Legendary

Review

posted 1/5/2009 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: 360
So you're dead, that means you'll just go back to the last checkpoint, right? Well yes, assuming the last checkpoint actually showed up for you. Throughout the entire game I had problems activating the checkpoints, which meant that when I died I was forced to play through fifteen to twenty minutes of boring level design I had already seen. This problem becomes especially bad towards the end, when the game feels the need to throw one incredibly hard fight at you after another, without a working checkpoint between battles. Throw in cinemas that can't be skipped and you have a recipe for a lot of frustration and aggravation.

And it's not like you're playing through this game for the interesting plot points. The game's story makes absolutely no sense, even though it's narrated and explained throughout the ordeal. At its best it just feels like a reason to get you from New York to Europe to London and then back to New York. At its worst it feels disjointed, the kind of game that will have you scratching your head no matter how closely you pay attention. The sooner you realize the story makes no sense the better, that way you can just sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride the game puts you on. At least, that's the idea, but even the rollercoaster ride is fatally flawed. Instead of feeling like you were front and center for all of these amazing events happening around the world, it really feels like you're just a fan of broken down buildings, sewers and other boring (and cliché) levels that start to look the same after about an hour or two. There are a lot of big things that happen on your watch, but it's never cool enough to make you forget about all of the crap you had to go through just to see Big Ben destroyed.

And while we're spending time talking about all of the game's negatives, it's worth pointing out the myriad of technical problems this game has. It's not just the constant freezing issues that I have a problem with; it's also the terrible frame rate problems, clipping issues and problems with cinemas. And that's just the start of it. You'll find that on more than one occasion you'll have to literally reload the game because your character got stuck on some invisible object in the level. It's not that this game has a few minor technical bugs, but rather the huge game breaking bugs that should have been fixed in QA.

And if all of this wasn't bad enough, the game is as ugly as can be. Perhaps Spark Unlimited bit off more than they could chew, but whatever the problem, the game is easily one of the ugliest games I have seen all year. If it wasn't for the fact that I had an Xbox 360 control in my hand the whole time, I would have thought that this was an early generation PlayStation 2 game. The character models are laughably bad, the levels use a lot of repeating textures, the enemies aren't very detailed and the cinemas have major problems. There have been no shortage of first-person shooters released this year, which is why it's so perplexing that any company would release a game in this state. The visuals in the game may have passed a year or two ago as a tech demo, but as a game it has a long way to go before it even hits acceptable.

But the bad graphics are nothing more than a symptom of the problem. The real problem comes with the terrible gameplay and questionable design decisions. I kept forcing myself to play through the game, even after it was clear that there was no reason to. There comes a point around the middle of the game where it feels like the developers just gave up. Levels start to repeat, you find yourself stuck fighting similar battles and the characters don't seem to have much motivation. Yet the game continues long after that point, for no good reason at all. It's not fun fighting through these shoddily assembled levels, especially when it seems clear that even the programmers have called it quits. And then the game goes from bad to worse when you realize that the entire ending chapter is nothing more than a giant rip-off of Half-Life 2's ending chapter. This could have been tolerable had I actually cared about saving the world, fulfilling the hero's destiny or anything else the game wanted me to do.

By this time I was done caring about Legendary. I was doing trying to figure out how a clever thief could get caught up on every little thing in the level. I was done trying to figure out why my axe won't cut the heads off of werewolves (even when they are down). I was done trying to figure out how the checkpoint system worked. I was done trying to figure out why my gun sometimes didn't fire after I reloaded the ammo. I was done trying to figure out why I had to break into every single door. I was done. I had had enough.

Legendary desperately wants to be Call of Duty, but even at its best it's not even on the same level as Call of Juarez. It wants to be a rollercoaster ride, but instead it feels more like a leisurely stroll with a lot of bad stuff happening around you. Even with the world tumbling down, there's never a feeling of urgency in Legendary. It never feels like you're destined to do something. In truth, the only thing you're destined to do when playing this game is get bored and yearn for a better first-person shooter. It doesn't matter which one, because as far as I can tell Legendary is easily the worst first-person shooter of the year.


D-
Legendary is something of a marvel. While I've played a lot of terrible first-person shooters, I never realized that there would be one that missed the mark so completely. With its terrible graphics, horrible controls, lame gun play, stupid enemies, nonsensical story and broken checkpoint system, Legendary proves to be not just a bad FPS game, but also one of the worst games of the year!


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