The Warriors - PSP Review
|26/2/2007||Take Two||Rockstar||Rockstar Leeds/Toronto|
What's this? Another port from the PS2 to PSP? Well yes, but much like Rockstar's recent Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories it's a port we'll be more then willing to play and much like that other title this is a fantastic title overall. As pretty much a direct port we have reused much of our original PS2 (available here) so don't blast us if this all seems a bit familiar. While it probably helps if you've seen the original movie upon which this game is based, it's not vital that you have done so.
|The game has a gritty look to it.|
The Warriors was released in 1979 and was one of the most violent films of its time. After recently picking up the 25th anniversary DVD it is quite tame by today’s standards but the film still stands up pretty well. This is mainly because of the gritty storyline and interesting characters.
The story in The Warriors is one of the games strongest points as it not only follows parts of the movie but expands on them to add a back story to the film. The Warriors are a gang, and are off to a gang meeting in New York called by most powerful crime boss in the big apple, Cyrus. 9 members from all of New York’s gangs are invited on the condition of no weapons or trouble. Cyrus stands in front of all the gangs and gives a speech on how all the gangs can join forces and rule the streets together. All goes well until someone shoots him after which The Warriors get the blame for the murder and now have 60,000 gang members chasing them back to their home on Coney Island.
|One of the fantastic cut-scenes.|
While the murder of Cyrus is one of the first things to happen in the film you don’t reach that point in the game until well over half way. Instead Rockstar take us back a few months to see how The Warriors came to be one of the toughest gangs around and introduces us to each of the nine warriors (Cleon the warrior’s leader, Swan, Rembrandt, Snow, Ajax, Vermin, Fox, Cochise and Cowboy) and how they joined the gang. It is a master stroke on their behalf as it really makes the game much more enjoyable than merely following the same ground as the film.
The movie is all about gang fighting in New York, but not with guns it is all old school street fighting action here. The setting is pretty much perfect for a violent video game, and that is what Rockstar have been mastering for the past few years so it seems like a match made in heaven. Upon starting the game you are asked to create a profile by entering a name, selecting from three difficulty settings "Sucker, Bopper or Hardcore Soldier" and turning subtitles on or off. You can then enter a Quick Rumble if you only have a few moments to play, but most will head on over to the main story mode.
|Tagging the streets of New York!|
The Warriors plays like most third person beat em ups only much better. The fighting in this game is fantastic with a large range of moves at your disposal. The face buttons can be used for light and heavy attacks, grabs and throws. If one of your fellow warriors has an enemy held you can team up for a brutal double team move. You can wrestle your opponent to the ground and continue the beating or you can squirt spray paint in there eyes. You are rarely alone in the game as your fellow warriors are usually fighting right along side you.
It's not all fighting though as you also have to make your mark and leave behind your tag. When you see an enemies tag around the place you hit the triangle button then trace an on screen W pattern using the analogue stick, which sprays the warriors sign over the top of it. There are three other mini games like this and both of them help you gain cash to buy more spray paint and a "health" pick up called flash. The first is by mugging people, first you find your target and hit the circle button to grab them, you then press triangle to start the mugging process. The second is breaking and entering; you find a place you want to rob then you must pick the lock. Once you start picking the lock three circles will spin and you must hit the x button at the right time to pick the lock and not set of an alarm. Once successful you steal everything in site. The third and final means of cash is by stealing car radios; you smash a car window then by rotating the left stick you yank out the radio. The Warriors also has stealth elements; you must hide in shadows to avoid both police and enemies. You can throw items at walls to distract enemies or attract them. In all The Warriors has a lot more variety than most fighting games.
|Characters get physical damage.|
While the PS2 version of this game included 2-player a co-op that was pretty damn decent this PSP version has it licked. Using the PSP's Wi-Fi mode the ability for each player to have their own screen to look at offers a much more entertaining experience.
In terms of problems there really are few to complain about. As is the nature of fighting games some may complain that the genre is repetitive by its nature and that's true to an extent. Fortunately the developers have done a fine job in mixing up the moves, providing a good progression system and an interesting storyline to keep you entertained. Another niggle is that the cameras can still be problematic at times, but never to the detrement of gameplay fortunately. While the controls have been mapped fairly well we still have the odd occasion when the analogue sliding stick doesn't quite control as easily as expected with running in a stright line a little more awkward then it should be.
|Got him in a choke hold.|
Graphics are the biggest area where The Warriors does take a hit over the PS2 version. The characters are certainly recognisable from the movie however they are a little more angular with less detail then their PS2 cousins. The gritty streets of New York are also represented very nicely as well. One of the real visual highlights though is the cut scenes which use the in game graphics engine. They look great and prove you don’t always need fancy FMV’s to make a cut scene look great. This PSP port seems to have a little less detail at times, and also a couple of very minor frame rate issues - but they never get in the way of gameplay.
We are quite pleased to report that the PSP version of The Warriors contains the same audio found in the Playstation 2 game. There is plenty of superb voice acting with many of the original actors returning to voice dialogue in this game. Music from the film has also been faithfully incorporated into the game. Overall this is a stunning aural experience - certainly one of the best on the system to date.
|Looking out for more enemies!|
We have to say that yet again Rockstar Leeds have developed a near-perfect port of The Warriors to Sony's handheld system. There is very little to distinguish this from the Playstation 2 version with only the smallest of graphical changes evident. Fortunately the controls work very well on the PSP - always an area where things often become unstuck in ports. As long as you don't mind some violence and swearing in your games then this is one of the best PSP titles we've seen for quite some time. Highly recommended. Gamers, come out to play!
Review By: Graham Darko/Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||As a PSP game this is a marvelous title visually. Cut scenes are great however there are some frame rate issues and a decrease in detail.||86%|
|SOUND||The voice acting is as good as you will find. While the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic and faithful to the movie.||90%|
|GAMEPLAY||The stop-start brawling styled gameplay is perfectly suited to the PSP.||84%|
|VALUE||For fighting styled game the 15+ hour completion time is decent enough however the multi-player adds value.||85%|
|OVERALL||Rockstar Leeds have developed a near-perfect port of the PS2 game - certainly it's as good as can be expected on Sony's handheld. The game not only covers the movie, but actually manages to expand the storyline and universe. Well worth adding to your PSP library.||85%|