Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat is a compilation disc containing both Deadliest Warrior: The Game and its sequel Deadliest Warrior: Legends. The disc includes all DLC for the two games, some exclusive content, and a bonus DVD with six episodes of the show.
Deadliest Warrior: The Game holds some sentimental value to me because it was the first game I ever reviewed for this website. I found DW:TG to be an average fighter with a wonky camera and some pretty nasty balance issues. Thus, I will mainly be discussing Deadliest Warrior: Legends in this review.
In Deadliest Warrior: The Game your character was a member of one of the groups of warriors featured in the show. Deadliest Warrior: Legends allows you to select from one of 9 historical warriors such as Hernan Cortes and Ghengis Kahn. Both games are weapons-based fighters in which each warrior has three weapons: short and midrange melee weapons and a ranged projectile weapon. Some warriors also have shields. The game strives to be realistic, so a well timed strike can quickly end a round.
DOUBLE THE FUN
Better Combat - Some improvements have been made to Legends from the original game: the camera issues from the first game are no longer present and it feels more balanced. In Deadliest Warrior: The Game, you were pretty much boned if you chose a character that didn’t have armor but that isn’t the case in Legends. There are also more close range options such as grabbing and pushing available.
Fun With Others - Just like DW: The Game, Legends is also fun to play with a room full of friends. Characters become bloodied as battles rage on, limbs break and heads fly everywhere. A well-timed projectile to the head can also result in an instant kill, which is sure to elicit a “WHOA!” from the audience. As a spectacle fighter, both games are fun and online play is also available.
TWICE THE PAIN
No Difficulty Setting - Where I found Deadliest Warrior The Game to be impossibly hard at times, Legends has the opposite problem of being too easy. I only lost once or twice each time I fought my way through the arcade mode. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the difficulty and once you get the hang of the controls you’ll breeze your way through the single-player mode.
Not-So-Special Extras - In addition to the main game there is a Risk-esque strategy game called Generals. It is fairly simple and also does not present much of a challenge. There is also a DVD containing six episodes of the show as well as items exclusive to this version.
Not Much of a Value - Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat retails for $30 which is nearly how much it costs to buy both games and the DLC packs ($28) which doesn’t make it that great of a deal. Combine this with the lackluster first game, and suddenly this disc doesn’t look like such a good deal. Of course, if your Xbox is not connected to the Internet, this is the only way for you to play Deadliest Warrior. Even then, I would recommend searching for a better price online.
Dueling Warriors Only - The off-kilter difficulties of both games make this package hard to recommend for those playing alone. Single players will get frustrated trying to finish DW:TG solo with all the characters, and will breeze through Legends. As mentioned previously, the game is fun with friends and can also be played online.
Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat is a good idea on paper: it gives customers that don’t put their systems online the ability to buy both games. But while Legends is an improvement over the original game, the value of the package as a whole is decreased by the lower quality of the first game, lackluster extras, and the single player difficulty. If you must play this game, then either buy Legends on its own or if you’re ‘off the grid,’ for whatever reason, then wait for a sale.
*This review was based on the Xbox 360 version of the game with a review copy provided by the publisher.*