“Deadliest Warrior” is a show on SpikeTV in which various warriors such as Pirates, Ninjas, Apaches, Green Berets and even the Mafia are put through their paces as the hosts seek to answer the question: “Who is the most badass?” by using the power of SCIENCE!
“How are they going to make a game out of this?” I thought as I downloaded the game onto my Xbox 360. To further satisfy my curiosity, I watched the game trailer, which featured one-on-one weapon fighting, generic rock-n-roll music, lots of ass getting kicked and lots of blood flying everywhere. It promised customizable warriors, unlockables, online rankings and realistic combat before asking the obvious question: “Are YOU the Deadliest Warrior?” (dun dun dunnnnn)
I thought to myself “Hell, no!” as I started the game, because I suck at fighting games. I took a quick read of the instructions before jumping headfirst into Arcade mode as a Pirate. My first opponent was the Viking as we squared off in what appeared to be a medieval courtyard. As is the custom, the first to win 2 rounds wins the game. The first round was over in about the time it took me to type this paragraph as the Viking stabbed my Pirate in the heart and then performed his finishing move by chucking a spear into the back of Deadbeard’s head.
Did I mention I suck at fighting games?
It took me a few fights to finally win a round and a few more to finally beat the Viking twice and move onto the next opponent. Each warrior has three weapons: two hand weapons for short and medium attacks and a long range projectile weapon. I learned early on to swap weapons according to what my opponent had on hand, but even then, it seemed like whomever landed the first blow usually won. In the case of the Viking, he had a shield, so I used my flintlock pistol and boarding pike to try to keep him at bay. Even then, I found myself losing quite often. My first two opponents had shields and thus, a pretty distinct advantage over my barely-armored, but oh-so-stylish pirate. The game tries to be realistic in that weapons take a short time to swap out and characters get tired, but I couldn’t shake the feeling the CPU was just a little bit quicker on the draw.
While Deadliest Warrior features over-the-top violence and gore, it actually makes sense in the context of the game. The game does its best to appeal to the typical “alpha male” Spike TV viewer: blood, limbs, profanities and the occasional head fly everywhere. The game also has the occasional funny moment. At the end of one particularly close fight, my bloodied, victorious pirate said: “Thank God there aren’t any ninjas here to see this s***!”
The action also slows down during the “OH CRAP!” moments, such as finishing moves and when limbs get hacked off. Unfortunately, it also slows down at random times, which breaks up the flow and timing of the game. The graphics look good, the characters are fairly detailed, and the backgrounds look nice. New weapons are unlocked as you play through the Arcade mode, and it was nice to have the option to change weapons after losing.
Even with my limited fighting game experience, I could tell this game needed just a little more time in the oven. In addition to the slowdown, the camera occasionally ended up in odd locations. At one point, I found myself looking at the back of my opponent for a few seconds before the camera figured out it was in a bad spot. Also, in nearly all of the 3-D fighting games that I’ve played, the fighters face each other automatically, but while playing Deadliest Warrior, I occasionally found myself facing away from my opponent, attacking nothing at all before getting slaughtered by my opponent. Mini-games broke up the action as I slowly climbed the ladder of Arcade mode.
While Deadliest Warrior has enough technical flaws to disqualify it from being a serious figher, the concept has potential. With a little more polish, Deadliest Figher could have been a decent fighting game, but as it stands, it is more spectacle than fighter. If you are serious about fighting games, skip this one, but if you are looking for something to hoot and holler at after watching “Manswers,” then Deadliest Warrior might be worth the Microsoft points.
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article id: 1559 | poster: OG