XBLA or PSN, there is no need to bother with buying this all over again.

SUMMARY: Fans of the SpikeTV show will enjoy having a chance to relive some of the battles they’ve seen on TV and the bonus DVD is nice, but when compared to other entries in the fighting genre, the Deadliest Warrior franchise comes up a little short and won’t satisfy people looking for a deeper fighting experience.

  • THE GOOD: Strong bang for your buck
  • THE BAD: Lacks the polish of other fighters
  • THE UGLY: Post-death twitching corpses

SCORE: 5.0

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat is available on Xbox 360 (XBLA) and PS3 (PSN). Primary version reviewed was on Xbox 360.

Originally Published: August 30, 2011, on EGMNOW.COM

Publisher: 345 Games
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Platforms: XBLA, PSN

Release: 08.30.11

Players: Single Player, 2-4-player local and online co-op

ESRB Rating: M – Mature

The Good: Fans of the show will be laughing from the opening cut scene to the end credits
The Bad: Camera angle makes aiming difficult, game play can be repetitive
The Ugly: Huge steaming piles of manbird droppings

Based on Comedy Central’s hit TV show, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon is an original adventure featuring all your favorite characters from the cartoon. You choose to play as series protagonist Mark Lilly, his girlfriend Callie Maggotbone, bumbling wizard Leonard Powers, or the D.O.I.’s top cop, Frank Grimes. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, but the game features an RPG leveling-up system that can help balance them all out or really stress those advantages depending on your play style. After making your character decision, you’ll grab yourself a BSU 2000 (Blow Sh*t Up 2000, Frank’s newest toy that allows you to stick whatever isn’t bolted down into the chamber and fire it as a projectile) and start getting down to the bottom of all the trouble in New York City.

The first thing you’ll immediately notice is the game went with a less traditional side-scrolling view instead of the ceiling down view seen in most other dual joystick arcade style shooters. This was meant to try to give the gamer more of a sense as if they were watching an episode of the TV show, but it is a little difficult to get used to at first, especially in terms of aiming your BSU 2000 at the various manbirds, zombies, and demons you’ll come across. Some items have a spray effect where the aiming difficulty doesn’t seem as obvious, but with a lot of other projectiles, like the boomeranging hammer or arcing crystal ball, misjudging the aim can get tedious fast.

The game does do a lot of things right though, especially in the presentation. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll love the fact that all the voice actors reprise their roles in the game and there is more than 20 minutes of original animation and dialogue in cut scenes, meaning that the game is just dripping with the humor that makes the show itself great and has enough animation for a stand alone episode by itself. The best part probably comes from being able to play the game with friends locally or online though as it helps to break up the redundancy that is typical of most arcade shooters.

All in all, the question you have to ask yourself is ‘are a fan of the show or not’. If so, the writing and animation will outshine the minor game play annoyances and is definitely worth your $10. If not, you may want to avoid this as knowing the show seems critical to your overall enjoyment of the game.

Score: 7.5