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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Legendary Review

Ben_Card By:
GENRE Shooter 
PUBLISHER Gamecock Media Group 
DEVELOPER Spark Unlimited 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence

What do these ratings mean?

It's only legendary if it's good... or really, really bad.

My editor has accused me of being too harsh on games [Har Har Har. ~Ed.] and said that I don't have anything nice to say, but come on, look at what I have to work with! Legendary is the latest release from Gamecock, a hilarious company with a hilarious name. Gamecock has brought us such shining gems like Hail to the Chimp and Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball, both of which were stupid ideas and never should have made it past the idea phase, and were both subsequently terrible games. Legendary is no different.

click to enlargeYou play as Deckard, the stupidest and most trusting cat burglar in the history of cat burglars. This is proven in the opening scene, where he's hired to break into a museum and open Pandora's Box for some rich jerk who didn't tell him what would happen, though anyone who doesn't see this particular plot twist deserves what's coming. For those of you not informed, Pandora's Box (which was actually a jar called a pithos) is a mythical magical box with all the evil in the world stuffed into it (thing must've been huge); and this slack-jawed gobshite opens it and then has the gall to act the victim.

But you, the player, are the real victim here. After the museum housing Pandora's Box blows sky high like it had been haunted by Vigo the Carpathian, you're shuffled through Manhattan in a series of linear and uninspired levels until you end up in England to do the same thing… only in England. You also intercept text messages and emails on your iPhone. Yes, even Legendary has one.

But enough about the terrible story. Let's move onto some terrible gameplay, shall we? It's a first-person game - your right hand holds guns while your left hand holds your obligatory Hadouken powers (Bioshock, anyone?). Enemies can take an impossible number of bullets to the head before finally dying, but perhaps the worst aspect of this awful game is the environment. There are certain objects you can interact with (by "interact", I mean walk up to and press 'X'), but there aren't that many, considering how busy the terrain is.

You can sort of hack security doors. I say "sort of" because hacking is nothing but holding 'X' until the door opens. There's always something happening around which makes you feel like you're in a living, breathing world, but there's so little that you can actually interact with that you don't feel involved in it at all. It all feels very hands-off, sort of like walking through a movie set but not touching anything.

click to enlargeAnd let's not forget the NPCs. Remember how in Half-Life you could kill every NPC that wasn't relevant to the story whenever you got sick of hearing "Reload, Dr. Freeman"? Well, most of the NPCs in Legendary ignore you in a very "It's a Wonderful Life" kind of way (more of that "hands-off gaming), and the ones that can see you are magically immune to bullets... but not werewolves.

Did I mention there are werewolves? Well, there are, and they're werewolves that must be decapitated for some arbitrary reason. This is easily done with an assault rifle, so the point seems rather moot. In fact, most of the beasties you come across "need" to be killed in a certain fashion but are just as easily deadified with a gun.

A lot of gameplay seems to be compromised, like they sent this to QA and if a particular element of gameplay didn't go over well (like having to flip over the stupid fire-breathing dogs to kill them). Instead of, say, removing said shitty gameplay element, they simply included a more obvious and easier way to overcome a given obstacle (like just shooting the aforementioned dog things in the face with a shotgun).

Legendary runs on the Unreal engine and proves that you can polish a turd to a mirror's shine, but in the end, it's still crap. Some things like wood from a recently extinguished fire look great and make full use of the engine, while most other things like rubble, which is what you will see more of than anything, are just crappy polygons wrapped in grayish-brown wallpaper. There was more effort put into the menu screen (which is an iPhone) than a lot of the levels.

click to enlargeMost levels are slight variations of the same hallway-stairwell-gunfight combo, with only minor changes to the scenery. There are some puzzle platforming bits that are truly uninspired. The weapons are the usual pistol, shotgun, and melee weapon only good for breaking open boxes. Your powers are pretty underwhelming too. You can push things and you can heal. That's about it. There's a definite lack of variety which I suppose really isn't holding the game any farther back, as it was already sitting in the vacant seat left by Rosa Parks.

Legendary is in the same league as Battlefield: Earth and Turok of how not to do something. How bad is this game you ask? It's Superman 64 bad. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but  Legendary sucks more that a Hoover on overdrive. It's bad like ET for the 2600 bad. You might even say it's Legendarily bad. See what I did there? It was funny.
D- Revolution report card
  • Some of the graphics are great
  • . . .but most are not.
  • Makes a great coaster
  • Stupid, unoriginal, and bland story
  • Did we really need werewolves?
  • Shameless iPhone plug
  • Special powers are not that special

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