Review by Dr-Rock
"Fan of the cheesy yet entertaining 70's film? Then this is for you."
I only bought this game because I had recently picked up the film for a very reasonable price, and so bought this not long after. Having just finished it, I felt compelled to write my first review on GameFAQs.co.
So, the scene: Anyone who has watched the film will know it follows nine members of the Coney Island gang , 'The Warriors', as they go to a gang meeting being attended by nine members of a hundred gangs, as the charismatic leader of another gang, 'The Riffs', tries to unite them by asking them one question: "Can you count, suckas?". However, his vision of New York being over-run by the gangs working together (who, it would seem, would outnumber the police three to one) is shot to pieces, quite literally, when the leader of 'The Rogues' murders him. Who gets the blame? Our eponymous anti-heros, of course.
The game also follows The Warriors the months leading up to this meeting, putting you in the shoes of one of nine warriors getting into various scrapes with different gangs. This is where the game shines: The story telling and the artistic liberties Rockstar has taken with the game are fantastic. For example, in the movie, the mime-esq gang, The Hi-Hats are only visible for a couple of seconds in the opening sequence. Rockstar took them and gave them a large part in the game, complete with a twisted, obese, artist leader, complete with clown make-up and a stutter.
The gameplay here really shouldn't be so absorbing, but it really is. It's simplicity is it's success, in that the buttons are well set out, and multiple button presses are rare aside from the few special moves you can execute. Throwing your enemy into, say, a wall or a pile of trash, is a simple thing to do, but it really never gets boring. Neither does picking up one of many objects and hitting your enemy with them. The game never gets boring because of how varied it is, too. You can break into shops and steal good, steal car stereos, 'tag' walls with spray paint, mug people... all this is possible on each and every level, should you wish to do these. If not, don't. It's not GTA in terms of freedom, but I can assure you, the gameplay here is overall superior.
The graphics get the job done while never being spectacular. Each rival gang is easily recognisably, from the Baseball Furies baseball gear and face paint, to the Turnball ACs shaved heads and denim, and each warrior looks more or less like their counterpart from the film. The models and movement in general are very good, as your warrior flows between different moves smoothly. Better than GTA's graphics, but nothing outstanding. Still, exactly what you'd expect from Rockstar by now.
The sound more than makes up for this. The music is distinctly seventies, and the female radio presenter from the film is, thank goodness, present and correct. Voice acting is good, while every bit as cheesy as the film for the most-part, which is sure to please most. The inclusion of the word 'man' at the end of every sentence can get tedious, but it's no worse from the repeated use of the word 'Motherf***er' from San Andreas, and certainly makes sure the story is easy to understand. Someone wants to pick a fight with your Warriors? You soon know about it through the wonderful torrent of abuse shouted at you.
I'd say the re-playability of the game is the only cause for concern. While it features a rumble mode which allows you to create your own gang, or use any of the existing ones to have a fight with another, apart from the fighting system the highlight of the game really is the story. I would be quite happy to play it through again, but those who might get bored of playing the same levels again may be in for a disappointment on the re-playability front of this game. Still, at the current price for the game on some sights, the value for money is still excellent.
My only real problem with the game are the boss battles. They are boring, plain and simple. They always seem unbalanced and unfair, and just aren't any fun. Instead of having enclosed boss battles, where the bosses have stupid amounts of life and are often frustratingly tough, it would have sufficed to have the boss be surrounded by more rival gang members than there usually are. That would have been more fun and less frustrating.
Overall? Best fighting game I've played in my life, and that includes Streets of Rage and the rest. If the newly released Bully's fighting system is as similar to this as I've heard, perhaps Rockstar are bringing a revival of the scrolling beat em' up genre. Judging by the quality of this game, that can only be a good thing.
Well done, Rockstar. Yet another gem.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 10/25/06
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