The Warriors, Re-revisited
Follow Rockstar Games, 2005
Xbox
Playstation 2
Playstation Portable

The Warriors, Re-revisited

Good: Deep, engaging storyline, excellent controls, great music
Bad: All the action comes at the expense of graphics
User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Alrighty, the posts I’ve been reading on Retro Gamer’s Union have confirmed that Playstation 2 and Xbox games are now retro. Which is good, because I’ve been wanting to write about this game for a while now. It can be argued that I could have done this sooner, seeing as how this game is about a retro movie. Seriously, The Warriors, released by Rockstar Games in 2005, was based on a movie that came out in 1979, a trend we noticed with games like Scarface and Evil Dead showing up around the same time. In this game, you take on the role of various members of the Warriors gang, a bunch of likeable thugs who battle it out with other gangs in seedy New York City, before it became a family friendly tourist destination. The plot follows that of the movie, in which Cyrus, the leader of another gang called the Riffs,calls all the NYC gangs together for a meeting. During this meeting, he points out that all the gangs in the city outnumber the NYPD by a 3 to 1 margin, and proposes all gangs unite into one gang to take over the city. Before this can take place, however, he is assassinated by an unknown gunman, who turns out to be Luther, the leader of a gang called the Rogues. The murder gets pinned on the Warriors, who in turn have a hit put out on them via the radio DJ, which sends every gang in New York City, along with the Police, after them. This leaves the Warriors to escape from the meeting place to their hideout on Coney Island, but they will have to fight their way across the city in order to reach safety.

warriors full gangWhen I obtained this game, I was living with my first live-in girlfriend at the time. This warrants mention because it was here that I first noticed how resentful some women can be when it comes to their significant other playing video games instead of paying attention to them. This girl is long gone, thankfully, but that had nothing to do with this awesome game that helped me ignore her bullshit. Also worth mentioning is that The Warriors saw release on the original Xbox and the Playstation 2, and was later ported to the PSP. By this time, I had moved on from Playstation to Xbox, and that was the version I played. True, this game is a brawler that focuses on gang warfare, but it is a very intelligent one, and rises above the pack in terms of its depth, gritty realism and high quality that we have come to associate with just about anything that Rockstar Games has ever released. Traditionally, most brawlers get old due to the fact that the game is designed to throw wave after wave of bad guys at you as you slowly progress across each stage. This game features tons of other things to break up the fisticuffs, with missions that include petty theft, vandalism, and graffiti tagging. The game starts off with Cyrus’ assassination, but then takes you back to 3 months prior to current events in order to give you a backstory to the gang and the events leading up to that fateful night. From there, you follow the plot of the movie. All in all, there are about 20 missions, as well as a separate brawl mode, in which you can play as whatever gang you want in various venues across the city. This is good fun and a way to get your baseball bat to the head on if you only have a short time to play before your lame girlfriend asked you to do something around the house.

the warriors spray can to faceThe game’s graphics go a long way towards illustrating the gritty feel of the movie. This may have been unintentional, as the graphics do seem on the weak side, which was probably a necessary evil in order to render so many fighters on screen at one time. The backgrounds do appear very drab, which, in the end, is very appropriate to convey the late 1970’s motif. I really liked how when your character took damage, he began showing more and more wounds on his face, hands and arms. The camera, like in many games, can screw you, especially when you have a pair of cops clobbering you in a corner, the camera tends to orient itself at a less than favorable position. Still, if this is the weakest part of the game, I’m not losing any sleep over it. The sound, however, is where it’s at. The soundtrack to the movie is here, along with some other songs that fit the game as well. Also, the SFX are spot-on, with each bloody punch being audibly illustrated with sickening thuds as flesh and bone come together with brutal efficiency. Most of the surviving cast members return to do great voice-over work, although some of the characters do sound way older than they should. I can’t overstate how well the music blends with the gameplay in this release, and contributed greatly to my overall enjoyment.

warriors vs furiesThe Warriors plays from a point of view similar to the Grand Theft Auto series, so most folks should be able to jump right in on their first play. The fighting moves are easy to learn, and in no time you’ll find yourself  pulling off combos and hitting people in the face with bricks. There is an abundance of just about every type of improvised weapon you can think of as well. You also have the ability to execute Warchief commands, which you’ll use when you need assistance or to get your guys to scatter in different directions. My favorite was the one where you get the guys to destroy everything on the screen. The sound of glass breaking has been one of my favorite sounds since I was a little kid, and there is plenty of it to break here. The AI of your boys, as well as the enemies is well above average, and that really meant something to me, as crappy AI has always ruined games for me. The game does get really challenging, to the point of frustration in some places. Thankfully, there’s a great checkpoint system in place. There are other nice touches such as when the cops arrest your friends, you have to break off from whomever you’re fighting and rush over to where they’re at and uncuff them so they can rejoin the fray. The action is broken up at the Warrior’s hideout, where you can walk around and interact with fellow gang members, as well as exercise in order to gain strength. There is also a 2 player co-op included, but I never played it, mainly because my girlfriend hated video games. (I really did a good job of not saying something mean & nasty there.)

warriors ball batsOne of the other things that really impressed me with this game was its depth. Like I stated earlier, you start off at Cyrus’ assassination, and then flash back to the months leading up to the event. This lets us get to know each gang member even more than we did in the movie, and really helps to expand the story. It also added weight to the places in the story where a particular character is killed or gets arrested. Sort of like that time in Final Fantasy VII when Aeris dies, you get that video game sense of loss, but on a much more pulpy level with this game. When you finally complete the game, again, as I said before, the experience doesn’t end there. The brawl mode, which lets you pit gangs against each other in a free for all street fight, isn’t fully unlocked until after you finish the game. From there, you can pick any gang, as well as the police or random grouping of NPCs from the game, as well as different locations. This was a lot of fun, and lets you hear that sexy smooth boppin’ female radio DJ voice a lot more. What ends up happening is the player gets a large amount of additional mileage out of the game, long after the story has been completed.

warriors graffitti tagI’ve been disappointed with movie-based games since the days of the NES, and this game went as far to completely shatter the mold for movie games. The Warriors went above and beyond the call of duty when it came to bringing the experience of the film to the players. It actually expanded on a decades old license, and in a very tasteful and engaging manner, if I may say so. With the variety of missions, excellent soundtrack, gritty recreation of the film’s environment, and the fact that nearly every character and moment from the film included in the game, I would say this was one of the best games I played in the sixth console generation. If you are like me, and are scrambling to recollect your PS2 or Xbox collections before the prices get jacked up by dealers and flea market people, make the Warriors one of your first items on your lists.

canyoudigit

Can you dig it? I said, “CAN YOU DIG IT????”

 

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Warriors, Re-revisited, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
fflando
fflando


I am a full time Firefighter/EMT living in the United States. In my spare time, I split my time between modern games on my Xbox and the rich universe of the systems we all grew up with.

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