Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat (Review) Xbox 360

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat (Review) Xbox 360
Review Score:

Ever wonder how William Wallace would fare in a battle against Vlad the Impaler? Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat by 345Games settles this curiosity by taking famous warriors from ancient history and pairing them off in brutal matches to the death.

Originally available as digital downloads on Xbox Live, Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Legends have been released on a single retail disc with all DLC currently available from Xbox Live. This collection also includes a bonus DVD containing episodes from the Spike Television series.

Like the television show, the game places some of history’s most deadliest warriors into the arena to find out who is capable of defeating the other. Unlike most fighting games, the combat in both games is a bit unconventional for gamers weened on Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. The action is based on how much damage you can inflict on your opponent instead of relying on a combo system. There are no energy bars either.

There is no difference between the two games in this collection. Deadliest Warrior: The Game uses a generic set of names to identify its cast of eleven fighters. A samurai warrior is simply known as ‘Samurai’, for example. Deadliest Warrior: Legends includes a roster of well-known warriors from history. Iconic warriors like William Wallace, Joan of Arc, and Vlad the Impaler are just three of the nine selectable fighters available.

Everything in this collection is based on historical fact; each fighter comes with a unique set of armor and weapons that can be upgraded during the course of the game.

Depending on which game you play first, you must battle eight random opponents (nine in Deadliest Warrior: Legends) in a series of matches that can be best described as bloodbaths. Since the game is based on real combat, it is possible to kill your opponent with a single blow to the head. Even projectiles can end a match quickly if they happen to sever an artery or pierce different parts of the body.

It’s also common for limbs to be lopped off during battle. There’s nothing more awkward than your fighter staggering around the arena with one arm. There are times when the violence is almost comical. It never fails to raise a smile when your opponent continues to stand after becoming a human dart board for a crossbow. Be it as it may, combat is full of brutal decapitations, impalement, and torso splits. And this doesn’t include the fatalities which are far more brutal than the normal moves.

Gameplay is about strategy and not mashing buttons until you win. It’s about waiting for that right moment in your opponent’s defense to land a deadly blow. Some matches will last a couple of seconds, while others can last almost a minute; it depends on your strategy and where your blade strikes.

Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Legends are not without their flaws. Weapons will occasionally pass through an enemy without inflicting any damage. As frustrating as this may sound, it doesn’t happen very often. However, the game does suffer from camera glitches that can force your fighter into a corner.

The controller is mapped out like your standard fighting game. The face buttons on the controller are used for weak, medium, strong, and projectile attacks. The Left Bumper button toggles your secondary weapon and the Left Trigger button blocks. My only complaint about the controls is how floaty they feel during combat. They’re not as responsive as they should be for a fighting game.

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat offers players online multiplayer support, but the online communities for both games are sparse. This is a shame. Both games are more fun when enjoyed with a human opponent.

As a collection, Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat is basically hit or miss. You’re either going to like it or you’re not. Fans of the television series will definitely enjoy the DVD bonus disc that’s packaged in with the game. Hardcore gamers will find this collection less to their liking. But no matter which side of the fence you sit on, Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat still offers enough content for the money.

Mike Pittaro
Xbox 360
Developer: 345Games
Publisher: Spike Games
ESRB: M (Mature)
Price: $29.99

Review Score
Between the two games, Deadliest Warrior: Legends looks far better than Deadliest Warrior: The game
Bad voice acting and mediocre music do little to enhance the experience.
Decent combat mechanics; the camera is an issue, though.
Despite some of the gripes mentioned, Deadliest Warrior Ancient Combat offers enough content to keep fans of the television series happy for hours.
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