Who knew chaos could be so dull?
The concept behind Chaos Legion
sounds sweet: a 3D hack'n'slash
ala Devil May Cry
, but with big, summonable allies
for crazy attacks and tactics and tons of monsters to kill. I imagined it as a
/strategy hybrid, having you constantly evading swarms of
enemies while destroying, crushing and hacking everything in your path.
that's sort of how the game has turned out. You definitely do a lot of dodging
and countering with your allies. Unfortunately, the levels and enemies are too
thin on variety, the game is too short in general and the awkward camera/targeting
system gets in the way of most of the fun.
The story is about a trio of holy knights: Sieg, Siela and Victor. While the
three are foiling a wicked cult's plot to open the gates of hell and unleash
the apocalypse, Siela gets killed by a mysterious dark power, which promptly
returns to its alternate plane of existence. So Victor goes nuts and begins
the dark incantations all over again, releasing scores of dumb monsters which
you, Sieg, must chop up on your way to kicking your newly twisted friend's ass.
Along the way you find Legion seals. There are seven in all (with silly names like Guilt, Hatred, Flawed and Blasphemy) and two can be equipped at once, although you can't change Legions in the middle of a level. For the most part, your Legions execute attacks that are very damaging to some enemies and barely damaging to others. With two legions equipped, though, covering your bases isn't too difficult.
I've found Malice to be the most effective, a Legion armed with a crossbow that circles around you and blasts enemies. As Sieg you command the Legions and can have them either attack enemies at will, attack specific enemies or execute special Legion power attacks.
Granting autonomy to your Legions is usually the most useful tactic as you're
commonly swamped by tons of worthless enemies. Every once in a while you'll
have to kill a specific bad guy, and in those cases its smarter to sic your
Legions on that one enemy, but for the most part you can just let your Legions
run amuck and go about slashing things yourself.
Which brings us to one of Chaos Legion's two main flaws:
running around and slashing stuff gets boring. Imagine your worst Final
Fight nightmare, then take away the punch button and you've got Chaos
Legion. You can do a combo, but it only requires you to push Square
over and over again.
shallow action gameplay is compounded by an awful camera and worthless targeting
system. Chaos Legion is viewed from an isometric viewpoint
(the same as in Devil May Cry), and pressing the R1 button
centers your view or locks you on to a target. The real killer here is the fact
that you're constantly being attacked from all sides while the isometric view
favors one direction, which leads to a blind side and unavoidable hits; GOD
FORBID you ever get stuck next to a wall. The game loses a lot of its splendor
when all you can see is your character's head, a wall, and your rapidly diminishing
life-bar as unseen assailants kick the crap out of you.
A targeting reticule would be really nice, too, as well as more varied attacks.
Letting your monsters do the dirty work while you scramble around trying to
keep track of your large blind spot while dodging enemy attacks just isn't empowering
However, the character models look good and the combat has lots of neat flashes
and flourishes. When it all gets going, it's pretty frantic thanks to a steady
framerate. But the monsters are a monotonous lot, as is the level design. Expect
lots of gray castle courtyards and brown battlefields.
The game doesn't sound like much either, with the constant "K-sh! K-sh! Clash!" of Sieg's sword drowning out the music and other sound effects.
I have no doubt that the developers could have done a much better job with
Chaos Legion. The idea of kicking ass as a gothic swordsman
and his seven closest unholy friends sounds mighty appealing. However, a crummy
targeting system and ultra-repetitive gameplay relegate Chaos Legion
to the status of a good idea gone bad.