To arms warriors!
Readers might be asking themselves, “What is Arslan: The warriors of legend”? I don’t blame any of them. See, I didn’t know what this game was about aside from some box art. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago I realized that this is another Omega Force action hack and slash game just like their Dynasty Warriors series, and here we have another franchise version. This time based on classic story and one that is adapted from the new anime. While it retains the core gameplay elements of all the prior games, it does do just a few things differently.
Fight for your right to story time.
Arslan immediately pulled me into its gameplay and story because it literally does just that. Once you start the game, it immediately pulls players into battle, and soon after gets into a very basic tutorial following immediately. It might be a bit confusing to players at first but things will get explained after, as the starting battle is chaotic and might confuse some. After this though, the story builds back up to that moment and things start to make a bit more sense.
Platforms: PS4, PS3, XB1, PC
Price I’d Pay: $49.99
How long to beat: 12+ hours
Playing like a “Warriors” game means players will be killing tons and tons of enemies on screen. It’s always a cathartic experience with this genre, and Arslan is no different. There are a few differences though. While most of these games have stopping moments to equip your character or pre-battle moments. Arlan’s is totally a story driven experience. It immediately starts right into the next cut scene which can comprise of animation, comic style, or just dialog scenes.
On one hand it feels like players never get a break in the action, yet on the other hand it sometimes had me going “just one more battle”, and each battle sees players controlling pre-set characters, sometimes switching on the fly automatically. While this might bum some folks out, don’t fret, there is a free mission mode that lets replay of prior finished missions with any character. Want to experience two player on the couch? That’s possible as well as online fighting, which always can increase a games replay and length value.
Since there is no mission re-planning screens, players can pause the screen and enable different combos that they unlock, with some adding elemental effects to their combo string. While players don’t manage equipment, they do unlock and find cards that give stat boosts. Three cards can be placed and cards can also be combined to create better cards, making characters stronger along with their normal experience points they obtain to level up. Meanwhile there are areas that players can activate a rush, which either has arrows firing to a player control location, or rushing forward with a Calvary of horses or solders to get past certain blockades in the environment. It’s extremely satisfying to see the amount of enemies on screen as they go flying off in endless directions.
Fun, but also tried and true.
Arslan is a warrior’s game and its roots are obvious. The fact that it is extremely story driven though, really gives me a sense to keep moving forward and I constantly found myself playing “just one more battle”. It’s not changing up the formula that much and that’s fine in my opinion, but the story hook was there. Visually it looks great, with a very dark tone and some fantasy elements to its theme. It’s unique and different enough from any of the other warrior type games from that perspective that it comes off as its own. Sometimes getting into a battle with a boss like character will have players struggling for control as the camera has no lock on as far as I could tell with my hours of gameplay. Yet it’s a minor issue when I’m just decimating everyone in my path. Arslan is a fun distraction and even more so with a friend. If fans of the warrior’s games can enjoy this story and the themes preset here, I see no reason not to love it. I didn’t know anything about Arslan or its history, yet still I was hooked.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.