Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code

Untold Legends: The Warrior’s Code is a member of a genre that is under-appreciated in today’s industry. Many fans have forsaken the simplicity of the games of yore; and that’s if they started playing before the Playstation was out.

But let’s not kid ourselves; is pressing ‘X’ and sometimes ‘triangle’ any less fun than pressing multiple buttons in combination? No, because pressing buttons is not a fun activity by itself; it’s what the button pressing accomplishes on the screen that engages us.

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Fortunately, Untold Legends: The Warrior’s Code is rather engaging. Perhaps it's because SOE have overhauled the game in a significant way.

One of the biggest criticisms about the original Untold Legends was that it was, well, bland. Not just in regards to the gameplay, but in regards to everything. SOE have certainly taken it to heart, as The Warrior’s Code is anything but bland.

The character design is exaggerated and stylish, obviously inspired by the Japanese, and players are allowed a fair bit of customisation. From the default view this might seem a tad pointless, but the character can be rotated for some rather dramatic views of the action.

The random dungeons have also been replaced by more structured level design. It works in favour of the game, and the ability to warp between previously explored areas keeps The Warrior’s Code from getting tedious.

Although The Warrior’s Code does have RPG elements – in particular, the story, while nothing amazing, is prominent and is certainly fleshed out – it is primarily an action game. It follows in the same footsteps as Gauntlet or Phantasy Star Online.

Indeed, it is perhaps the bastard child of the two. Players once again choose from a variety of classes – warrior, rogue, wizard, etc – to engage in some hack-‘n’-slash dungeon crawling. However, like Phantasy Star Online, players can engage in co-op play via the Internet.

Indeed, online play seems to be the primary focus of the game, which is to be expected since it was developed by Sony Online Entertainment. While the full communication of games like PSO is missing, the game allows for a variety of quick commands that will help you get the point across, and calling out for help is never a chore.

However, the question remains as to whether the experience is any fun, especially if it’s a single-player experience. The answer is yes, but only if you enjoy this style of game.

It’s not that the hack-‘n’-slash gameplay is inherently boring, but for some people there won’t be enough depth or freedom. The game follows a classic formula, which will please some people but will fail to appeal to others.

The gameplay mixes things up by allowing characters to transform into monsters for a short time – think Bloody Roar – and the variety of special moves helps things from getting stale. However, the game really shines when played online; nothing beats taking down a large boss with a good group of comrades.

Untold Legends: The Warrior’s Code is a great addition to the PSP’s library, and if you were a fan of the first or you’re fond of this type of gameplay, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. The experience is better when played in co-op mode, but single-player is still enjoyable. It’s stylish, it’s fun, but it’s not for everyone. At the end of the day this game is likely to appeal to gamers who are fond of twitch gaming, rather than ‘sandbox’ freedom.

"Great hack-'n'-slash action."
- Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 15 Min


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