STAFF REVIEW of The Warriors (Xbox)

Monday, November 28, 2005.
by Rhiannon

The Warriors Box art

The Warriors is a game that derives from a 1979 cult favorite of the same name. This button brawler comes from none other than the Rockstar team from Toronto. True to form this game touts shady activities and lewd language by the gang load. You will see your share of cut scenes as this title has a pretty in depth story mode, as it must be up to par for the fans of the movie. I expected the run of the mill fighting from this game and it delivered that and much more. Not only did I get to brawl in the streets but also got to tag buildings, steal radios from cars, mug anyone in sight, and I got to do plenty of breaking and entering. I must warn you though that this title does have the mature rating for a reason, the language in this game was a nonstop cuss buffet.

You?ll start the game as Rembrandt, a pretty darn good tagger, who is eager to join an up and coming gang out of east Coney Island. As the proverbial new kid on the block, you?ll go through the cliched initiation, which of course is the tutorial for fighting. You?ll get to practice your moves on some bums who are in it for the beer. Sadly enough you?ll maul them quite easily, because the fight moves are easy to pick up and perform. Once you?ve proven your mettle, it?s time to do some legwork for the gang. By legwork I mean tagging and gaining funds. Tagging of course involves spray paint, which does not grow on trees, so you?ll need to steal radios, merchandise or mug some innocent bystanders. Being in a gang is tough work, let me tell you. You?ll also have to rescue gang members who have been captured by the pigs, or those that are engaged in fights with rival gangs. Along the way you?ll encounter rivals such as the Destroyers, the Hi-Hats, the Boppers and many more. The story follows the Warriors rise to power in Coney Island, so naturally you?ll assume the responsibility to take the gang there.

I can?t believe the depth this title has as far as game play. As I stated previously, I was expecting a run of the mill fighting title. This game is so much more than that. There is the option for weapons as well as a war chief option. Also just because one may construe this game as a fighting title does not in the least imply that that?s all you?ll do. There are plenty of side missions that can be taken. The missions range anywhere from stealing car stereos to painting over opposing gangs tags. You can run around the back alleys kicking drunks, throwing bottles at them, smashing crates, you can even set yourself ablaze via burning barrels if the whim strikes you. Another neat feature allows you to navigate over chain link fences, dumpsters and stairwells, as well as allowing you to bust through old wooden fences. Earlier I mention a war chief option. This feature by far is the best in this title, in my opinion. The use of the unique feature allows you to give commands to your little war party. One of the most memorable commands to me was, ?mayhem? which let my little clique know to wreak havoc on everything with in eyesight. ?Watch my back? was also helpful, because heaven forbid I get dropped while I am leaving some beautiful tags around the block. Another strong point is the AI of opposing gangs. These guys are not like zombies in the least they will group up on you and use smart tactics to take you down. You?ll actually have to think about their defeat, by looking around your environment for weapons or issuing commands to your war party.

Basically if you are a fan Rockstar, you will also be a fan of this game. They stay true to form as the game is filled with lewd activities and foul language in each and every cut scene. They do not hold anything back.

The Warriors was visually pleasing as it stayed true to the movie. Where else in a game are you going to find the tough guys sporting afros, bell bottoms and vests with no shirts. Quite literally you can play this game and think that you have actually taken a step back in time. Pretty much everything around you can be manipulated in some form or another, and half the fun is discovering just how to do it. Although the developers took great care making sure everything was circa 1979, I found that graphically the game seemed lacking. I thought the graphics could have been a tad bit better being that it was very similar to other Rockstar titles, I guess I was hoping that this one would be different, but I was let down. Also I found it annoying that the camera would get caught up and blind me if I were standing too close to buildings or objects. I mean the camera allows you to sweep the view a full three hundred sixty degrees, which is great, yet the fact that it gets caught is very annoying at times especially amidst a brawl. On a lighter note, your individual opinion may differ, whether you spend your time fighting or running around the environment.

As Rockstar went full throttle with the 1979 theme, the audio of course followed. The music you can hear in the background was clearly circa 1979. The voiceovers were very impressive as was the talented lineup used for it. The voice actors use phrases one could have only heard if they were around in the 1970?s, you hear me, jive turkey? Also I was impressed with the care taken in the little things. When you hit a chain link fence it sounds so authentic, the same can be said when crashing crates and breaking bottles. It?s little things like this that can make or break a title, and audio that is this well done will really grab your attention.

My suggestion, or should I say question? Is it really necessary to push the boundaries of the gaming industry by the use of foul language and degrading activities in each of your titles? Or is this a Rockstar mainstay? I mean to say, do you define your games by the content in them, or does the content in them define your company? As a consumer and game player I, would be most impressed if you could create a game that pushed other boundaries such as graphics, and game play in general. It seems you have stumbled upon a formula to garner attention by using the repetitive behaviors of hookers and delinquents in your games, and I wonder when this will become old with the general gaming public. I just wonder, if you are able to put a winning title out there for me to play without having to usher my children from the room?

Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.6 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10


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