Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat Review


Alright, so for anyone who might not know, the title for this ‘game’ is a bit misleading, Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat isn’t actually a new game at all, but a compilation of both Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior 2 (Legends) with all in-game DLC included for the low low price of $29.99 where if you were to buy all of the content separately it would run you 2240 :MSPoints: or around $28, which is a dollar or so less than this bundle.

Now you’re probably wondering why in the world you’d want this physical bundle when you could just get the games + DLC for a buck less? Well the bundle includes a few more tricks up its sleeve to entice would-be buyers with 30 exclusive weapons, a graveyard level, and a disc including episodes from the TV show on which the game was based off including characters seen in the two games. So for one or two bucks extra you get the three bonuses seen above, which is a fairly decent deal, but if you’re the lazy type that just wants to play the games right away without going anywhere, then dishing out that $28 may not be such a bad option for you. 

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Now let’s get down to the review part now that I’ve clarified what exactly is contained within the depths of the packaging. I’m starting off with Deadliest Warrior: The Game due to it being the first game released on the Xbox LIVE arcade, and because it’ll give you a good idea on some issues resolved in Deadliest Warrior 2. For a fighting game, Deadliest Warrior: The Game provides an odd approach to fighting where you’re presented with the same HUD you’d see in any other fighting game detailing your health, stamina used to activate different fighting moves, number of thrown weapons available, etc, etc. but the peculiar part isn’t the HUD itself, or anything to do with the HUD really, but the damage ratios seen in this title are enormous compared to the (fairly limited) selection of fighters I’ve played before with a more ‘realistic’ approach to how damage is dealt.

Here’s a good example: You’re using a ranged attack, let’s say, the Ninja’s shuriken and get a hit on your opponents head, that’d only do a little damage in any other fighter, but here you’ll get an instant kill just like you would if you threw a shuriken at almost any humans head. Another example is how you can finish a round in mere seconds using a few quick attacks unlike in some other game’s I’ve seen where the combatants can absorb damage for minutes and have no noticeable effect on them whatsoever.  So for taking a different approach to arcade fighting games I must salute the developers thinking out of the box a little bit there. 

“So, the fighting mechanics are unique, anything else I need to know about the central core of the fighting in this game?” one might be inclined to ask after reading that paragraph above, and I’ll answer with a yes. While fighting mechanics are fine and dandy on their own they can’t be complete without the weapons and tools used for fighting, which Deadliest Warrior has a lot of, handing out a set of three weapons to each character at a short, medium, and long range to begin with. They then allow the player to collect various other useful (or not so useful) weapons by completing the arcade mode section for the game. What’s nice about the weapons is they’re not given generic names like I’ve seen some other lazy game developers do before, but in Deadliest Warrior all the weapons and armor are given their correct names along with a short description saying where the item is from, what it was used for, and what fighting style it falls under. 

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So I’ve covered the highlights of the game so far, are there any downsides to this title? That answer, as all answers presented by the author of an article will likely be: yes. While I personally don’t think much of graphics in games I’m well aware a lot of consumers in the video game industry take the cosmetics of a title nearly as important as they take the mechanics so I’ll touch on this subject for a brief second. To put it plainly, the graphics in the first Deadliest Warrior game don’t exactly live up to the expectations held for the Xbox 360, and surely not for the PS3 with some bland, and in some places blocky graphics. It makes Deadliest Warrior a title hard to love in an industry where graphics in some ways, make or break the game. They’re not N64 grade bad graphics, but as can be said for most things, it could be drastically improved to make the game stand out more, but they’re not that bad. Another thing that bothered me with this title was the lack of modes aside from the four: arcade, training, challenge, and battle modes that you’re likely to find in any fighting game, while I’m not suggesting a campaign, because we all know how well those work in fighters, I would have liked to see a little bit more variety, but for a $10 game I’ll let it slide.

Deadliest Warrior: Legends takes everything that the original title had, beefs up the graphics, includes recognizable characters (instead of the generic characters seen in the first game) such as Joan of Arc and Sun Tzu which I must say is awesome being able to play as these figures. You also get a new game mode, the HUD is more compact, and, in general, fine-tunes what the original title had going for it with some more depth in just about everything from the new weapon & outfit customization screens to the nicer menus everything in the second title just looks and feels more polished and professional unlike the somewhat sloppy presentation seen in the first title.

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As far as key differences from the original downloadable title, Deadliest Warrior 2 adds a major new game mode: Generals. In Generals you control a group of troops in a quasi-rts fashion and aim to take down all of your enemies forces to win, and to win you must kill their leader arcade fighting style. Sounds like a good idea on paper, but I found the Generals mode to feel somewhat rushed or lazy, but, like I said earlier, campaigns in fighters rarely work well.. but an A for effort is still awarded to the developers. The other major difference from the first title? The graphics look professional, and well done with everything looking crisp and well unlike the near-PS1 graphics seen in the first title. 

For one dollar more than the price of the downloadable games with some added content as well as being able to psychically own these downloadable games, this title is perfect for anyone looking for some quick pick-up-and-play action or is a die hard fan of the show.. but if you’re looking for a solid multiplayer fighter you may want to stray away, as the online community for both titles is practically non-existent (I couldn’t find all but one match) but hey, you still got local multiplayer for anyone out there who still has friends. 

While the gameplay is a little on the basic side, it's advanced enough to make the mechanics fun for the arcade style.
Of the two games, Deadliest Warrior: Legends has the more professional looking graphics to make up for the shortcomings of the first title and its blocky exterior.
Voice acting can be a little silly at times, but the other sounds are spot on with some decent music to boot.
7.0Final Score

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