300: March to Glory - PSP Review
|13/4/2007||Atari||Warner Bros Ent.||Collision Studios|
As many of you would be aware a couple of months ago a movie directed by Zack Snyder called 300 was released into cinemas. It was a fantastic movie which used real actors on green screen and then CG backgrounds inserted behind. The movie was a bloodbath of a battle with people dying left right and centre; all-in-all the perfect ingredients for a video game.
|These are fantastic PSP graphics... not!|
In the action packed 300: March to Glory, players take on the role of King Leonidas, who leads the brave 300 Spartans against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. The player, as Leonidas, uses his sword, spear and shield and the power of the soldiers in a battle to determine the very fate of western civilization. The comic books, movie and this game actually take loose inspiration from real events at the Battle of Thermopylae - it's a fascinating story but to give too much away would spoil this game (if you can be bothered with it) or, more importantly, the movie which we highly recommend everyone sees on Blu-Ray when it's released this month.
Essentially 300: March to Glory is a hack and slash title where you, as the Spartan army, need to hold off the ruthless Persians. The game plays in a similar manner to Koei's Dynasty Warriors titles. As well as a shield your hero can use either a sword, spear or dual swords. We have to say that there are a few moves to master, and the game certainly is quite gory in places with limbs and heads all being severed and blood splattering in all directions. As you battle through the levels you can also earn Kleos which can be used to purchase weapons or special moves. Level design is pretty dull. You'll have to move from one location to the next, clearing out enemies along the way and entering the odd Phalanx and Stealth section - more on these in a second.
|Ground textures are passable - just.|
Ultimately though this game falls flat for a number of reasons. Looking at the gameplay the Phalanx sections are terrible in execution. They're slow, boring and quite dull. Stealth sections are also quite dull as you need to sneak around behind various enemies without being spotted. There really is a feeling that this game should have spent a lot longer in development before being pushed onto the public.
Graphics in 300: March to Glory looks good initially - that is when the PSP logo appears when you turn on the system - but from there it's all downhill. Unlike the movie which is full of inspired moments, gorgeous artistic design and graphical wonders (remember almost the entire movie was shot with actors on green-screen with CG backgrounds) this game is so artistically devoid of excitement, so dull to look at, and so uninspiring that it's not going to be one to show off to your mates. The characters are blocky, texturing is dull for the most part, animation is barely adequate, but not as smooth as it should be and backgrounds pretty drab. Cameras should have also been improved somewhat as it can get hard to see the action on screen. It's not disastrous mind, but could have been better.
|Another not-so-exciting screenshot.|
The one thing worth mentioning, and the one true positive for the game graphically, are the cut-scenes. Using a comic-book style, not too dissimilar to Frank Miller's original books, they have been well developed, progress the story and actually stunning on this medium. In fact, it's a shame there weren't even more though as they truly interesting.
Audio in the game is, fortunately, a bit better then the graphics. The voice acting, while not using the actors from the movie is adequate, and the music is also atmospheric in places. One exception to that is the voice of David Wenham who, much like the movie, also acts as the voiceover for this game. The effects, though, are pretty weak. There's nothing spectacular here, but the game is at least functional in the audio department.
|Back in the heat of battle again.|
While no where near as impressive as the recent movie (which many of you will be pleased to hear hits Blu-Ray disc on August 8th) this still an action title which some people will want to check out on the PSP. As long as you don't expect anything to groundbreaking this is a title which could keep you entertained for a while.
Review By: Dave WarnerOrder your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
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|GRAPHICS||Besides the cut-scenes everything else in this game is a mess.||47%|
|SOUND||Good voiceovers and music make this a solid audio experience.||63%|
|GAMEPLAY||The action is slow and painful, phalanx's suck. Should be better.||55%|
|VALUE||Only around 8 hours gameplay, and certainly not a game you will replay.||40%|
|OVERALL||300: March to Glory is a poor action title based on a very entertaining movie. The developers really needed to spend a lot more time working on this game before release - like, maybe another year or two? Very average.||50%|